INSPIRE Knowledge Base


Architects involved in Historic Cities sustainable design and plan Education
Mission and Objectives: 
HISTOCITY.EDU originally was a project started by the University of Florence as e research network (HISTOCITY.NET) granted by the EC in the TMR- Euroconfrences Programme. It is focused on historic cities sustainable design and plan based on geographical information managed through GIS. Our goal today is to spread such achievements in Education, particularly in the degree courses that release the title of Architect accordingly with the Directive 85/384/CEE, under the information technologies for design process discipline (Italian academic classification is Scientific Decsilpinary Sector n. ICAR/12). To this aim the project has defined spatial decision processes (design and plan technical activities) and set up instruments; methods and procedures (see HISTOCITY Method), as well as selected the appropriate information technology to be applied to historic urban areas (because the majority in EU) and to be teached within degree courses. These instruments form an holistic interdisciplinary approach based on information technology (GIS, remote sensing, Spatial Decision Support System, shared work-flow, group-ware and on-line spatial databases). The project had built a multidisciplinary design process methodology, gathering suggestions by 72 experts from 36 different disciplines involved in urban topics as: technology of architecture and planning, management and engineering and transportation, human geography, economics, history and restoration, earth observation and remote sensing, environmental studies and information technology. Working groups have worked on six subsections: divided into the following topics: WG1: urban mobility, WG2: urban pollution, WG3: historical building assets and historical, urban spaces, WG4: urban environmental asset and historical parks, WG5: urban economy and cities competition, WG6: remote sensing for urban land use. Also studies and applications has been enabled to work in more than one work group topic. The HISTOCITY Method is a spatial decision process which uses a set of integrated instruments based on GIS, SDSS and RS technologies. This method could be considered as third-generation strategic management or, simply, a system for dynamic analysis. The method aims to support the analysis and decision-making process for planning objectives such as: To stop urban sprawl To re-define boundaries between rural and urban areas To improve the intense, multifunctional and compact use of the city (in-filling) To market historic cities'image linked to vocational activities (tourism, retail, art, fashion, food, etc.) To facilitate the access and increase the attractiveness of historical cities for young people. This requires improving housing, transportation integration with city planning, as well as creating new job opportunities To improve the decentralised concentration of the close urban peripherals To re-locate residential areas back to the historical centre To decrease traffic flow of workers from the periphery to historical centres by promoting telecommuting To improve the re-design of high-quality city districts, such as urban villages and car free zones in the centre as well as in outlying areas To improve, renovate and better maintain city spaces as well as historical spaces and, more generally, the whole urban environment. The participation of young researchers within the project was supported by TMR and Leonardo Programme fellowshipsin early stages of the work: several architects have applied the project working within the Net since 1998 till 2000 also participating in a ssreies of Euroconferences (Florence 1998, Siracusa 1999, Sevilla 2000) to update their knowledge and methods to design and plan.
Formal Mandate: 
European Commission
Education of Architects to achieve the degree level (accordiningly with the Dir. 85/384/CEE) (IT classification of the Degree courses n. 4/S), the master level and the Doctorate (IT class SSD ICAR/12).
The main activities of HISTOCITY.EDU is to set up Education modules for degree courses in Architecture to teach students how to managethe design process throght IT supports by definition, developing assessment and control of the foloowing phases: 1) Strategic Plan (SP) design: objective/resource matrix definition to assign perceptual weights in accordance with the decision maker (person responsible for the project, e.g. government or committee official). 2)Meta-data Model (MM) design: selection of data classes capable of describing different city sub-systems by selecting those related to the specific problem to be solved. 3)Geo-Model (GM) definition in relation to the three basic entities classes of urban environment: developed areas, soil, natural elements (study area zoning, background mapping selection). 4)Urban Conceptual Model (CM) design: selection of entities/attributes which belong to the classes relevant to the meta-mode. 5)Available data search, meta-data cataloguing, GIS data acquisition and structuring, using available standards. 6)Scientific modelling (SM) involved in the specific analysis individuation (e.g. transport, pollutant diffusion models). 7)Application Design (AD) in particular the GIS/SM input/output data procedures definition or SM integration in the GIS. 8)Alternative Scenarios Design (SD) referring to a specific situation and field test. 9)Results Visualisation (RV) (thematic maps, virtual GIS, interactive simulations). 10)Decision Processes (DP) start up (plan, design and implement policies). 11)Communication Design (CD) (web design, digital map libraries).
CIB (Conseil International du Batiment) - Working Group W106 Geographical Information Systems. Interuniversity Consortium ABITA - Firenze, Directive Committee Member. GIS_LAB (Geo Information Systems Land Application Builders) Founder Member in 1999, Executive Committee Member. Aicq -ER (Associazione Italiana Cultura Qualità- Sezione Emilia Romagna) since 1998. AM/FM (Assett Management/Facilities Management) Italian Section, since 1995. CISDU (Centro Internazionale Studi sul Disegno Urbano), consultive organisation of the European Council founded at the Università degli Studi di Firenze. GISIG (Geographical Information Systems International Group) Association.
We hope to have the possibility to participate in this process to better direct and controll our Education policies for Degree Courses which involves GI at the University of Florence.

Which role(s) do you foresee for the SDIC in INSPIRE development

  • allocate experts to Drafting Teams
  • yes
  • participate in the review process
  • yes
  • implement pilot projects to test/revise/develop the draft Implementing Rules
  • yes
  • collect and describe user requirements related to Environmental policies
  • yes
  • contribute to awareness raising and training
  • yes
    Geographic Domain
    European coastal data, Italian National and regional data, Florence town data.
    Societal Sector
    Specific Expertise
    Specific Expertise: 
    Previous Experience relevant for INSPIRE development
    Expert in the Geographical Information Systems use and application to the built environment, she uses in her research advanced techniques for the manipulation of design multimedia acquired data (see pubblications regarding the Remote sensing data utilisation for urban projects) especially in the case (preliminary design phase and strategic planning phase) where the EIA DIR 97-11-CE and the recent SEA DIR 2001-42-CE requirements are stated.
    Environmental application domains
    Spatial Planning, Monitoring Urban Sprawl, Stressed Urban Areas revitalisation, Coastal zones management, Environmental Impact Assessment, Strategic Environmental Assessment
    Primary Business
    Architecture Design and Urban Planning