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“Univercity”: university as infrastructure for urban regeneration

Politecnico di Milano

“Univercity”: university as infrastructure for urban regeneration
By Redazione The Plan -

University-level institutions are exemplars of the training and research functions of our societies. In all civilizations, the physical places of learning have embodied intellectual excellence, tangible evidence of the culture and educational mores that define a people. By the same token, the interaction between university and its urban context contributes to the debate on how the city should be managed and developed, a factor that remains true today in our contemporary world.

History teaches us that every community down the ages has ensured its growth and development through the transmission of knowledge and know-how, consolidating a dynamic sense of identity. The architectures housing these places of learning and furtherance of knowledge are also places of urban excellence, driving thinking on the complex issue of urban development. The all-important role played by architecture in meeting a community’s need to develop and transform also underlines the all-important role of the architect - not as a mere cultural organizer but as a key player helping to determine the direction in which our world should move.

Vested with producing and disseminating knowledge and culture, catalysts of human capital and disseminators of technology, universities are one of the most vital strategic nodes in their particular context, able to reach out to the global market of knowledge. By the same token, they can trigger and foster urban and social regeneration and renewal strategies, even in times like these when teaching practices are undergoing far-reaching changes with the advent of remote teaching methods that stimulate profound rethinking of the relationship between physical and virtual pedological space.

University and town are linked by an osmotic relationship. Especially today when higher education embraces an increasingly broad - and international - user base, universities rely on the infrastructure as well as the commercial,...

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