July 13, 2009

Fulbright Commission- Politecnico of Turin, Italy
A.Y. 2010 – 2011


According to the agreement, signed in 2008 by the Politecnico of Turin and the Fulbright Commission, a Fulbright Distinguished Senior Lecturer will be selected for a six months period of teaching and research at the Politecnico in academic year 2010-11 (see other information at: http://www.fulbright.it/publicity/2010-11/lectureships/Polito_0305.pdf).
Teaching activities will involve a Module in “Policies and Tools for Environmental Sustainability” within the Master in Pianificazione territoriale, urbanistica e paesaggistico-ambientale (Territorial, Urban, Landscape and Environmental Planning), in the second Facoltà di Architettura (School of Architecture), while research activities will be developed in the Dipartimento Interateneo Territorio (DITER).
Both activities are related to the issue of sustainable development, with a particular focus on public policies and on planning and evaluation tools through which to attain the environmental sustainability in territorial innovation and transformation processes. This approach includes also subjects such as the international cooperation for nature and landscape conservation, and protected areas management.
These issues resume, with a broader trans-scale attention, some of those which are the focus of the teaching activity of a Fulbright Distinguished Chair on “International Environmental Policies and Legislation” which has been developed in the BA in Pianificazione territoriale, urbanistica e ambientale (Territorial, Urban, Landscape and Environmental Planning), each year since 2002. This teaching experience (held in English) has involved seven diverse American teachers and has been greatly appreciated by the students.
Now, this past experience scope should be broadened taking into account the growing political and cultural interest for the global changes affecting not only the climate conditions and their physical effects, but also the economic, social and cultural processes and the planning and governance perspectives. This implies scientific comparisons, exchanges and interactions between the most meaningful American and European (and particularly Italian) experiences.
Teaching activities can also include lectures and seminars in the PhD address in “Territorial Planning and Local Development”, organised by DITER within the Politecnico PhD Course “Environment and Territory”.

In the light of the past experience, it seems important to associate to the teaching activity the research one. Such research activity can be linked to the research activities theme developed within DITER, which will host the Fulbright Lecturer.
DITER was born at the beginning of the ‘80s from a joint initiative of geographers, economists, sociologists, planners and architects partly belonging to the University of Turin, partly to the Politecnico, and it is the only inter-universities Department still existing in Italy.
Research activities are carried out by means of research Centres and groups.
DITER hosts three Research Centres:
o ECD-NPP, European Centre of Documentation on Nature Parks Planning
o EU-POLIS Centre for Research and Documentation on European and Mediterranean Urban Systems
o CCTM – Third World City Centre

The activity of these Centres and of other research groups operating in DITER is focused on a wide range of themes, such as human and economic geography, urban and regional governance and planning, environment and landscape policies and planning, spatial development and European policies, cooperation and planning in developing countries, sustainability and assessment of plans and programmes.
Each of the above Centres and the other research groups has important relationships with International Associations and Networks, such as, for instance, the IUCN (the World Conservation Union) and UNISCAPE (European Network of Universities for the Implementation of the European Landscape Convention). Such relationships could make easier for the incoming lecturer to interact with the national and international networks.

DITER, where the Lecturer will have his office, is located in the Castle of Valentino, on the river Po, just in the historic centre of Turin, the old seat of Politecnico since the middle of the 19th century and one of the main seats of the Savoy Court since the 17th century (for more information about Turin and Politecnico see http://www.fulbright.it/publicity/2010-11/lectureships/Polito_0305.pdf).