Teaching modules


Urbeur – Urban Studies Ph.D

2018-2019  Programme


4 main thematic areas:

Cities and Territories: Normative, Policy and Political Issues: coordinated by Prof. Lavinia Bifulco

City and Economy: coordinated by Prof. Alberta Andreotti

Methodology in Urban Studies: coordinated by Prof. Marianna d’Ovidio

City and Culture: coordinated by Prof. Fabio Quassoli 

Click here for Syllabus





2017-2018  Programme


4 main thematic areas:

Methodology in Urban Studies: coordinated by Prof. Marianna d’Ovidio

City, Policies and Politics: coordinated by Prof. Lavinia Bifulco

City and Culture: coordinated by Prof. Fabio Quassoli 

City and Economy: coordinated by Prof. Alberta Andreotti



  1. Thematic area: Methodology in Urban Studies

Coordinator: Marianna d’Ovidio (marianna.dovidio@gmail.com)

This teaching scheme offers students the methodological foundations which are crucial for implementing a successful empirical research. The module includes seminars both about methods and about techniques, particularly, but not exclusively, designed for spatial research. The module is organised into two sections.

  1. The first one offering the methodological foundations for the empirical research, with a complete module on the research design and another one on how to make comparative research.
  2. The second section is about techniques: Geographic Information System and spatial data, Big Data analysis and representation, Visual research methods and approaches, netnography.


Modules are organised as follows.


A1. Social Research Design (coordinator: Maurizio Pisati, Università Milano-Bicocca) – 8 lessons, 16 hours


A2. Comparative methods in a world of cities (coordinator: Anna Casaglia – University of Eastern Finland) – 3 lessons, 6 hours.


B1. Geographic Information System and spatial data (coordinator: Marianna d’Ovidio, University of Bari) 3 lessons, 6 hours + 2 practical workshops, 8 hours


B2. Big Data Analysis and Representation (coordinator: Guido Anselmi, University of Milan Bicocca) 2 lessons, 4 hours + practical workshop, 8 hours


B3. Visual research methods and approaches (coordinator: Elena Dell’Agnese, University of Milan-Bicocca) 4 lessons, 8 hours

B4. Ethnography for Urban Studies (coordinator: Simone Ghezzi, University of Milan-Bicocca) 4 lessons, 8 hours


  1. Thematic area: City and Culture

Coordinator: Fabio Quassoli (fabio.quassoli@unimib.it)


City and cultural change (Marianna d’Ovidio)


An introduction to the creative city debate

Marianna d’Ovidio (University of Bari)

Alberto Cossu – (University of Milan)


Creative cities, creative class?

Andy Pratt (City University London)


Culture, cities and creative Hubs

Pier Luigi Sacco (IULM)


Cultural policies in Milan

Filippo Del Corno (Milan Councilor for Cultural Policies)


Changing culture: “cheFare” a new/bottom-up approach for cultural policies

Bertram Niessen (cheFare)


City and diversity (Fabio Quassoli and Roberta Marzorati)


Governing urban diversity: Increasing social cohesion, social mobility and economic performance in hyperdiverse neighbourhoods in Europe

Eduardo Barberis (University of Urbino)


Coexistence and conflicts in multicultural neighbourhoods

Roberta Marzorati ()


Immigration, art and urban spaces

Marco Martiniello (University of Liège)


Changing LGBT and queer urban spaces

Sarah Bracke (University of Amsterdam)


Flânerie and public spaces in contemporary cities (Gianpaolo Nuvolati)


Flâneurs and flâneuses as objects and subjects of the sociological analysis

Giampaolo Nuvolati (University of Mlano-Bicocca)


Urban atmosphere: a coffee with friends, a whiskey with the stranger

Barbara Gruening (University of Bologna)


Emerging media and space (Giorgio De Michelis, Marco Gui)


Digitalization and the transformation of space

Giorgio De Michelis (University of MilanoBicocca)


The recent history of digitalization

Giorgio De Michelis (University of MilanoBicocca)


