City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh Lectures: “The Urban Bioregion”, Alberto Magnaghi

By edg - Posted on 27 September 2010

Event details

This Edinburgh lecture is part of the three-day Rethinking the City Event which aims to emulate the issue-based international meetings held by Patrick Geddes and colleagues 100 years ago.

Evoking Sir Patrick Geddes’ theories of the ‘Valley Section’ and the interconnectedness of everything, Alberto Magnaghi will try to lay out a concrete vision for a new urban bio-region, aimed at “re-building” a new European Idea of the Urbanité. This will consider key concepts as a city of villages, local communities, place-consciousness, community maps, self-government, participation, neo-municipalism, city-countryside ‘pacts’ and multi-functional agriculture.

The new Urban Bioregion is made up of an ensemble of self-sustainable local systems, organised in turn into little and medium city groups, each one in ecological, economic and social equilibrium within their territory.

These non-hierarchical networks are characterised by an effort towards closed-loop systems of their water, food, waste and energy cycles. The result can be regenerated urban landscapes with hydro and geological power supplies, and people experiencing a new relationship to the land, what some have called ‘a new peasantry’.

In Italian with simultaneous translation. Presented by The Open University in Scotland and Friends of Riddles Court.


Alberto Magnaghi is Professor of Territorial Planning at University of Florence, Architectural School Founder of the “Italian Territorialist School”.

For many years he has been coordinating national research project on “local self-sustainable development” and “identity and representation of territory, landscape and environment”. His most recent publications include (his first in English): The Urban Village: A Charter for Democracy and Local Self-sustainable Development (Zed Books, London, 2005).

He is the co-ordinator of LaPEI, the Laboratory for the Ecological Design of Settlements in Florence and ARNM or Rete del Nuovo Municipio ("New Municipium Network"), the Italian Association of Cities and territories, local Authorities, scientists and social committees aimed at the promotion of local self-sustainable development by means of participatory democracy and active citizenship.