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The urban explosion. Governing urban development

Alghero, September 5th > 13th 2008

Facoltà di Architettura di Alghero
École Nationale Superieure d’Architecture de Montpellier
Birmingham School of Architecture, Birmingham City University

Is the Mediterranean City disappearing?
Governing urban development.
The World is becoming a world of cities; cities grow in number, they grow in number of inhabitants, in spatial extension, in height, in quantity of goods being produced and consumed and in quantity of waste being generated, in energy they devour.
Cities consume territory, often suffocate it.
One sweeping and relentless phenomenon is that of urban explosion, almost always manifested as a sprawl, as an ungoverned or badly governed dispersion, with visible and heavy effects of wastage, inefficiency, lost of quality, dissipation. The definition of city boundaries has become a very difficult task and the spatial organisation is undergoing deep changes. The compact city has exploded and turned into a low-density one.
But it is not only sprawl, it is the explosion of the city with a complex frame of effects: for instance the internal transformation of the urban centre is another result of this process, closely related to it: people and industrial activities are turning away from the city moving to small towns or rural areas, but they are being replaced by new inhabitants and new activities.
Responding to this phenomenon is not simple, also for it is not one single phenomenon: Do we have to face similar processes or specific territorial dynamics? What are the local characteristics and the common tendencies of this transformation? What kind of effects leisure and tourism play in those processes?
Then, no single solution is possible to control urban explosion, as would have it the vulgate proposing the mantra of “compact city” as the only and a bit vacuous solution.
To put an end to the urban explosion certainly means to increase the density and to concentrate the urbanised, but this can be done only starting from the capability to understand the specificity of different phenomena, and therefore to identify the correct “cure”, through a dimension based on project and planning, and with the aptitude of long-term thinking.
The School will set the objective to define few projects for the government of urban development in different European contexts.
The School will explore the different kind of projects we can define in order to face this issue of sprawl and density. Understanding the contemporary processes will help us to imagine new ways of thinking planning and design.

For the participation at the School, the students will receive 3 ECTS.

Giovanni Azzena, Ivan Blecic, Stephane Bosc, Alessandra Casu, Arnaldo Cecchini, Fitnat Cimsit, Lidia Decandia, Dilay Güney, Joe Holyoak, Francesco Indovina, Giovanni Maciocco, Fernando Olba, Alessandro Plaisant, Francis P. Russel, Tom Muir, Silvia Serreli.


Alghero is a real town, rich in history and inserted in an environmental context of great quality: the old town, at the end of the twin gulfs of Alghero and Porto Conte, with the towers and city walls is from Aragonese period. Alghero, or l’Alguer in the Catalan language, is an island within an island also from a linguistic point of view and is a place of many cultures, Catalan and Sardinian first of all, but also of Ferrara and Istria in the nearby village of Fertilia and in the pos-war reclamation settlements. Alghero is linked to different European destinations (London, Liverpool, Barcelona-Girona, Madrid, Bremen, Franckfurt-Hahn, Dusseldorf-Weeze, Dublin, Stockholm) and in Italy with Bologna, Milano, Bergamo, Pisa, Torino e Roma. During Summer many other destinations are present.
The School is located in the centre of Alghero.

The enrolment cost is 400 euro (250 euro for students and Phd students, 200 euro for students of organizing Institutions).

Two full grants are provided for Extra-UE students (enrolement + accomodation); four grants for the enrolement are provided for UE students.

Accommodation and food
It will be possible to book a Hotel, in the centre of Alghero, near the School, with a special agreement: single room 50 euros for night per person, double 37/40, triple 32/35 and quadriple room 28/30 euros.
A set of different opportunities are available for lunch or dinner at convenient price.

ISSs of Facoltà di Architettura di Alghero area directed by:
Giovanni Maciocco & Arnaldo Cecchini.

The leading team of ISS2008 Alghero is composed by:
Francesca Bua, Alessandra Casu, Mauro Cossu, Silvia Serreli.

Facoltà di Architettura
Dipartimento di Architettura e Pianificazione
Palazzo del Pou Salit, Piazza Duomo 6
07041 Alghero (SS), Italia
M +39 3204205794; +39 3290045883
F +39 0799720420
E summerschool.architettura@uniss.it


File allegati

Poster Ita-Eng ( locandina_SEI_ItaEng.pdf 343.45 KB )

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