Curated by

Giulia FiniDirector of Planum. The Journal of Urbanism – Università degli Studi di Udine

Communicating urban planning to a non-expert audience composed of citizens and not of technicians, professionals or institutional interlocutors is one of the open dimensions that have run through the history of urban planning. It seems a paradox to say this for a discipline that is justified by the design of the optimal living conditions of populations in territories, but often urban planners, despite important exceptions, have considered the communication of their activities, an “internal” problem within the inner circle of technicians and their institutional interlocutors. A relationship that, in an academic-scientific context, has further weakened compared to the public relevance of cultural and disciplinary elaboration.

With this debate as a framework – along with experiences and approaches that are not easily reducible – the meeting starts from the publication of Leonardo Ciacci’s volume La città è vostra. Patrick Geddes: l’educazione alla cittadinanza (LetteraVentidue, 2021). He lived at the transition between the 1800s and 1900s, in an age of great changes, social and political struggles, Patrick Geddes was a concrete and prolific visionary, scientist, activist and philosopher. An anticipator of relevant issues in urban management and with out-of-the-box skills of observation, Geddes has successfully experimented with techniques and tools of understanding and action (from valley section to Outlook Tower, from photography to cinema) with the aim of involving citizens in the knowledge and transformation of the inhabited environment, combining knowledge, cooperation and responsibility.

In continuity with these reflections, today’s needs and the serious changes we are experiencing invite us to think about the experiences and heritage of the past by recomposing it with the standard of the present, in order to revise our beliefs, tools and practices. On the one hand, we now have great possibilities related to contemporary communication tools, photography techniques and video production. On the other, the need comes up again for more technical, and first of all cultural, figures capable of interpreting the complexities of the present (languages, places, situations) and producing occasions in which to dialogue with the “non-experts,” creating relationships where languages can be an obstacle to sharing, taking responsibility and exercising conscious criticism.


Introduction and coordination:
Giulia Fini, Director of Planum. The Journal of Urbanism – Università degli Studi di Udine

Giovanni Laino, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II
Giulio Ernesti, Università IUAV di Venezia
Alessandro Guida e Viviana Rubbo, Founders of the independent observatory “”
Leonardo Ciacci, Università IUAV di Venezia, author of “La città è vostra. Patrick Geddes: l’educazione alla cittadinanza” (LetteraVentidue, 2021)