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Tel Aviv, Istanbul, Dubai, Oslo, Maputo, Rotterdam, São Paulo, Naples, London, Tokyo, Ulanbataar, New York. What can Milan and other Italian cities learn from urban examples which result from distinct historical paths and overtones of globalization? Which suggestions and warnings are signaled to us citizens by the contradictions, tensions, social and spatial conflicts of such cities?

By recounting the paradoxes generated by economic and social disparity, the social impact generated by the shift in the labour market, economic and housing  practices, experts and international artists will compare 12 cities for the Atlas. Through this analysis different forms of exclusion and opposition to multiculturalism, models which strive for collective happiness and quality of life will be compared to denounce those actions which are disruptive to urban spaces and to describe those interventions which can promote people’s life plans.

The Atlas will be characterised by stories, facts, maps, institutional experiences and bottom-up practices which document the inconsistencies produced by the evolution of cities and the lives of its inhabitants. Further, innovative suggestions, proposals and tentative answers to the the most critical questions will be explored. The present and future traits of the common citizenship condition in Italy and in the world will emerge.


In collaboration with Under the patronage of


Event in collaboration with the Order of Architects PPC of the Province of Milan. 12 cfp are Recognized  to Architects.

Upcoming events

5 March
Poverty/Richness. How can accelerated urban economies be re-addressed?

Up until a few decades ago, London and Dubai were perceived as radically different cities. In the past years, however, it appears as though they now share the same tendency to build up in order to produce financial wealth while there is a lack of housing for more fragile groups. Reflecting upon the two cities of London and Dubai, “machines of poverty and wealth” will be observed closely, thus to explore novel problems and solutions affecting several urban localities.

Paul Watt, Birkbeck University of London
Yasser Elsheshtawy, Columbia University;
Michele Nastasi, photographer
Paola Briata, Polytechnic of Milan
Davide Ponzini, Polytechnic of Milan

22 March
São Paulo e Tokyo
Security/ Insecurity:  How to build an inclusive city?

A type of radical urban insecurity which depends on the possibility of inhabiting a city without being affected by the free market’s fluctuations exists. The appointment on Tokyo and São Paolo will elicit a double reflection on forms of isolation and marginalization causing urban insecurity, to rather understand how an urban project for cities actually considering the desires and dignity of their inhabitants can be possible.

Raquel Rolnik, USP São Paolo;
Yoshiharu Tsukamoto, Tokyo Institute of Technology;
Daniele Lauria, architect
Luca Gaeta, Polytechnic of Milan
Massimo Bricocoli, Polytechnic of Milan

28 March
“Happiness/ Unhappiness: how can an individual struggle become an aim for the political agenda?”

New York and Oslo have distinct approaches when it comes to happiness models, nonetheless both hide deep forms of fragility (depression, suicide, addictions). To compare them through their ‘grey areas’ will help us grasp what makes a city happy and how to dream and create urban happiness as a collective project.

Emiliano Ponzi, illustrator and visual artist;
Eric Dregni, Concordia University, Saint Paul;
Erik Gandini, film director.
Domic O’Meara, Freiburg University;
Valeria Fedeli, Polytechnic of Milan.

4 April

Formality/ Informality. How to take advantage of bottom-up and co-produced cities?

The term “informal”- coined with a derogatory connotation to name all that escapes planning rules and control as self-made buildings and settlements, unconventional economic practices and  bottom- up urban constructions – is increasingly providing positive alternatives to urban problems. The appointment on Naples and Maputo will offer the chance to discuss peculiar forms of existence, resistance and resilience insightful for new modalities to live in cities.

Nick Dines, European University Institute;
Javier Arpa, The WHY Factory;
Paul Jenkins, former Dean at University of Witwatersrand.
Laura Montedoro, Polytechnic of Milan
Antonio Pezzano, University “l’Orientale di Napoli”

Past activities

22 January 

Mobility/Immobility. How to guarantee an equal access to urban opportunities?

To compare two opposite urban examples such as Amsterdam and Ulaanbaatar implies the examination of historically produced dynamics at the origin of certain mobility systems and the deriving immobility cases in order to understand how efficient and more accessible systems of mobility can make cities more equal and inclusive.

Badruun Gardi, Gerhub;
Karel Martens, Technion Israel Institute of Technology;
Andrea Segre, documentary director.
Paola Pucci, Polytechnic of Milan
Gabriele Pasqui, Polytechnic of Milan

18 dicember
Ethnocracy/Democracy. How can diversities co-exist?

