Professor of Sustainable Urbanism Michael Neuman just completed a two-week period as Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Naples Federico II where he delivered presentations and workshops.

As part of his remit in Naples, Professor Neuman delivered two lectures and co-hosted a workshop with Senior Lecturer and Course Leader for Transport Planning and Management Dr Enrica Papa, a native of Naples who facilitated the visit. 

The two lectures presented sustainable urbanism theory and practice, the first of which examined questions including ‘what does it mean to be sustainable in the 21st century?’, ‘is it even possible to be so in cities that grow ever larger, more complex, in which we produce and consume in increasing quantities?’  

While the first lecture presented a new theory of sustainability and demonstrated how to measure it in absolute terms, for any process at any scale, the second one gave examples of Professor Neuman’s research and practice from around the world that showed how to place the sustainability theory into practice. 

Examples included recovering New Orleans and the Louisiana Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina, the Texas Urban Triangle and a coastal resort in Costa Rica. Approximately 100 students, researchers and academic staff attended the lectures.  

The PhD workshop, co-developed and co-delivered with Dr Papa, was attended by doctoral students, advanced researchers as well as masters students of urbanism and architecture. 

The session was divided into three sections in which students and researchers identified and analysed current themes in sustainability, urban mobility and eco-innovation, including their contexts and drivers. They concluded by developing their own research questions and addressed how these may affect the Italian urban agenda.

Professor Neuman was hosted by Professor Michelangelo Russo, Director of the PhD programme at the University of Naples Federico II as well as Professor Mario Losasso, Director of the Department of Architecture. An important part of the visit focused on developing research collaborations in multi-university European projects, and exploring other research, teaching, publication and collaboration opportunities between the universities. 

Talking about his time at the University of Naples, Professor Neuman said: “Naples has long been an interesting and challenging laboratory for progressive urban planning and sustainability under conditions of austerity. The students’ work and the researchers’ projects reflect an advanced understanding of these issues from which we in London can learn. We look forward to developing collaborations to explore these opportunities.”

Find out more about the department of Planning, Housing and Urban Design at the University of Westminster.

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