Barbara Pizzo

Barbara Pizzo, Prof. Dr. 

PhD, Researcher and Adjoint Professor in Urban and Regional Planning, Sapienza Università di Roma.
Member of the Interdisciplinary PhD Programme in Planning and Urban Studies at Sapienza, Faculty of Engineering
TU Wien Visiting Professor 2018


Research Fields

She works mainly in the field of Planning Theory, with a critical orientation, and on the Theory-Practice nexus, inquiring the making of urban places. 

Her interests are in the processes of socio-spatial structuration, the relationships between spatial planning, policies, and socio-economic changes. She investigates the role of regulation (including when weak or absent) in the creation and re-distribution of value, and the adaptation of urban places and development patterns under power dynamics at the different scales.

Her research has focused on the concept of landscape as an instrument to investigate the social construction of reality; the importance of time and scale; the political meaning of nature and the associated environmental issues. She critically scrutinizes the translation of concepts from the natural sciences to the social science domain (such as that of resilience) and the ‘naturalization’ of social processes (e.g. auto-organization and spontaneous arrangements); she is also concerned with environmental risks (seismic risk in particular) and planning: her interest resides in the relationship between ordinary policies and emergency policies, which she inquires as example of suspension of ordinary rules.

Research and research related activity

Since 1999 she is engaged in research (also for PA) and teaching on the following topics: Planning Theory and Practice; Planning and Conflict over the Urban Space; Urban Policies and Planning; Culture-driven Policies; Strategic Spatial Planning for Cities and Regions (also related to seismic risk prevention and mitigation), Urban and Landscape Studies; Epistemological problems and Research methods in the field of Planning and Urban Studies.

She has been member, co-coordinator and coordinator of many research groups, at national and international level, including EU funded projects. Most of her research activities are published, or entered in Regional Laws, or in PA planning or regulatory tools (e.g. as Guidelines).

Most recent selected publications

2017. Embedding illegality, or when the illegal becomes licit: Planning cases and urban transformations in Rome. In: F. Chiodelli, T. Hall, R. Hudson, The Illicit and Illegal in Regional and Urban Governance and DevelopmentCorrupt Places, Routledge – Regional Studies Association, pp.164-180 (with E. Altavilla)

2017. Riding roughshod over People. Reading Politics, Economy and Civil Society in Metropolization. A case study in Rome. In: T. Reilly (Ed.). The governance of Local Communities. Global perspectives and Challenges. New York: Nova Publ. (with G. Moini)

2016. Cosa vuol dire «metropolitano» a Roma? Ambiguità spaziali, economiche e politiche. In: C. Cellamare (Ed.). Fuori Raccordo. Abitare l’altra Roma. Roma: Donzelli ed. (with E. d’Albergo and G. Moini) [What does it mean «metropolitan» in Rome? Spatial, economic and political ambiguities of metropolitan development in Rome]

2015. A Muddled Landscape of Conflicts: What we can Learn about Planning/Conflict Relationship from the Story of Tor Marancia, Rome, and its Unexpected Shift. In: E. Gualini (Ed.), Planning/Conflict. Critical Perspectives on Contentious Urban Developments. New York and London; Routledge – RTPI SERIES, Taylor & Francis Group (with G. Di Salvo)

2015. Fuoco incrociato sul planning. In: Moini G. (Ed.) Neoliberismi e azione pubblica. Il caso italiano. Roma: Ediesse [Crossfire on Planning – Neoliberalization and Public action, the case of Planning in Italy]

2015. Il nodo della rendita immobiliare. In: E. d’Albergo, G. Moini, Il regime dell’urbe. Politica, economia e potere a Roma. Roma, Carocci (with G. Di Salvo) pp. 82-97 [Land rent as the crux of the matter]

2014. Spazio, tempo e pianificazione / Space, time and planning. In: Lectures. Pianificazione, Design, Tecnologia dell’architettura (Baiani S., Cristallo V., Santangelo S., Eds.). pp. 154-171

2014. Problematizing Resilience: Implications for Planning Theory and Practice. CITIES, 43, pp. 133-140

2014. (la costruzione di) Una dimensione metropolitana per le città: attori, rappresentazioni, istituzioni. Il caso di Roma in prospettiva comparativa. PLANUM, The Journal of Urbanism, pp. 561-570, Planum Publisher [The construction of a metropolitan dimension: actors, representations and institutions. The case of Rome in comparative perspective]

2013. Earthquakes, public spaces and (the social construction of) environmental disasters. The role of public space for risk mitigation and urban redevelopment and the role of environmental disasters for re-assessing the ‘space of the Public’. In: Environmental risk prevention, post-seismic interventions and the reconstruction of the public space as a planning challenge, Special Issue of IJPP – Italian Journal of Planning Practice, 3/1, pp. 4-41

2013. Property rights and property wrongs. Il patrimonio pubblico e collettivo tra privatizzazione e riappropriazione. Riflessioni intorno ad alcune ipotesi di trasformazione di aree pubbliche o collettive a Roma. PLANUM, The Journal of Urbanism, 27/2 [Property rights and property wrongs. Public properties between privatization and re-appropriation. Reflections on transformation hypotheses of public and collective spaces in Rome]

2013. Why talking about ‘The right to the city’ in a time of neoliberalization. In. C. Perrone (Ed.), Living landscapes / Landscapes for Living. Policies, Practices, Images, Planum Publisher