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DIDA Dipartimento di Architettura

PROBIUR Urban Bioregion Project

The phenomena related to urbanisation have taken forms and developed dynamics that underline questions that are no longer approachable through traditional disciplines.

The unbalance that has been generated presents problems not only of an eco-systemic and environmental resilience nature, but also concerning the maintenance of the cultural and socio-economic model that those settlement practices represent, and which is centred on the financialization of the economy, and therefore abstracted from the contextual reality of the region itself.

The issues concerning the study and definition of models, operative processes and design techniques are placed within a more general interpretative paradigm so as to redefine the quality principles and criteria concerning the region and a long-lasting development in accordance with a co-evolutive relationship between human society and the territory it inhabits. Within this scenario the School of the University of Florence devoted to the study of the territory, and promoted by Alberto Magnaghi, has for over two decades developed reflections and experiences, expressed especially through research projects of national interest and financed by MIUR, PhD research activities, research on specific projects, agreements with public entities, and experiences regarding regional and landscape planning and design.

Through a continuous in-depth analysis from a bio-regional approach, the research group has developed the concept of the Urban Bio-region, understood as the space of interaction between the city and agro-forestry systems in which to identify exchange relationships between the urban and rural spheres in terms of a sustainable use of resources, the regeneration of the environment, and the urban landscape.

This sort of experimentation needs further development to achieve a methodological/operative systematization of the bio-regional model. This is to be obtained through comparison with international case studies, in particular within the framework of European policies regarding the territory and the city.

The Unit's research methods are developed taking into consideration the studied subjects,  and in accordance with certain methodological principles, such as:

  • Interdisciplinarity
  • Multiscalarity and interscalarity
  • Local and contextual approach: the question of heritage
  • Practicality
  • Communication planning and inclusivity




In terms of scientific aims the purpose of the unit is to:

  • transcend a sectorial approach to planning and to the territorial and urban project, identifying and resetting, from an inter-disciplinary point of view, the main elements of the analysis and of the territorial project developed through various research contributions from the bio-regional model, at both the national and international levels;
  • study in depth from a scientific and disciplinary point of view the concepts of bio-region and of bio-regional project. Identifying in particular criteria, indicators, analytic/interpretative and project models for their application in the areas of regional planning and regional project.

In terms of operational aims the purpose of the unit is to:

  • contribute to the application of criteria, guidelines and operative models for the design, implementation and assessment of integrated policies, regional government procedures,  plans and programmes for local development;
  • transmit the importance of a bio-regional approach as an answer and adequate instrument for determining settlement shaping and local development processes in accordance with long-lasting development objectives;
  • directly interact, in the case of specific planning processes, in support of choices made with the public interest in mind, as well as of the safeguarding and valorisation of public and common assets, including research and action interventions.





Recent research projects

Amongst the projects undertaken and currently under way are collaborations with PRIN and agreements with entities and Life+ projects.

We collaborate especially with the public administration at the various levels, with agencies and autonomous entities, mixed-economy institutions, socio-economic and third sector associations which deal with regional territorial issues.

In accordance with the fundamental priorities as defined by the research and innovation Programme “Orizzonte 2020”, the priority denominated “Society's Challenges” identifies a series of areas which may be dealt with through the Bio-region Project research unit. Amongst which the following:

  • health, demographic changes and welfare;
  • food security and sustainable agriculture;
  • actions for the climate and efficiency under the profile of raw materials; agro-forestry activities;
  • inclusive, innovative and secure societies; using and maintaining the instruments of an active civil society; keeping young people in the region through, and as a symptom of, healthy social and economic prospects.


    Alberto Magnaghi


    of the unit research

    Department of Architecture

    Alberto Magnaghi
    Raimondo Innocenti
    Carlo Natali
    Daniela Poli
    Alberto Ziparo
    David Fanfani
    Claudio Saragosa
    Roberto Sabelli
    Giuseppe Centauro
    Francesco Collotti
    Alessandra Cucurnia
    Maria Rita Gisotti
    Luca Salvati


     DISPAA Dept. Of Sciences of agrofood production and of the environment

    S. Benedettelli
    C. Pugliese
    G.C. Pacini
    E. Giordani


    GESAAF Management of food, agrarian and forestry systems

    I. Bernetti
    M. Paci
    C. Fagarazzi
    F. Preti
    L. Conti


    DST Dept. of Sciences of the Earth

    S. Carnicelli
    C.A. Garzonio


    DISEI Dept. of Business anc Economics

    G.V. Lombardi
    Andrea Marescotti

    DISPS Dept. of Political and Social Sciences

    M. Morisi
    D. D’Andrea


    DICEA Dept. of Civil and Enviromental Engineering

    F. Sacerdote
    C. Lubello
    E. Paris


    DIEF Dept. of Industrial Engineering

    Carla Balocco



    D. Chiaramonti

    last update: 18-Sep-2015
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