UTAutumn ChallengeThematic Weekend 4 - 21/11/2020 & 22/11/2020

Thematic Weekend 4 - 21/11/2020 & 22/11/2020

Urban Heat Areas (Saturday) & Resilient communities and strategic scenarios (Sunday)


Short description

It is well known that urban areas significantly affect local climatic conditions, in particular, due to the development of the urban heat island - i.e. higher temperatures inside cities than in rural areas. The alteration of climatic conditions inside cities can have a significant impact on the thermal comfort of the urban population and on building energy consumption and can represent also a serious hazard for the citizens’ health, especially for the most vulnerable sections of the population. The need for optimizing thermal conditions and energy consumption inside cities has prompted, in recent years, the increasing adoption of different mitigation strategies as a primary measure to mitigate the undesirable effects of urbanization, being able to improve resiliency and maintain livable urban areas.

In this lecture, the causes leading to the urban heat island effect will be first introduced, along with several examples of urban heat island studies in different cities. Mitigation strategies aiming at maximizing the citizens’ thermal comfort and minimizing building energy consumption will be then presented, focusing on various rooftop technologies (photovoltaic panels, green roofs and cool roofs) and urban planning measures. Finally, practical examples of the implementation of different mitigation strategies will be shown.

What to expect

The lecture will be given using slides. Students will be invited to participate actively in the lecture, with short Q&A sessions on the case studies presented.

About the teacher
Lorenzo Giovannini - University of Trento (Italy)

Lorenzo Giovannini is assistant professor at the Department of Civil, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering of the University of Trento (Italy). His research activity focuses mainly on the analysis of atmospheric processes typical of mountainous regions and on the evaluation of microclimatic alterations induced by urban areas, by means of both experimental campaigns and numerical meteorological models. He is involved in different research projects, covering several aspects of applied meteorology, such as pollutant dispersion, support to agricultural practices, estimation of renewable energy sources and optimization of building energy consumption. On these topics he is author of several articles published in international peer-reviewed scientific journals.


Short Description

Imagining, planning, designing cities - or parts of them - means designing collective futures. The seminar explores those significant questions that communities are facing in the contemporary transformations of their living environment. Whom are the futures designed for? How possible and imaginable futures, and related socio-cultural-economic-ecological conditions, affect contemporary design decisions? What is the temporal horizon of the design perspectives (Short? Medium? Long?).  The contamination of disciplinary boundaries between landscape, architecture, urbanism, ecology, and futures studies (a recent branch of social sciences) has forced to expand and redefine the practice of designers and their field of operations. Following this, the seminar will focus on the expansion in approaches and definitions by associating the concept of future-proofing with the assessment of relevant megatrends; the megatrend assessment is considered the starting point to support the definition of future-proof policies or interventions.

We consider climate change as a key factor requiring the development of resilience in addition with other megatrends which might create synergies and reinforcing effects (both positive and negative), depending on the preparedness of social-economic  systems and actors. The interaction among participants will consist of a facilitated discussion inspired to the MEGATRENDS IMPLICATIONS ASSESSMENT - A Workshop on Anticipatory Thinking and Foresight for Policy Makers (by the Joint Research Centre, JRC  2017), using the platform MURAL and an original template (created for the event).


Students will be actively involved in interactive activities with the aim to achieve new knowledge of theories and practices on climate adaptation and urban resilience, as well as innovative tools for engaging communities. The seminar is specifically designed to address multiple disciplines and enrollment is encouraged for students from the fields of landscape architecture, architecture, urban planning and design, ecological design, as well students from environmental sciences, economics and social sciences interested in the long-term management and design of built environments or territories but it is also opened to other disciplines.

Activity Description

Meet your lecturers
Sara Favargiotti

Architect and Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at the Department of Civil, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering, University of Trento. 

Rocco Scolozzi

Professional futurist, trainer and facilitator, PhD in Environmental Engineering, expert at spatial decision support system and system dynamics, trainer and facilitator in “futures exercise”.