I began my studies following the passion for literature developed during high school, with a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities, at the University of Milan, and a very classical subject for thesis: Italian poet Giacomo Leopardi. I eventually moved to regional and urban planning studies. My curiosity for geographical maps – even as a child I read the globe – and the commitment in the reuse of former industrial areas in my city – Falck areas in Sesto San Giovanni – contributed to this shift.

The 9th edition of “Laura Conti” environmental journalism course, undertaken in 2009, was a turning-point, after which I started studying Geography, at the University of Strasbourg, where I obtained the Master's degree. I found out, at Robins des Villes, that participative urban planning can also become a job. In this Lyon-based association I worked and wrote my thesis for the Master degree: I analysed the ways a “space”, seen as merely physical and measurable entity, become a “place”, seen as an environment full of social, symbolical and personal meanings for those dwelling in and using it.

How can urbanism and planning be reinvented to take into account these aspects – not visible but strongly real – of contemporary urban life? This is one of the questions I would like to answer during the Ph.D. in Urban Studies.