81925 - History of Contemporary City

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Advanced Design (cod. 9256)

Learning outcomes

The course aims to provide knowledge about the history of the contemporary city and the actors involved in its transformation. The course explains design actions outside the specialized design disciplines-economic, technological, social, cultural processes-and the circumstantial events in which nonspecialist actors, acting, transform physical space.. Upon completion of the course the student knows: deal with the history of the city image; use focused knowledge about reality; exploit and consolidate their knowledge and references to figurative arts, cinema, literature, understood as tools for understanding the reality of the territory and living; read, critically analyze complex urban places.

Course contents

The course is proposed as a critical itinerary for understanding the contemporary city in the light of its historical evolution. After broadly addressing the formation and development of the Ancien Régime city, we will focus on some aspects of its physical reorganization and its profound morphological and functional transformations along a chronological span from the late 18th century to the present.


L. Benevolo, Storia della città. Vol.4, la città contemporanea, Editori Laterza, Roma-Bari 2008.

D. Calabi, Storia della città. L'età contemporanea, Marsilio Editori, Venezia 2005.

R. Sennett, Costruire e abitare. Etica per la città, Feltrinelli, Milano 2018.

F. Ceccarelli, L'Intelligenza della città, Bononia University Press, Bologna 2020.

B. Wilson, Metropolis, Jonathan Cape, London 2020.

Teaching methods

Lectures will alternate with seminar sessions within which the topics covered will be explored in depth. Educational outings are planned for inspections in the historic center of Bologna if health conditions allow safely.

Assessment methods

The History of the City and Territory exam consists of testing knowledge of the topics covered in the lectures and participation in the scheduled seminar, which includes the development of an assigned exercise. The grade will be awarded based on the following criteria:
1: Knowledge and ability to critically address the topics covered in the course (0 to 20 points)
1: Evaluation of the seminar exercise through periodic reviews and final discussion (0 to 10 points)

Teaching tools

Lectures will be conducted with constant use of graphic and photographic material that will be presented through video projections and web-based classroom links.

Office hours

See the website of Francesco Ceccarelli


Quality education Clean water and sanitation Sustainable cities Life on land

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.