Media, space and social change

Marco Gui (University of MilanoBicocca)


Future research on media, space and society

Marco Gui (University of MilanoBicocca)


  1. Thematic area: City, Policies and politics

Coordinator: Lavinia Bifulco (lavinia.bifulco@unimib.it)


3.1 Policies looking for Politics

Lavinia Bifulco

This module focuses on  the ambivalence of urban welfare in Europe. Actually, its  various  forms and implementations,   on the one hand are a laboratory of new strategies for social cohesion and  inclusion, on the other hand  deal with increasing problems and financial/normative constraints.  After outlining the general conceptual and analytical framework, the following topics will be discussed: the perspective of informational basis of policies;  transformations and tensions affecting social citizenship; trends in financialization; the ambiguity of social innovation.


Lavinia Bifulco, City, policies and politics

Vando Borghi, The informational basis of  policies

Marisol Garcìa, Social citizenship and urban citizenship

Davide Caselli, Financialization and welfare

Sandro Busso, Social Innovation: re-politicization or de-politicization?


3.2 Mobility and Urban Transformation


Matteo Colleoni

The study of mobility has become an object of interest for social sciences, particularly following the invention and diffusion of motorised means of transport from the second half of the nineteenth century. Recurrent use of transport means, together with that of the new communication technologies, has been interpreted in various ways by social sciences: in some cases they highlighted the positive aspects, with reference to the expansion of exchange, of opportunities for interaction, of accessibility to urban resources and social inclusion; in other cases social sciences provided a critical interpretation focusing on the consequences that the excess of vehicular mobility has on the poor quality of the urban environment, on the loss of spatial proximity in interaction, etc.  The module will deal with the main theories put forward by social sciences on these issues, devoting particular attention to the relations between mobility and urban transformation.


Matteo Colleoni and Chiara Vitrano Mobility, accessibility and urban attractiveness

Vincent Kaufmann, Putting Territory to the Test of Reversibility

Sven Kesselring, New Mobilities Regimes. The Analytical Power of the Social Sciences and the Arts.


3.3. Urban development projects (with University of Amsterdam )Serena Vicari


3.4.  City, Protest and Violence Tanja Sekulic and Simone Tosi


3.5. Sociology of (e)valuation and environmental issues Laura Centemeri,


3.6. Housing Silvia Mugnano


3.7  EU Regional and Urban Policy (with Politecnico of Milano) Valeria Fedele, Paola Briata


  1. Thematic area: City and Economy

 Coordinator:  Alberta Andreotti (alberta.andreotti@unimi.it)


4.1 Issues in Urban and regional Economics Tomaso Pompili

The course is structured as follows:

  1. i) a seminar on locational choices and differential rents, highlighting the crucial role of accessibility;
  2. ii) a seminar on synergies among firms and absolute rents, discussing agglomeration externalities;

iii) a seminar on spatial systems of cities and regions, discussing specialisation and hierarchy;

  1. iv) a seminar on regional economics and human capital, discussing its role in knowledge spillovers as a basis of competitiveness and therefore of regional development.


4.2 Networks, Social capital and Urban and Regional Development

The concepts of networks and social capital have been widely used in the last decades to understand (local) territorial development both by academics and practitioners. As many authors suggest, it is not by chance that these two concepts have become relevant in this period, the changes in the organization of production and the globalization processes (among which increasing geographical mobility) are key factors to explain this success, and to explain the resurgence of the importance of territory (being it the region, district, local socio-economic productive system, metropolitan area, city). Within this framework, social networks and social capital have been considered as strategic resources that can favor the competitiveness, and social cohesion of territories, though they can also hamper them. Lessons will deal with all these issues, disentangling the concept of social capital, local competitive good, governance and government and territorial development.

