Academic Year 2023/2024 - Teacher: TERESA GRAZIANO

Expected Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and understanding: students will gain theoretical-methodological knowledge in the field of urban history, by identifying different past layers with reference to current territorial layouts

Applying knowledge: students will be able to apply critical methods and instrument to "read" and interpret transformation processes in urban contexts

Making judgments: students will identify, select and process data retrieved from the historical analysis of a urban centre

Communication skills: students will use a specific linguistic register related to urban history and they will be able to communicate the results of historical investigations through projects and final reports

Learning skills: students will be able to retrace the historical evolution of the city

Course Structure

Working groups: document analysis
Flipped classroom
Information for students with disabilities and/or Learning Disorders.
As a guarantee of equal opportunities and in compliance with current laws, interested students can ask for a personal interview in order to plan any compensatory and/or dispensatory measures, based on their specific needs and on teaching objectives of the discipline. It is also possible to ask the departmental contacts of CInAP (Center for Active and Participatory Integration - Services for Disabilities and/or Learning Disorders), in the persons of professors Giovanna Tropea Garzia and Anna De Angelis.

Required Prerequisites


Attendance of Lessons

Due to the interactive and partecipative methods used during the course, especially during workshop and fieldworks, attendance is strongly recommended.

Detailed Course Content

The course is aimed at providing students with the theoretical-methodological instruments to explore the evolution of territorial and urban processes from the historical perspective with the aim of "reading" and interpreting the different layers of history in the urban context, by linking them with contemporary processes.

In particular, students will focus on the main theoretical approaches related to the historical evolution of cities and gain the methodological instruments to carry out archive/bibliographic research, identify the main iconographic sources (maps, photographs), secondary textual sources (newspapers, travel diaries, planning documents) and use them in fieldwork analysis.

Textbook Information

Textbook 1. Governa F., Memoli M. (2011). Geografie dell’urbano, Carocci editore, Roma.

Other learing materials include scientific papers, policy making documents and report/dossier. Materials will be available on Studium during the course

Course Planning

 SubjectsText References
1Cities in history: morphology, categories and urban functionsLearning material provided by the teacher + Text 1, pp. 43-63
2Maps, pictures, drawing: the iconographic sources for analysing urban historyLearning material provided by the teacher
3Urban texture in Europe: industrialization and urbanizationText 1, pp. 83-93
4The European city and the plans: Paris, Barcelona, Wien, AmsterdamLearning material provided by the teacher
5The historical centre, between protection and regeneration: definition, legal frames and operational measures. Focus on the Catania historical centreLearning material provided by the teacher
6Fieldwork: urban walking as a tool for the analysis of urban transformation in the historic centre
7Fieldwork (2): da definire

Learning Assessment

Learning Assessment Procedures

The oral exam will include the presentation of an individual project focused on the evolution of a city selected as a case study and the evaluation of the knowledge of the theoretical frame.

Learning evaluation will be made through an oral test, during which the students will present his/her own project and his/her theoretical knowledge will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

1. Learning skills and degree of in-depth knowledge

2. Synthesis & analysis skills, appropriate linguistic register

3. Capacity of critical thought  

Final mark will be assigned according to the following scheme:

Test failed:

1. serious flaws 2. inability to synthetize and analyse 3. inability to critical thought


1, 2, 3: just enough 


1, 2, 3: enough


1, 2, 3: good


1, 2, 3: very good


1, 2, 3: excellent


Examples of frequently asked questions and / or exercises

The city and the Industrial Revolution; Hausmann's plan; the middle-age city