Just Accepted List


PREVENTIVE URBANISM - Contesti 1 | 2022 Upcoming Issue

Edited by Elena Dorato, Pablo Martinez Diez, Mar Santamaria-Varas

Eco-quartieri: laboratori urbani tra benessere ambientale e inclusione sociale

Francesco Alberti, Università degli Studi di Ferrara - Dipartimento di Architettura

Accepted: November 2022 | Published Online:  November 2022  | DOI: 10.13128/contest-13912


The issues of sustainable development and urban regeneration are addressed with an overall strategy that intends to systematize a multiplicity of integrated actions. The concept of eco-neighborhood, which is proposed as a model both for the planning of new settlements and for the transformation of consolidated cities, was born as a response to the environmental, social and economic problems that characterize them and which are constantly changing.

Even in Italy, real estate assets should be considered a resource as they have the great potential to be transformed into a sustainable environment through careful urban planning. The goal is to give quality conditions to the transformation of neuralgic areas in the territory through scenarios and intervention actions that move from Smart City/Smart Land paradigm: for a sustainable urban project. Keeping firmly the principle of integration and processuality, the proposed strategies are incremental in nature, the feasibility of the project being conditioned by the possibility of resorting to appropriate systems of environmental compensation and mitigation and equalization of property values, through transparent negotiation practices with properties.

Keywords: environmental wellbeing, social inclusion, human health, local communities, eco-districts

Scaling the Superblock model to city level in Barcelona? Learning from recent policy impact evaluations

Jaime Benavides, Deptartment of Environmental Health Sciences, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, NY

Sabah Usmani, Deptartment of Environmental Health Sciences, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, NY

Marianthi-Anna Kioumourtzoglou, Deptartment of Environmental Health Sciences, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, NY

Accepted: November 2022 | Published Online:  November 2022  | DOI: 10.13128/contest-13911


Evaluating the intended and unintended environmental health impacts of urban policies is critical for designing and implementing policies that promote healthier urban living. This paper evaluates the Barcelona Superblock model — a policy aiming to reduce road traffic and increase other uses of the public space such as active mobility — during its design and recent implementation stages, with a focus on its traffic reduction benefits. Its design assumed that Superblocks would cover the entire city, potentially reducing overall road traffic by more than 20% due to the “evaporation” of road traffic from this large-scale reallocation of streets. This reduction is necessary to improve environmental health conditions in the city, where traffic density accounts for about 5,500 vehicles per km2 in the most congested areas. Recent estimations in the context of the COVID-19 lockdown found that a 25-30% reduction of road traffic is required to comply with European annual NO2 concentration standards. Thus, according to the impact evaluation of its design, an entire-city deployment of Superblocks would accomplish most of this necessary reduction. However, to date only three pilot intervention areas have been implemented in the city and two evaluations of their actual impacts provided complementary results: Superblocks are beneficial in pedestrianized streets but may be detrimental in streets influenced by the rebound effect of traffic redistribution. Previous studies have suggested that similar interventions reallocating road space from motorized vehicles to other uses can lead to traffic redistribution to nearby streets while reducing overall traffic levels on the whole network. Here, we argue that in cities with very high circulating traffic density, like Barcelona, Superblocks need to be accompanied by urban policies that reduce traffic in the city as a whole. Specifically, developing policies that  could reduce overall traffic in the entire city — e.g., a congestion charge — could ease the implementation of Superblocks by freeing space from cars and providing economic resources to implement the necessary transformation of public space.

Keywords: superblocks, health impact, urban environment, policy evaluation

Il popolo dell’abisso. Miseria, malattia e inquinamento nelle città della rivoluzione industriale

Romeo Farinella, Dipartimento di Architettura, Università degli Studi di Ferrara, CITERlab

Accepted: October 2022 | Published Online:  November 2022  | DOI: 10.13128/contest-13889


The relationship between misery, disease and urban living conditions can be read throughout history along certain lines, concerning the living conditions, that have accompanied urbanisation and the changes in the human-environment relationship over the centuries. If the history of cities can be told through the succession of pandemics that have arrived, following the routes of mankind, we could say that by talking about pandemics we are also dealing with the history of urbanisation. For some time now, scientific research has highlighted the link between pandemic and environmental crisis, and the latter accelerated with the industrial revolution. The development of western industrial cities was also based on the conflict/synergy between opulence and misery, between medical research and the spread of insalubrity caused by poverty and destitution. This text proposes a reflection on this fundamental moment for the fate of our cities, trying to highlight some continuities with the ongoing processes of urbanisation.