How can the development of cities create the idea that “other subjects” – “other” to us – exist and hold different rights? The comparison between the two cities of Tel Aviv and Istanbul will elicit a reflection on the type of urban space that has been produced, the representations of the diverse populations inhabiting it, and  the strategies to re-gain control over public space.

Tovi Fenster, Tel Aviv University
Giovanni Fontana Antonelli, UNESCO
Filippo Romano, Photographer
Carolina Pacchi, Polytechnic of Milan
Stefano Moroni, Polytechnic of Milan



Ethnocracy/Democracy. How can diversities co-exist?

Tovi Fenster
Tovi Fenster teaches Geography at the Negev University of Tel Aviv. She often works through themes concerning ethnicity, citizenship and gender within the realm of Urban Studies. She has published “Planning and Human Rights” (1999) and “The Global City and the Holy City: narratives on knowledge, planning and diversity”.

Giovanni Fontana Antonelli
Architect, specialized in the conservation and management of cultural heritage, he joined UNESCO in 1998 as a Culture Programme Specialist of Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2003 he became Director of the Cultural Unit (UNESCO) and moved in the Middle-East, where he managed numerous valorization, museum development and sustainable development projects, mostly in Palestine. Today he is the CEO of ARCHI.MEDIA TRUST, an NGO which is concerned with themes as human rights, social justice, cultural development and human settlements.


Filippo Romano
Filippo Romano is a documentary and architectural photographer. He graduated from I.S.I.A. (Urbino) and specialized in documentary photography at I.P.C. in New York. His photographs have appeared on IoDonna, Huffington Post and Abitare Magazine. In 2007 he won the Pesari/Contrast call thanks to his OFF China project, where the subject of the art-piece was the urban development in Chinese cities. The project “Route 106” represents the decay of landscapes created by illegal structures in Calabria (South of Italy) and was exhibited at the Venice Biennale of Architecture in 2010.


Carolina Pacchi
Carolina Pacchi teaches Planning Theory and Practice and Urban Conflict Analysis at the Polytechnic of Milan, where she carries out research on the transformations of governance systems, urban inequalities and the various forms of civic activism.


Stefano Moroni
Stefano Moroni teaches Planning Theories and Practices and Land Use Ethics and the Law at the Polytechnic of Milan. He is, since the beginning, one of the editors of the international journal “Planning Theory”. His research and publications concern mainly ethics and law issues.


Mobility/Immobility. How to guarantee an equal access to urban opportunities?

Badruun Gardi
Badruun Gardi holds a degree in Psychology and Communication (Stanford University) and is the founder of the Gerhub association. In Mongolia, where the historically nomadic population, has seen the inhabitants of Ulaanbaatar duplicate due to the migration of stateless persons to the cities in the last 25 years, GerHub provides economic and creative solutions to housing problems.


Karel Martens

Karel Martens is a Dutch Designer and Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology. In his publication “Transport Justice” Martens illustrates how transport policies frequently  have a theoretical nature and aim in terms of efficiency. Yet, transport can contribute significantly to social equity. His research work focuses on how transport policies and design can produce a more equitable distribution of urban assets, in order to connect physical and social mobility.



Paola Pucci
Paola Pucci teaches Infrastructure planning and design at the Polytechnic of Milan, where she also coordinates the Ph.D. in Urban Planning, Design and Policy. She has participated with roles of coordination in national and international research (Prin, Espon, Predit, PUCA, H2020), dealing with the relationship between transport and land use, mobility practices, the role of accessibility in urban policies and the management of conflicts linked to large transport infrastructures.

Her most recent publications include: Pucci P., Colleoni M (eds) (2016), Understanding Mobilities for Designing Contemporary Cities, Springer; Grosjean B., Leloutre G., Pucci P., Grillet-Aubert A., Bowie K, Bazaud C. (2015), La desserte ferroviaire des territoires périurbains, Éditions Recherches, Paris; Pucci P., Manfredini F., Tagliolato P. (2015), Mapping urban practices through mobile phone data, SpringerBriefs Series.
Gabriele Pasqui
Gabriele Pasqui is the Director of the Department of Architecture and Urban Studies of the Polytechnic of Milan and Professor of Urban Policies. His research interests deal with practices of use and populations in the contemporary urban space. His most recent books include: Urbanistica oggi. Piccolo lessico critico; (Donzelli, 2017); La città, i saperi, le pratiche (Donzelli, 2018); Raccontare Milano. Politiche, progetti, immaginari (Franco Angeli, 2018).



