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5 May 2019

PhD Programme in Urban Planning, Design and Policy (UPDP)
Politecnico di Milano PhD School

Milan, Italy
APPLICATION DEADLINE | 20th May 2021 (2.00 pm, Italian time)
5 POSITIONS, 4 fully funded
• Politecnico di Milano
• Politecnico di Milano PhD School 
• DAStU - Department of Architecture and Urban Studies


The PhD Programme in Urban Planning, Design and Policy was initiated in 2013 through the merging of two earlier programmes both based in the Department of Architecture and Urban Studies. This is one of the most important departments in Italy in the field of urban studies, integrated into a strong international network of academic institutions. As one of 180 departments selected and financed by the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research for the "Departments of Excellence" initiative, the Department of Architecture and Urban Studies in the five-year period 2018-2022 will focus its efforts on the issue of territorial fragility. The PhD programme in Urban Planning, Design and Policy benefits from this rich research environment and aims at training young researchers in the field of urban studies according to the best international standards.

The PhD Programme in Urban Planning, Design and Policy aims at exploring the significance and impact of contemporary urban changes and understanding the way these changes can be governed through planning, design, and policy-making activities. The programme pays specific attention to recent spatial, environmental, social, and economic dynamics taking place in urban contexts, as well as to pro-active advancements in planning practices and to potential innovations in traditional urban studies, urban design, and policymaking. Based on a multidisciplinary approach, the main objective of both the educational programme and the individual research training is to offer PhD candidates a challenging environment with space for international debate, research, experimentation, and innovation.
The main courses and workshops are focused on the following areas:

• Urban changes. Contemporary cities are worldwide confronted with increasing challenges regarding social inequality, local democracy, environmental, social and economic sustainability, and cultural diversity. The main issues addressed are: social, economic, environmental, and territorial transformations; technological change that cities are facing; social and political innovation strategies.
• Planning theories and practices. Different planning fields and cultures are explored through a critical and comparative approach. The main issues addressed are: paradigms, traditions, and innovations in planning theory; land use planning and its relationship with citizenship and justice; comparative studies about planning systems; the relationship between planning theory and practice; visioning and the strategic dimension in plans, policies, and projects.
• Design topics, forms, and tools. Theoretical and technical issues for the construction of urban projects and the implementation of public policies are addressed through specific research themes. The main themes addressed are: the role and form of urban projects in driving territorial change; innovations in the descriptions and representations of cities and landscapes; evaluation and management of urban projects to balance the financial feasibility of land development with land protection, biodiversity, and energy saving.

According to its international orientation, the programme intends to train highly qualified researchers and professionals. They are all expected to work worldwide in academic institutions, research centres, public administrations, and the private sector in the following fields: spatial planning; design and management of urban and landscape projects; urban policies, and urban studies.

The PhD programme grants 5 PhD positions (4 fully paid) to start in November 2021. 
The 4 scholarships are organised as follows:
3 positions allow candidates to freely choose their own research topic (*)
1 position is based on the predefined research interdisciplinary topic (**)

PhD scholarships include a full tuition and fees waiver.

(*) As regards the 3 open topics scholarships, proposals covering the following topics are encouraged:
 Multiple institutional levels and planning rules
 After implementation: retrospective research on plans and policies and their effect
 Planning in the face of transnational finance, networks and projects
 Architects, Engineers, Planners: how do the changing urban conditions require re-designing research and professional profiles?
 Architects, Engineers, Planners: spatial thinking, new urban imaginaries and tools
Spatial planning in a green deal perspective for human well-being, tourism and the sustainability of the contemporary cities and landscapes
Towards a context-sensitive post-car transition. Policies and project to support equity and sustainable mobility
New structures of spatial and socio-economic inequalities, local welfare policies and labour market, new working spaces, social inclusion and spatial regeneration: social justice, social cohesion, redistribution, social investment, sustainability, transformations in the labour market and space implications
Ageing in different urban/rural contexts, between autonomy and support: housing, care, accessibility, mobility and social relation
Beyond city-ism and metropolitan-ism: new spatial imaginaries, emerging forms of agencies and the necessity of interrelated and trans-scalar approaches to governance problems in large urban regions.

(**) In addition, this year applicants may also apply for one interdisciplinary and thematic scholarship, designed for students who wish to conduct research in specific subfields of urban studies:
"Study of Smart Working and population relocation after the Covid_19 pandemic through social and internet traffic patterns"
Supervisors and Scientific Responsible of the PhD Research:
Prof. Carolina Pacchi, DAStU, Politecnico di Milano.
Prof. Antonio Capone, School of Industrial and Information Engineering, Politecnico di Milano.

Please see the UPDP brochure in the download section for more information.

Applicants are requested to fill out the online application form and attach the required documents by 20th May 2021, 2.00 pm (Italian time zone).

The PhD Program in Urban Planning, Design and Policy welcomes foreign and Italian students.
• English is the official language of the program.
All candidates will be admitted with the basic departmental scholarships, and the specific research subject will be assigned, with the agreement of the candidate and the Board of Professors of the PhD Programme, within the first year of the PhD activity.

UPDP Webpage on the PhD School - POLIMI Website
• UPDP Webpage on DAStU Website
• 37th CYCLE PhD CALL 2021/2022 - POLIMI Website          

• Prof. Luca Gaeta | Coordinator of UPDP PhD Programme 
• Dr. Alice Buoli | PhD Tutor 

PhD Office at DAStU (for administrative inquires)
• Dr. Marina Bonaventura
T. +39.02.2399.5165
• Dr. Marilena Mastalli 
T. +39.02.2399. 5405

PhD Office at POLIMI School of Doctoral Programs