Social Capital networks and territorial development: the main concepts and research streams Alberta Andreotti

Formal and Informal networks – regional development in Brianza Simone Ghezzi

The sharing economy and the city Ivana Pais

Urban and Rural development: the agrifood districts Filippo Barbera

Local development policies Giancarlo Viesti



Thematic modules 2016-2017

Costanzo Ranci, Stefania Sabatinelli, Serena Vicari  Spatial and social segregation in European Cities

Tomaso Pompili, Laura Resmini: Economia Urbana

Diego Coletto, Fabio Quassoli: Etnografia

Maurizio Pisati: Analisi quantitativa dei fenomeni sociali

Lavinia Bifulco: Issues and perspectives for European urban agendas

Matteo Colleoni: Mobility and Urban Change

Enzo Mingione: Laboratorio Milano

Elena dell’Agnese: New Visual research methods and approaches

Enzo Mingione, David Benassi:Capitalisms, Inequalities and the city.

Marco Gui, Giorgio De Michelis: Space at the convergence of media and ICT:

Silvia Mugano: Contemporary Housing issues

Marianna D’Ovidio: Representation and analysis of spatial data


The following thematic teaching modules were provided on the year 2015-16

Maurizio Ambrosini (univ. degli Studi di Milano).Migration studies in a mobile world; Serena Vicari Innovation: social, political, cultural;Alberta Andreotti, Serafino Negrelli. Networks, Social Capital and Urban and Regional Development; Diego Coletto et al.  Ethnography; Matteo Colleoni. Mobility and Urban Transformation; Marianna d’Ovidio. Representation and Analysis of Spatial Data; Elena Dell’Agnese. Visual research methods and approaches; Enzo Mingione, David Benassi. Inequalities and the city; Silvia Mugnano. Cities Under Transformation: Housing Issues; Giampaolo Nuvolati.  Urban Actors in Changing Cities; Maurizio Pisati. Methodology (ITALIAN); Tomaso Pompili. Urban and Regional Economy; Costanzo Ranci. Spatial and social transformations in contemporary global cities; Serena Vicari. Innovation: Social, Cultural, Political


The following thematic teaching modules were provided on the year 2014-2015

  • Alberta Andreotti. Networks, Social capital and Territorial Development Andreotti
  • Roberto Biorcio. Quantitative methods for social sciences
  • David Benassi, Enzo Mingione. Social change and economic crisis: new challenges to cities and local systems Mingione Benassi
  • Matteo Colleoni. Mobility and Urban Transformation Colleoni
  • Roberto De Michelis New technologies, Networks and Society DeMichelis
  • Silvia Mugnano Cities under transformation: Housing issues Mugnano Housing
  • Gianmarco Navarini, Fabio Quassoli, Simone Ghezzi, Diego Coletto. Ethnography 2015
  • Giampaolo Nuvolati, Roberta Cucca. Well-being in the city: Quality of life, sustainability and local identity Nuvolati Cucca
  • Maurizio Pisati. Social research design Social Research Design – Pisati
  • Tomaso Pompili. Urban and Regional Economics Urban Regional economics
  • Serena Vicari, Bruno Dente. Governance and Power Vicari_Dente

The following thematic teaching modules were provided on the year 2013-2014

  • Roberto Biorcio. Quantitative methods for social sciences
  • Costanzo Ranci, Serena Vicari. Global cities and urban transformation models Ranci Vicari 2013-14
  • David Benassi, Enzo Mingione. Social change, crisis and local systems: theoretical and methodological issues Benassi Mingione 2014
  • Maurizio Pisati. Social research design Pisati 2013-14
  • Andrea Cerroni. Sociology and communication of science Cerroni 2013-14
  • Alberta Andreotti. Networks, Social capital and Territorial Development Andreotti 2013-14
  • Tomaso Pompili, Laura Resmini. Urban and Regional Economics Pompili 2013-14
  • Diego Coletto, Gianmarco Navarini, Fabio Quassoli. Ethnography-field work and qualitative research Ethography 2014
  • Giorgio De Michelis. Informatics and its impact on social and organisational relations DeMichelis 2013-14
  • Paola Pucci, Matteo Colleoni. Mobility policy and projects Pucci Colleoni 2013-14_new


The following thematic teaching modules were provided on the year 2012-2013