Tuscany beyond Tuscany
Rethinking the City from the Periphery
Although Tuscany is frequently depicted in movies, postcards, magazines and advertisements, a large part of the region is almost never represented – that of the peripheries and suburban sprawl. Most Tuscans reside in these areas, far from the refined land- and cityscapes of the old towns and hilly countryside. Despite its relevance, suburban Tuscany is largely neglected both by politicians and scholars. The myth of historic centers and of the Tuscan countryside, now purified and museumized, characterizes this alternate space as a dystopian world, even though it can be argued to be the most lively and dynamic part of the region, where new forms of urbanity are being developed. These aspects, however, still have to be discovered and conveyed. In order to better understand and govern the new city, it is necessary to challenge and dismantle the ideology of the old city.
Giulio Giovannoni, PhD., is an architect and researcher in Urban and Regional Planning who has worked since 2005 in the Department of Architecture, University of Florence. He teaches the courses “Urban Design”, “Rethinking Non-Places”, and “Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives on Urban Space”. He is a former research fellow at John Hopkins University (2007-2009), and a former visiting scholar at the College of Environmental Design, UC Berkeley (2013-2014) and at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University (2006). His research focuses on three main topics, which he considers to be strictly interrelated: contemporary Tuscan cultural and landscape history, public life and urban design in peripheries, and public life and urban design of ‘non-places’. He is the author of three books and of various scholarly articles.