Doctorate in Urban Future Studies
University of Florence
3 - 3 years
Earliest start date
The Doctorate course in "Urban Future Studies" intends to offer young graduates the opportunity to follow a third-level training course with a qualification of excellence and international scope through the acquisition of in-depth methodological, technological, and scientific skills that allow an evaluation, both qualitative and quantitative, of the use of predominantly vegetal solutions in urban and peri-urban systems. The aim of the course is to guarantee the development of the national production system in relation to Italy's ecological transition, according to sustainability and resilience criteria, such as to generate highly positive impacts on the environment, the economy, and society. The Doctorate is carried out in collaboration, and thanks to the support, of the Foundation for the Future of Cities, established with law no. 178 of 30 December 2020, art. 1, c. 566, and with its scientific director, prof. Stefano Mancuso.
Cooperation with national and international research bodies and university institutes will allow the acquisition of knowledge of a high cultural profile, aimed at enhancing the creative potential of doctoral students through study paths that will benefit and integrate the potential connected to the vast network of international relations of the Florentine University.
The Doctorate Course, making use of a Board made up of a vast range of prominent exponents of the scientific community, offers young graduates an innovative training offer that constitutes a certain additional value for entry into the world of work, both in the field of freelance profession and in industry and research. The aim is to introduce young people into the Italian system who have the ability and sensitivity to rethink and redesign cities and settlements intended as "generators of well-being", where human and non-human communities can coexist and coevolve together.
We are experiencing a moment of rapid transformation, induced not only by technological changes, which directly influence the socio-economic system but above all by climate changes, which require us to think and design a world very different from the one we have known.
The main objective of the doctoral course is, therefore, to investigate the transformations underway, incorporating and integrating into the knowledge system all those fields and skills that today tend to be separate and specialized in a new vision of a radically interdisciplinary future. The key phrase of the Course, in fact, is: the future we want tomorrow is made possible by the actions we take today.
The topics covered in relation to urban ecosystems include aspects linked to climate change and its effects, the monitoring and protection of biodiversity and ecological networks, and the development of new technologies for monitoring and modeling ecosystem services.
The doctoral course aims to integrate new approaches in the fields of botanical research, social sciences, landscape and urban planning and design, and urban and territorial governance, to plan the future, which is not only sustainable but also innovative.
The approach is multi-scalar, integrating investigations at a territorial level up to solutions relating to specific spaces in urban and peri-urban areas and to individual buildings, also proposing innovative interventions for the regeneration of the built environment at all scales.
In this way, investigations on the issues of energy efficiency and sufficiency will be integrated, to give priority to the essential needs in the use of energy, with the principles of biophilic and restorative design inherent to the use of advanced materials (including biological origin in the perspective of the decarbonization objectives) and innovative processes inspired by the principles of the blue economy. To achieve new objectives of energy, environmental and social efficiency, and sustainability, a vast spectrum of analyses will be used that take into consideration multiple aspects: from construction processes (LCA/LCC), to biodiversity, to the health and comfort of users (indoor and outdoor ).
Expected employment and professional opportunities
The doctoral training project in "Urban Future Studies" is mainly based on highly transdisciplinary laboratories and oriented towards the development of highly innovative solutions. Thanks to the numerous scientific collaborations underway with local bodies, the doctoral path will allow the development of a strong connection, in the field of higher education, between the world of research, work, and professions, putting in place solid prerequisites to facilitate, once once the training course has been completed, the entry into the world of work of Research Doctors in strategic employment fields for the development of Tuscany, Italy and the European Community, with connotations that can also be used in other national and international fields.
In the professional field, PhDs in "Urban Future Studies" will be able to operate as managers/officials of public bodies and private entities in the sector of territorial policies and in the field of territorial and urban planning with particular attention to the study and implementation of plant systems in urban areas and in the development of new technologies for monitoring and modeling ecosystem services. They will also have acquired skills to coordinate active conservation interventions and management of vegetation patterns and widespread natural systems in urban areas, assume roles of scientific responsibility in research laboratories, as well as to operate in managerial roles at public or private bodies. Finally, it is worth underlining the importance of the high qualification acquired as a tool for the development of a new generation of freelancers included in the Senior Register of the Professional Order of Architects, Planners, Landscapers, Conservators (APPC) and in that of the Order of Doctors Agronomists and Foresters (DAF).