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Why Urban Design Today? Ep.5

Updated: Aug 28, 2021

Here at UDDI we consider our topics as a practice and a discipline aimed to improve the quality of the life of the people in the built environment.

In this column we intend to orient, to inform and to say why we need Urban Design today - from different points of view. Here's Prof. Paola's one!

Professor Paola is an Italian-Swiss Urban Planner and Designer. She is co-founder and partner of SDVB9, an architectural and urban design studio in Switzerland and the founder of the research lab "Diver s city". Her research involves (among several topics) planning new tools for urban analysis, public participation, decision and planning processes, simulation and territorial analysis, urban design, participatory planning, urban iconography, pre and after-disaster mitigation in urban and spatial planning processes. Her main focus is on a sustainable, inclusive and durable approach to urban design and planning.

Teaching are researching activities spans as well in a long and international prime-level curriculum: Urban and Regional Planning teaching in University of L'Aquila, University of Sassari, IUAV Venice (Italy), Ritsumeikan University, Kochi University (Japan), Jagiellonian University and Cracow Technical University (Poland), School of Architecture University of Michigan (USA) among others in Europe and Asia.

Scholar and member of several Boards and Scientific Committees, she's the founder and promotor of workshops (The Future of the Past - Design for Disaster Mitigation of Urban Cultural Heritage) and Summer Schools (ISAGA; Awareness and Responsibility of Environmental Risk; PREPARe Spring School).

"There's a vision of co-living

between the content and the container,

between architecture, urban design and planning as representation of a role

and between architecture and planning as activation of function".

Cotti&Rizzi, 2017

Mainly planners and urban designers, but also architects, engineers and all stakeholders should dedicate their attention to spaces, places and infrastructures that, albeit built under principles of durability and sustainability, remain vulnerable. In order to secure their resilience and resistance, it is necessary to support processes of inclusive reconstruction based on risk awareness of the local communities.

Such an approach stimulates innovative types of recovery and regeneration that enhance resilience without losing continuity and traces of the past.

Prof. Paola Rizzi,

Thammasat Design School International Expert, Università degli Studi di Sassari


Design: "Competition Entry for an Urban Area in Geneva", Published in "Genève 2020 Co-Habitations ", FAS Genève, Publications FAS, 2017: burying and surrounding urban ruins with environmental solutions to create new parts of the city. Credits P.Rizzi, L.Cotti.

Public Space: "Interactions in the public spaces are easy and natural for kids and adults", P.Rizzi

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