1. Transition to a low-carbon society, with particular attention to urban systems
In the perspective of social practices, sustainable transition takes place through those (uncontrollable) processes that characterize the birth, reproduction and disappearance of sustainable patterns of everyday life and do not necessarily follow defined trajectories (top-down or bottom-up).
Empirical research in this field concerns:
- social practices of daily life that contribute to the creation of shared spaces capable of gathering the commitment of heterogeneous identities and to promote the construction of environmentally-oriented lifestyles and local systems
- Urban processes of spatial appropriation and transformation, even in a sustainable way, through the approach of social practices. The framework in which reasoning takes shape, the city, is to be seen in an ecological perspective that recognizes the urban system as a living entity in which transformations represent regenerative metabolic processes of a living urban body.
- experiments of social innovation and resource relocation on a micro scale
2. Future urban scenarios and climate change
Even in view of recent population estimates (eg EEA, UN), global societies will be increasingly urban (75% of the world's population is going to live within urban areas by 2050); therefore, the form that cities will assume over decades will be a crucial issue also regarding environmental problems, as there is a problem of demographic weight exerted by growing population portions and a need - proportionally increasing - of resources that the city consumes.
3.Resilient communities and neighbourhood approach
Neighborhood as a context of privileged analysis not only in an urban studies perspective but also related to sustainable cities research. The neighborhood focus is linked to the current debate on common goods and the global economic crisis by introducing key issues such as solidarity economies and collective forms of participation and decision-making that oppose the privatization logic typical of the neo- liberal city.