Urban geography (p) (2018/2019)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Filippo Pistocchi
Filippo Pistocchi
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. 1A, Sem. 1B

Lesson timetable

Go to lesson schedule

Learning outcomes

The course aims to provide students with geographical tools to learn and critically discuss the territorial processes related to urban dynamics, one of the most articulated spaces of relationship (and mediation) between human communities and the environment, which affects social spaces, landscapes (natural and cultural) and policies for their management.
After a diachronic presentation of urban evolution, the teaching will focus on the themes and problems of contemporary urban geography, analyzing phenomena such as migration, linguistic and cultural differences, the challenges for the protection of the environment, which find in the city one of the most receptive and sensitive spaces.
Given the location of the discipline within a degree course that also trains future teachers, the essential tools for teaching geography will be provided, with particular attention to the city.

At the end of the course the student: understands the genesis and role of urban formations and the dynamics of centralization / decentralization of population aggregates; learns the principles of the functioning of urban systems in connection with the relationship between national scale and global dimension.


The following are the main topics that will be developped during the lessons:

• From human geography to urban geography: theories and examples
• History of the city and city in history: population, community, culture
• The city as a response to the relationship between man and nature and economy (in-depth study on the environment and landscape)
• The city as a space for social action, inclusion and fragmentation (preliminary analysis on: migration, languages, borders and borders)
• The global city and the excluded city
• Urban policies, sustainability and the new Smart City proposals in the world
• The city and the teaching of geography in the school, in relation to the key competences of citizenship and to the transversal teaching (laboratory of analysis of the city also in an educational way)


Attending students: parts A + B + C or D
A. Lessons notes
B. One book between the two following:
• Sassen S., Le città nell'economia globale, Il Mulino, 2010 (chapt. 1, 2, 3. + two among chapts. 4, 5, 6, 7)
• Governa F., Memoli M. (eds.), Geografie dell'urbano. Spazi, politiche, pratiche della città, Carocci, 2013 (introduction + chapt. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
C. Short personal research to be approved in advance by the Professor
D. A book of the group “c” for Not attending students

Not attending students: parts A + B + C

A. One book between the two following:
• Giovannini C., La Geografia urbana, Bruno Mondadori, 2013
• Dematteis G., Lanza C., Le città del Mondo. Una geografia urbana, UTET, 2014

B. One book between the two following:
• Sassen S., Le città nell'economia globale, Il Mulino, 2010 (introduction + chapt. 1, 2, 3 + two among chapts. 4, 5, 6, 7)
• Governa F., Memoli M. (eds), Geografie dell'urbano. Spazi, politiche, pratiche della città, Carocci, 2013 (introduction + chapts. 4, 5, 6, 8, 9)

C. One book among the following:
• Benevolo L., Le città nella storia d’Europa, Laterza, 2007
• Cherubini C., Le città europee del Medioevo, Bruno Mondadori, 2009
• Glaeser E., Il trionfo della città, Milano, Bompiani, 2014
• Marchi M., Città dell'Asia. Ricerche geografiche e storico-culturali, BUP, 2017
• Marchi M., Penzo P., Tonini C., Città europee del XXI secolo. Luoghi e tempi del mutamento urbano, Clueb, 2012
• Semi G., Gentrification. Tutte le città come Disneyland?, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2015
• Vicari Haddock S. (eds), Questioni urbane. Caratteri e problemi della città contemporanea, Il Mulino, 2013.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
MEMOLI M., GOVERNA F. Geografia dell'urbano. Spazi, politiche, pratiche della città Carocci 2014 introduzione + cap. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
GIOVANNINI C. La Geografia urbana Bruno Mondadori 2013
DEMATTEIS G., LANZA G. Le città del Mondo. Una geografia urbana 2014
Saskia Sassen Le città nell'economia globale Il Mulino 2010 8815139508 cap. 1, 2, 3. + due a scelta fra capp. 4, 5, 6, 7

Assessment methods and criteria

The exam will be oral, aimed at verifying the level of learning achieved. The evaluation will take into consideration the following knowledge and skills: knowledge of the contents; analysis and interpretation of geographic phenomena, of relations between geography, city, territory; ability to identify relationships and to propose comparisons and links; use and knowledge of the specific lexicon; communication in the Italian language