Outside the compact city. Making borders disappear

Main Article Content

Anna Attademo


The paper explores the challenges of demographic changes and economic growth, with reference to post-war expansions, in-between urban and rural territories.
Examining EU definitions and past programmes, it analysis the concepts of periurban areas and urban fringe within two major EU funded project: Horizon 2020 “REPAiR” and URBACT III “Sub> urban. Reinventing the fringe”. These projects, going beyond past definitions, consider areas outside the compact city as an overall continuous built/un-built territory, an amorphous area between the high-density inner city and the low-density suburbs. These border areas of a city in transition, signed by urban abandonment and decay, have a strong potential for conversion and density; not in the sense of expansion related to land consumption, but working on a density of open-spaces, e.g. eco-services for new liveable habitats and sustainable way of living. The territorial regeneration process becomes progressive, adaptive and flexible, to be defined from both side of the border, through collaborative and cooperative processes, learning from the compact city.
The paper uses three samples from the EU funded project -the cities of Casoria (Italy), Antwerp (Belgium) and Oslo (Norway)- which worked on their fringe, based on principles of an alternative paradigm of growth, which starts from the conversion of physical heritage (built and un-built), through densification and diversification of uses, to re-interpret the meaning and identity of long neglected areas.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
AttademoA. (2020). Outside the compact city. Making borders disappear. UPLanD - Journal of Urban Planning, Landscape & Environmental Design, 5(1), 25-36. https://doi.org/10.6093/2531-9906/6252


Amenta, L., & Attademo, A. (2016). Circular wastescapes. Waste as a resource for periurban landscapes planning. CRIOS, 12(12), 79–88. doi:10.3280/CRIOS2016-012008

Amenta, L., Attademo, A., Berruti, G., Formato, E., & Russo, M. (2019). Paesaggi ed ecologie del metabolismo urbano. Ri-attivare gli scarti di paesaggio: i wastescape come risorsa. Proceedings of the XXII National Conference of Italian Society of Planners, Bari-Matera 2019.

Attademo, A., Formato, E. (2018). Ripartire dalle cinture urbane di transizione. In A. Attademo & E. Formato (Eds.), Fringe Shifts (pp. 10-20). Trento, IT: ListLAb.

Attademo, A., & Avitabile, F. (2019). Casoria, al centro del progetto. La rigenerazione di un centro minore, nell’incrocio tra nuovo piano e progetto urbano. Ecowebtown, 19, 27.

Bennet, B., & Moore, T. (2015). The Transitional City. Volume, 43, 56-82.

Berger, A. (2006). Drosscape: Wasting Land in Urban America. New York, US: Princeton Architectural Press.

Berruti, G., & Palestino, M. F. (2019). Contested land and blurred rights in the Land of Fires (Italy). International Planning Studies, 1–12. doi: 10.1080/13563475.2019.1584551

Cerreta, M., & Panaro, S. (2017). Cilento Labscape: a Living Lab approach for local innovation networks. In Proceedings of Living Cities, Liveable Spaces: Placemaking and Identity, 22-24 November 2017. La Valletta, Malta.

Donadieu, P. (1998). Campagnes urbaines. Arles-Versailles, FR: Actes Sud

Desvigne, M. (2012). The Landscape as Precondition. Lotus International, 150, 20-26.

EU (2011). Cities of tomorrow. Challenges, visions, ways forward. doi:10.2776/41803

EC (2012). Cities in Europe. The new OECD-EU definition. Paper on regional research and indicators produced by the Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy.

ESPON (2014). TOWN. Small and medium sized towns in their functional territorial context. Report of final results of an Applied Research Project conducted within the framework of the ESPON 2013

Forman, R.T.T. (1995). Land Mosaics. The ecology of landscapes and regions. Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press.

Forman, R.T.T. (2008). Urban Regions. Ecology and Planning Beyond the City. Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press.

Forman, R.T.T. (2014). Urban Ecology: Science of Cities. Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press.

Formato, E., Attademo, A., & Amenta, L. (2017). REPAiR “Wastescape” e flussi di rifiuti: materiali innovativi del progetto urbanistico. Urbanistica Informazioni, 272(S.I.), 986-993.

Forsyth, A. (2012). Defining suburbs. Journal of Planning Literature, 27(3), 270–281.

Gallent, N., Bianconi, M., & Andersson, J. (2006). Planning on the edge: England’s rural – urban fringe and the spatial-planning agenda. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 33(3), 457–476.

Gallent, N., Shoard, M., Andersson, J., Oades, R., & Tudor, C. (2004). Inspiring England’s Urban Fringes: Multi-Functionality and Planning. Local Environment, 9(3), 217–233. doi: 10.1080/1354983042000219342

Indovina, F. (Ed.) (1990). La città diffusa. Venezia, IT: Dipartimento di Analisi Economica e Sociale del Territorio, Istituto Universitario di Architettura.

Pincetl, S., Bunje, P., & Holmes, T. (2012). An expanded urban metabolism method: Toward a systems approach for assessing urban energy processes and causes. Landscape and Urban Planning, 107(3), 193–202.

Piorr, A., Ravetz, J., & Tosics, I. (Eds.). (2011). Peri-urbanisation in Europe. Copenhagen: Forest & Landscape University of Copenhagen.

REPAiR (2018). Process model for the two pilot cases: Amsterdam, the Netherlands & Naples, Italy. Deliverable 3.3. EU Commission Participant portal. Brussels. G. A. n. 688920. doi: 55988e03-ea52-406d-a18f-57ff00630fbd

Rigillo, M., Amenta, L., Attademo, A., Boccia, L., Formato, E., & Russo, M. (2018). Eco-Innovative Solutions for Wasted Landscapes. Ri-Vista, 16(1), 146–159. doi: 10.13128/RV-22995

Secchi, B. (2005). La città del ventesimo secolo. Roma-Bari, IT: Laterza.

Secchi, B. (2011). La nuova questione urbana. CRIOS, 1, 83-92.

Secchi, B. (2013). La città dei ricchi e la città dei poveri. Roma-Bari, IT: Laterza.

Secchi, B., Viganò, P. (2009). Antwerp: territory of a new modernity. Antwerp, BE: Sun architecture.

Sennett, R. (2013). The open city. Lecture at Harvard GSD.

Soja, E. (2000). Postmetropolis: Critical Studies of Cities and Regions. Oxford, UK: Basil Blackwell

Steinberg, J. (2001), La périurbanisation en Europe (Periurbanization in Europa). Bulletin de l'Association de Géographes Français. 78(1), 49-50. doi: 10.3406/bagf.2001.2200

van Tuijl, M. (2016). Baseline study. URBACT III Report.

van Tuijl, M., & Verhaert, I. (2018). The city of the future is already here. In M. Belmans, L. Breddels, I. Michielsen, A. Oosterman, W. Somers, M. van Tuijl & I. Verhaert (Eds.), Are you working on your fringe? Volume, 52, URBACT III, pp. 6-7.

Waldheim, C. (2006). The Landscape Urbanism Reader. New York, US: Princeton Architectural Press.

Wandl, A., Nadin, V., Zonneveld, W., & Rooij, R. (2014). Beyond urban–rural classifications: Characterising andmapping territories-in-between across Europe. Landscape and Urban Planning, 130, 50–63.

Zanini, P. (2000), Significati del confine. Milano, IT: Bruno Mondadori.