Giulio Verdini

Professor & co-director

  • Institution:
    the School of Architecture and Cities of the University of Westminsten, UM6P, the Research Institute of Urbanisation at XJTLU
  • Scientific competencies:
    rural-urban linkages, culture and sustainable territorial development, consultancy projects for smart villages, and culture-led regeneration for intermediary cities in Sichuan

Biography

Giulio Verdini is Reader (Associate Professor) at the School of Architecture and Cities of the University of Westminster, in London, Visiting Professor at Mohammed VI Polytechnic University of Ben Guerir, in Morocco, and former co-director of the Research Institute of Urbanisation at XJTLU, in Suzhou (China). He is a UNESCO expert concerning the topic of rural-urban linkages, culture and sustainable territorial development; and he is affiliate of the UN-HABITAT Planners for Climate Action Initiative. He is currently involved in research and consultancy projects for smart villages in South Africa, and culture-led regeneration for intermediary cities in Sichuan, in China. He graduated in Urban Planning and holds a PhD in Economics, Urban and Regional Development, from the University of Ferrara, in Italy.

Abstract

  • Smart towns for more resilient territorial systems

 Cities and towns flourish and decline depending on whether they can generate new social and economic opportunities or, conversely, overexploit their local resources. Moreover, they can adapt more promptly to changes and stresses, if they are well integrated in wider territorial systems. In recent years, there has been a large global advocacy for smarter urban environments, often narrowly focused on city competitiveness and technological innovation, without concretely defining the condition by which their ‘smartness’ could generate long-term benefits for local communities.

This presentation brings about insights to redefine alternative place-based ‘smart city’ narratives, more bounded to notions of local cultures, capacities and cooperation, exploring how this can generate more resilient territorial systems. Examples mainly from the Global South will be reported.

Keywords: smart towns, territorial resiliency, local cultures, global south.