Vol. 14 No. 4 (2023):
Research Article

The Role of the Territory in an Educating City: Two Italian Laboratory Examples of Participatory Urban Planning

Stefania Montebelli
Università degli Studi Guglielmo Marconi
Conceptual diagram of the thematic path

Published 2023-11-08


  • educating city,
  • community of practice,
  • learning organisation,
  • continuous learning,
  • humanistic geography approach

How to Cite

Montebelli, Stefania. 2023. “The Role of the Territory in an Educating City: Two Italian Laboratory Examples of Participatory Urban Planning”. European Journal of Geography 14 (4):37-45. https://doi.org/10.48088/ejg.s.mon.
Received 2023-07-07
Accepted 2023-11-06
Published 2023-11-08


The aim of this article is to stimulate further reflection on the concept of the Educating City by presenting two Italian participatory planning initiatives. The analysis focuses on the benefits of knowledge of the surrounding territory for the development of an informed and engaged citizenry; the key role of the city for education and participatory space in a learning society; and finally, the strategies that have been implemented to educate the community about its territory and encourage active participation in its development. The focus of the reflection is thus the city as an 'open' educational environment, made up of spatial elements that are closely connected through social relations. In this environment, actors influence each other and engage in constructive communication and cooperation to co-create shared living spaces. In this sense, a comprehensive knowledge of the territory can contribute to the development of a cooperative citizenship whose actions influence both the communal living spaces and the social fabric that populates them. Through continuous learning about the territory, the urban community can acquire skills of conscious self-determination and participate effectively in the shaping of urban space. This is a fruitful process that cannot avoid taking into account the 'situated context' and the education that enables the integration needs of the urban community to be incorporated and expressed in the decision-making processes about the future development of its own territory.


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