Poverty/Richness. How can accelerated urban economies be re-addressed?

Paul Watt


He teaches and undertakes research on cities and suburbs, especially in relation to social inequality, housing, employment, regeneration, neighbourhoods and communities. Much of his work focuses on London and South East England. His last books are  “Social Housing and Urban Renewal: A Cross-National Perspective” (2017) Bingley: Emerald (co-author: Smets, P.) and “London 2012 and the Post-Olympics City: A Hollow Legacy?” (2017) Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan (co-author: Cohen, P.)


Yasser Elsheshtawy

Yasser Elsheshtawy is an independent writer, researcher and Architecture teacher at Columbia University, NY. He has taught at the University of United Arab Emirates in the past, and has been nominated curator of the Emirates’ pavillion of the 15th Venice Biennale in 2016. His work focuses on themes as informal urban planning, the urbanization of developing countries, history of urban planning, with a specific interest devoted to the Middle-East. Elsheshtawy owns a blog named “Dubaization”.


Michele Nastasi
Michele Nastasi is a photographer and researcher who works within the realm of architecture and its representation. He obtained a Ph.D. in History of Art at the Ca’ Foscari University (Venice) and has taught Photography for architecture at Milan’s Poitecnico. He exhibited his photographical research in international centres as the MIT Museum, NYU in NY and Abu Dhabi and Venice’s Biennale.

Paola Briata
Researcher in Urban Planning at the Polytechnic of Milan. From 2012 to 2014 she dealt with the theme of diversity in planning as a Marie Curie Research Fellow at the Bartlett School of Planning at the University College in London. She deals with spatial planning and urban policies, with particular attention to multi-ethnic contexts. Her publications include: Spazio urbano e immigrazione in Italia. Esperienze di pianificazione in una prospettiva europea (FrancoAngeli).

Davide Ponzini
Associate Professor at the Polytechnic of Milan. In 2017 he was Visiting Professor at TU Munich. He deals with planning theory, urban and cultural policies ,and contemporary architecture. Among his recent publications, he co-edited the book The New Arab Urban: Gulf Cities of Wealth, Ambition and Distress (New York University Press), with Harvey Molotch.

Security/ Insecurity:  How to build a inclusive city?

Raquel Rolnik
Raquel Rolnik, with over 30 years of experience in urban planning and urban land management, is an expert in the evaluation and implementation of adequate living standards and urban policies. She teaches Architecture and Urban Studies at the Sao Paolo University and has been nominated as UN’s Special Speaker in 2008 for the right of non-discrimination within living standards.


Yoshiharu Tsukamoto
Architect and teacher at the Tokyo Institue of Technology, after having taught in several universities including UCLA and Barcelona Institute of Architecture. He is one of the founders of the studio Atelier Bow-Wow (Tokyo), which is characterised by the design development based on site-specific human behaviour.


Daniele Lauria
Architect. In 1999 he inaugurated the Lauria Studio in Firenze, where sustainability has always been the characteristic aspect of his work. He exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 2000 and directed the Festival Europa and the Festival della Creatività. Since 2009 he has been developing projects in South America, with projecting studios in Lima, Bogotà, Santiago and Sao Paulo.


Luca Gaeta
Luca Gaeta teaches Technique and Urban Planning at the Polytechnic of  Milan, where he coordinates the Ph.D. in Urban Planning and Policy design. His research activity is dedicated to the practices of regulation and control of space, with particular attention to the design of borders. Among his recent publications: “Government of the territory and spatial planning” (with U. Janin Rivolin and L. Mazza, CittàStudi Edizioni, 2017) and “The civilization of borders. Daily practices and forms of citizenship “(Carocci, 2018).


Massimo Bricocoli

Massimo Bricocoli teaches Technique and Urban Planning at the Polytechnic of Milan and has taught at the Université du Luxembourg and the HafenCity University of Hamburg. He is one of the founders of SUI GENERIS – Laboratory of Sociology on Public Action and is a member of the scientific committee of the IBA Wien – Neues Soziales Wohnen Program 2016-2022 promoted by the city of Vienna. It deals with forms and modes of public action in the governance of the territory, the links between welfare policies and urban policies and housing policies. On these issues he has coordinated and contributed to research projects in Italy and abroad and published a large number of contributions.

Happiness/ Unhappiness: how can an individual struggle become an aim for the political agenda?

Eric Dregni

Eric Dregni teaches English and Journalism at the Concordia University, Minnesota. His most recent publication is “Vikings in the Attic: in Search of the Nordic America”, while in the previous ones, entitled  “Norwegian Dream” and “In Cod we Trust” he recounts his experience as a researcher in Norway.



