Undergraduate and graduate programmes offered by the University iuav of Venice:

Doctoral programme in architecture, city and design



regional planning and public policy

(three years program)



Palazzo Badoer

S. Polo 2468

30125 Venezia



041 257 1426/1845/1865/1886/1787



coordinator: Francesca Gelli


vice-coordinator Guido Borelli



academic board

Universitą Iuav di Venezia

Guido Borelli, Giulio Ernesti, Laura Fregolent, Francesca Gelli, Anna Marson, Marco Mazzarino, Simonetta Morini, Francesco Musco, Stefano Stanghellini, Carla Tedesco, Stefania Tonin, Margherita Turvani


others universities

Giovanni Allegretti, Francesca Cognetti, Daniel Cefaļ, Giovanni Laino, Patrick Le-Gales, Francesc Munoz, Gabriele Pasqui, Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, Gilles Pinson, Brigida Proto, Claudio Radaelli


Pier Luigi Crosta, Giancarlo Paba, Liliana Padovani


phd students

Flavia Albanese, Sara Altamore, Lorenzo Betti, Maurizio Busacca, Francesco Campagnari, Giulia Cantaluppi, Paola Capriotti, Simona Colucci, Cassandra Fontana, Seyed Mohsen Hosseini Farhangi, Anselma Lovens, Alessandra Manzini, Dario Menichetti, Roberto Paladini, Alice Loredana Ranzini, Daphnč Reguissč, Remi Wacogne, Alessia Zabatino


>> track presented by Francesca Gelli





PhD research and training programme in Regional Planning and Public Policies – which first started in the Academic year 1990-91 – focuses on the transversality of urban policies in the context of contemporary complex and heterogeneous urban societies, thus bringing to the fore the need for the adoption of a cross-cutting approach to urban policies analysis, at the same time calling attention to the much-needed integration of and between different forms of knowledge (ordinary, professional, scientific, interactive ...) as well as the exploration of different planning fields.

Internationally-oriented, it encourages research studies both in European and extra-European countries, with a growing interest in the transition countries.


The Programme aims to broaden the comprehension of and facilitate innovative elaboration on the policy approach (theories and methods) as part of urban and territorial policies and planning processes’ studying.

At the analytical level, a policy approach is characterized by the attention to:

- the social and interactive construction of territorial plans and policies (a multiplicity of agents may be involved/mobilize themselves in policy inquiry and in problem setting dealing with the elaboration and implementation of policies);

- the problem of agents’ enactment; what are the favourable conditions for joint action (motivations that agents have to act; expected and unforeseen outcomes of actions; agents’ networks; interdependences among agents as well as the effects produced by their actions). Theoretical and methodological contributions are to be derived from various disciplinary domains (sociology, anthropology, political sciences, history, economics, architecture and urbanism...);

- the observation of existing planning activities and practices, and especially the multitude of agents included and intervening in them, thus calling into question who actually qualifies for assuming particular planning competences (disciplinary, institutional, social) in a pluralized public action;

- the mechanisms for producing “useful knowledge”, with the aim of facilitating more encompassing learning processes;

- tempo, time, timing in a planning process creation and development.

Some main research questions (to be studied/investigated with the aid of appropriate methodologies and research tools – single case study, comparative case analysis; ethnographic observation – and within a solid theoretical framework are:

a) planning institutions: their functioning and innovative potentials and actions, on different territorial scales;

b) problems and conflicts related to the definition of “public interest”; the pluralisation of “the public”;

c) policy-making process: theories and practices of policy design and implementation; rationality models used in and kinds of knowledge needed for decision making and implementation (variety of information sources and analytical methods employed in the processes of government policy making and social problem solving);

e) policy making practices; plural practices of space use and territory construction conducted by many actors; their interdependence, outcomes, regulation.


The programme is designed to provide a comprehensive training for carrying out research studies and  acquisition of expertise in main systems  of spatial planning and urban policy-related areas (such as sustainable local development policies; climate changes and mitigation strategies; urban regeneration programmes; urban and rural development; infrastructural policies; environmental and social conflicts; place-based and participatory approaches to urban policy design and implementation; social innovation; ethnicity, multiculturalism and policy responses to diversity; etc.), but it is also flexible. Students can benefits from studying such topics, phenomena which they find particularly thought-provoking and also, by designing the research path which best meets their interests, under the supervision of well-known scholars and researchers (in some cases external member of the academic board).


Proposed activities

1. the first year: seminar series, involving Italian and foreign scholars- visitors who are invitedto discuss constitutive theoretical and methodological issues, and key concepts in urban studies; critical survey of planning and public policy literature which is to be undertaken by each PhD candidate; research activities aiming at improving methodological skills; the identification and design of individual research programme;

2. the second year: analysis of a policy case, recent or ongoing, developed by the PhD candidate usually during a research period abroad, in collaboration with foreign universities or other organizations, with relevant experts and scholars support; definition of thesis statements and general structure of the dissertation;

3. the third year: composition, writing and discussion of the doctoral dissertation.

The PhD candidates’ participation in international and national scientific conferences where the their written papers are presented, as well as the publications or submissions of articles for publication in scientific journals (peer reviewed) are strongly encouraged during the first and second year and requested during the third year.