Imagining living spaces in extreme conditions: suggestions from a case study in Bari

Keywords: Spatial cognition, COVID emergency, Lockdown, Urban spaces


The coronavirus pandemic has affected over 200 countries worldwide, finding an environment well-suited to its spread in cities as the heart of our civilization, as the meeting place for ideas, cultures and commercial exchanges. In these circumstances, prevention and control play a vital role, revealing the need to improve the current knowledge of users’ perception of urban spaces and the way in which spaces are perceived and used. This work aims at investigating how the coronavirus emergency influenced perception of the surrounding spaces. In this regard, two questionnaire-based surveys were carried out on a sample of students from the School of Engineering of the Polytechnic University of Bari (Italy), one during the lockdown phase and one immediately after. Even after only a preliminary analysis, results showed some interesting patterns. They revealed, on the one hand, the expectations regarding possible changes, indicating places that are particularly important or symbolic for participants, and which are perceived to be missing, and on the other, the feelings of fear, worry and uncertainty with regard to the risk of contagion during post-lockdown access to and navigation through them. Nonetheless, some changes were considered positive, thus providing a strong indication of the expectations placed on future cities


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Author Biographies

Giulia Mastrodonato, Polytechnic University of Bari

Ph.D., Doctor of Philosophy in Town and Country Planning, Politecnico di Bari, Italy, where she collaborates as external researcher. She has a Master degree in Civil Engineering and a Master of Art in Town and Environment Planning; she has been Assistant Professor in Materials Technology and Applied Chemistry at Politecnico di Bari, Italy. With research interests in environmental planning, navigation, spatial cognition, behavioural strategies in orientation, landscape analysis.

Domenico Camarda, Polytechnic University of Bari

Master degree in Civil Engineering, he is full Professor at Politecnico di Bari, Italy, where he teaches Spatial planning and engineering. His research interests are Environmental planning, Spatial cognition models in planning, Multi-agent planning models, Decision-support systems. He published about 80 papers in international journals and conference papers, 1 authored book, 5 edited books and book chapters and several informational articles.


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How to Cite
MastrodonatoG., & CamardaD. (2020). Imagining living spaces in extreme conditions: suggestions from a case study in Bari. TeMA - Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment, 261-268.
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