Horizontal densification: portraits of alternative cities

Domenico Chizzoniti, Elisa Maruelli

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book

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Today the conditions affecting the transformation of cities are multiple and linked to phenomena of global range, such as the increase in population and the number of inhabitants in urban centres, the pressures of the global economic model, the climate emergency, the digital revolution and the issues connected to the recent SARS-Cov-2 pandemic. The relationship between the containment of natural soil use and population growth tends to be resolved by designing vertical cities, implemented through the typology of the tower and skyscraper: design models that generate a controversial relationship between urban morphology and architectural typology in most of European cities. The subject of this study is to verify how in the design, planning and construction of new urban fabrics, it is possible to find credible alternatives to the typical scenario of vertical development, albeit declined in its many variants, and to verify what other examples can be found that explore the possibility of developing cities through horizontal densification. The research presented here proposes to address this study through the choice of a methodological-critical approach capable of intercepting experiences and case studies already underway in those areas of critical social, economic and cultural concentration and select those case studies considered more incisive and bearers of positive experiences, and to analyse the different treatment of land use in the various experiences of vertical and horizontal densification.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAnnual Conference Proceedings of the XXVIII International Seminar on Urban Form
Subtitle of host publication"Urban Form and the Sustainable and Prosperous City"
Place of PublicationGlasgow
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2022


  • density
  • urban tissue
  • city-density models
  • city growth


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