Emiliano Ponzi

Emiliano Ponzi is an Italian illustrator of international prominence. He has drawn front cover for several publishing houses as Penguin Books and Feltrinelli, and for newspapers as the New York Times, Le Monde and Internazionale. He has also created the cover for “Class: vite infelici di romani mantenuti a New York” and recounts his idea of a city through the illustrated book “The Great New York Subway Map”, edited with  MoMa.



Erik Gandini

Erik Gandini is an Italian film director and producer, now living in Sweden. The artist is one of the founders of the production house ATMO. In 2004 he won the first prize at the International Festival of Environmental Films in Brazil, and in 2009 he directed the reknown documentary Videocracy.




Dominic J. O’Meara
Neoplatonic philosopher, teaches metaphysics and ancient philosophy at the University of Friborg, Switzerland. His books include: Plotinus: An Introduction to the Enneads, Oxford University Press, 1993 and Platonopolis: Platonic Political Philosophy in Late Antiquity, Oxford University Press, 2005.


Valeria Fedeli
Valeria Fedeli teaches social and urban analysis at the Polytechnic of Milan. She is also responsible for the Jean Monnet Course Eu Regional and Urban Policy course and Member of the Urban Planning, Design and Policy Phd Board. She was a visiting professor at the Institute of Urbanisme de Paris (IUP-Université Paris-Est Créteil) in 2014 and a postdoctoral researcher at the Maison Des Sciences De L’homme, SciencesPo Paris- RTN UrbEurope, in 2004. In the last four years she has been responsible for the coordination of the project PRIN 2010 “Territori post-metropolitani come forme urbane emergenti: le sfide della sostenibilità, abitabilità e governance” ( ).

Napoli e Maputo.
Formality/ Informality. How to take advantage of bottom-up and co-produced cities?

Nick Dines

Nick Dines is a researcher of cultural pluralism in the Global Governance Programme. His research more generally touches on ethnography, comparative urban studies and post-colonial urban studies. He has published “Tuff city: urban change and contested space in Naples”.



Chris Abani

The term “informal”- coined with a derogatory connotation to name all that escapes planning rules and control as self-made buildings and settlements, unconventional economic practices and  bottom- up urban constructions – is increasingly providing positive alternatives to urban problems. The appointment on Naples and Maputo will offer the chance to discuss peculiar forms of existence, resistance and resilience insightful for new modalities to live in cities.



Laura Montedoro

Laura Montedoro teaches Urban Planning and Urban Design at the Polytechnic of Milan. She is part of the research team Mo.N.G.U.E. Mozambique.Nature.Growth.University.Education, focused on Mozambique, the won  the Polisocial Award 2016, as well as of the coordination group of the Department of Architecture and Urban Studies for the PIMI Project – Doctoral training project funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation with headquarters in Maputo – together with the Faculty of Architecture of the Mondlane University of Maputo (Mozambique). She is also a member of the scientific committee for the start of the Master Design for development.
She has been the promoter and curator of international urban design exhibitions and workshops, and the author of essays and articles in collective books and  journals (Casabella, Abitare, Urbanistica-Informazioni, etc.), her recent publications include the books: Le grandi trasformazioni urbane. Una ricerca e un dibattito per gli scali milanesi, Milano 2018; Lo spazio pubblico come palinsesto, Maggioli, 2017; Open Mameli. Un percorso sperimentale di partecipazione, Maggioli 2016; and with Bruno Melotto, Marrakech, o dello spazio celato, Maggioli 2013. From 2012 to 2018 she was part of the Commission on Landscape for the Municipality of Milan.


Antonio Pezzano

Antonio Pezzano teaches Development Policies in Africa at the University of Naples “l’Orientale” and is part of the scientific committee of the Center for Contemporary Africa Studies (CeSAC) and of the board of the Association for African Studies in Italy (ASAI ). His research interests are urban informality and public policies in Africa, with particular interest in South Africa. His most recent publications include: “Getting stuck between the old and the new”: una prospettiva storica sui piccoli e micro-imprenditori africani nel Witwatersrand, I libri di Emil, Bologna, 2017, and Pezzano A., “‘Integration’ or ‘Selective Incorporation’? The Modes of Governance in the Informal Trading Policy in the Inner City of Johannesburg.”, in The Journal of Development Studies, vol. 52, n. 4, 2016, pp. 498-513.


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