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Urban regeneration through informality: theories and experiences

Participate in the Study Lab on urban regeneration in Europe

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CIVIS focus area
Cities, territories and mobilities
Open to
  • Bachelor's
  • Master's
Field of studies
  • Social Science and humanities
  • Short-term
  • CIVIS Hub 4
Course dates
April - May 2022

This CIVIS course focuses on urban regeneration tools available to public institutions and local communities. It aims to analyze the various experiences of urban regeneration and civic participation. On one hand, it provides participants to interpret urban dynamics as well as the concept of "informality". On the other hand, field activities allow them to experience which legal innovations are involved in regeneration processes at the urban or municipal level.

On the theoretical side, the adopted perspective aims at mapping such phenomena out in order to reflect upon the institutional and social dynamics as well as to support practices of democratic citizenship. Moreover, the issue at hand fosters a strong interdisciplinary approach, as the urban dimension overcomes the traditional scientific fences. The course focuses on legal, political, sociological and economic tools in order to give students the ability to read and interpret urban dynamics. In particular, participants are encouraged to reflect upon the concept of “informality” as a leading factor to achieve “legal innovation” in the urban or municipal context. New sociological theories on the city, on its spaces, on the forms of citizenship and civic activism as well as the new theories of the territorial economy and local development will be highlighted.

On the empirical side, the course envisages on-field activities in Rome, in order to combine theoretical purposes and operational issues. Field activities are arranged in Rome, where students can explore several cases of civic urban regeneration. During the stay students: a) meet each other; b) share information about the real experiences to be visited; c) arrange the visit by the social actors; d) are keen to interview people; e) decide the framework of their final report. Professors from Athens, Madrid and Tübingen join the colleagues in Rome and take part in the field activity week. Once they go back home, students write a report and give a presentation virtually.

Format: Blended Dates: 1-29 April 2022, 23-29 May 2022
Location: Rome, Italy Host University: Sapienza Università di Roma
Language: English (B1) Contact point:

This CIVIS course is organised in 4 online sessions that will take place in April, as well as field activities that will take place in Rome, Italy, from 23 to 29 May 2022.

Selected students (except for students from Sapienza Università di Roma) will receive a grant to support their travel and stay.

The ECTS award and recognition depends on the home university. We encourage applicants to reach out to CIVIS contact points within their university for further information.

Schedule of online courses

  • 1 April 2022 - 4:00 pm CET: The challenges of informality for law in the urban regeneration by Prof. Fabio Giglioni from Sapienza Università di Roma
  • 4 April 2022 - 4:00 pm CET: Building Circular Cities by Prof. Maria del Mar Alonso Almeida from Universidad Autonòma de Madrid
  • 6 April 2022 - 4:00 pm CET: Conditions for the development of innovations in cities by Prof. Nikos Hlepas from the  National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
  • 29 April 2022 - 4:00 pm CET: Transforming urban spaces into green cities: anthropological perspectives on Germany and India by Prof. Karin Polit from the University of Tübingen


This CIVIS course is open to Bachelor and Master students from one of the CIVIS member universities. 

A B1 level of English is required. 

Application process

Applicants should fill in an online form by 15 February 2022 at the latest. 

Selected students will be notified on 15 March 2022. 


Students will be assessed based on a report and a virtual presentation.

GDPR Consent

The CIVIS alliance and its member universities will treat the information you provide with respect. Please refer to our privacy policy for more information on our privacy practices. By applying to this course you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

  • Prof. Dr. Karin Polit, University of Tübingen
  • Prof. Jaime Cuevas Rodríguez, Profesor Titular de Universidad, Universidad Autònoma de Madrid
  • Prof. Nikolaos-Komninos Hlepas, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
  • Prof. Fabio Giglioni, Full Professor of Administrative Law, Sapienza Università di Roma
  • Prof. María del Mar Alonso Almeida, Profesora Contratado Doctor, Universidad Autònoma de Madrid