Keywords: environmental crisis, inequalities, insalubrity, urban rhetoric

Territorial Resilience towards Healthy and Safety Workplaces. An Analysis of the Enterprises’ Exposure to Earthquake and Landslides in Fragile Central Italy

Marika Fior, Department of Planning, Design and Technology of Architecture, Sapienza Università di Roma

Accepted: October 2022 | Published Online:  November 2022  | DOI: 10.13128/contest-13899


A healthy working environment is not enough if it is unsafe against natural hazards. The paper is an exposition of the research Re-scale (2020-21), and it focuses on earthquakes and landslides to assess the enterprises’ exposure in Central Italy through a spatial analysis of companies’ locations and multi-hazard conditions. The goal is twofold: i) to increase risk awareness by disseminating information about hazardous situations in which enterprises operate; ii) to arrange a working method to develop preventive planning that reduces disaster risk and increases the resilience of fragile territories. The study is relevant for recognizing which economic sectors are most exposed to earthquakes and landslides. For each economic sector (e.g., agriculture, manufacturing, commerce, real estate), the analysis highlights the exposure of working capital, human capital, and fixed capital (goods, buildings, and equipment). The analysis method and results can help support decisions in risk management, towards preventive planning: a way of planning that prioritises action to increase the resilience and security of the territory in peacetime, limiting the interruption of economic activities. The latter represents a high stress factor for workers’ health.

Keywords: Natural Hazards, Preventive Planning, Business Continuity, Sustainability, Urban Regeneration

Post-pandemic urbanism. Che progetto oltre la crisi?

Luis Martin Sanchez, Professore a contratto presso Politecnico di Torino – Dist   

Ricercatore presso Università degli Studi di Torino – Esomas

 Accepted: October 2022 | Published Online:  November 2022  | DOI: 10.13128/contest-13884


The pervasiveness of the state of crisis we have been in for years, aggravated by the effects of the pandemic crisis that began in 2020, poses numerous questions to the disciplines that are concerned with urban and territorial planning that have to do with the vulnerability of our bodies, our being together, and the precariousness of our being on earth. These disciplines have, now more than ever, the responsibility to provide answers to these situations that prefigure apocalyptic and dystopian scenarios, through a radical and foundational project. This paper attempts to critically revisit some of the urban issues that the pandemic crisis has brought to the surface by retracing four classic themes of urbanism: housing, protection, production, and being together. It does so through a re-reading of some disciplinary reflections, research and projects that have emerged in recent years. From this re-reading some questions emerge that in my opinion can contribute to the construction of policies and projects (at a time when important public funding is coming to Italy) that put at the center a radical project for the "care of the world".

Keywords: urban project, post-pandemic city, cure of the world, state of crisis

Defining the accessibility of physical activity. Tracing the social dimension

Ilkka Virmasalo, Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Finland

Elina Hasanen, Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Finland

Accepted: October 2022 | Published Online:  November 2022  | DOI: 10.13128/contest-13879


The promotion of the physical activity (PA) of citizens has traditionally focused on improving spatial accessibility, especially in municipal administrations. However, research evidence indicates that proximity to PA environments is not a sufficient condition for increased PA. This article presents a broader model of the dimensions of the accessibility of PA, developed in cooperation between researchers and the authorities of two cities in Finland. As a result, ten dimensions affecting accessibility have been identified: spatial, temporal, physical/technological, informational, economic, legal/administrative, cultural/attitudinal, skills related, mental and social. A special focus of attention is on the most neglected dimension: the social. In addition to the dimensional typology, the article presents a view of the PA accessibility process in which the social dimension plays a significant role as a mediating level between the enabling factors and the decisions made by individuals.

Keywords: Physical activity, accessibility, social accessibility, co-development, Finland


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