Architecture as Common Good: Call for Abstracts

by Nando Bartolini

The Istituto Nazionale di Bioarchitettura (National Institute of Bioarchitecture–INBAR) is proactively engaged in protecting and valorizing the human and natural environment in order to support the quality of life, human health, and the resources of our planet. The main research subjects of the Institute are: wise management of resources, healthcare, environmental planning, environmental and urban recovery, new settlements, and placemaking.

The University of Parma and INBAR, following their missions, established a cooperation aimed at supporting the public good.

The University of Parma is one of the main research and higher scientific and technological education centers in Italy. Its mission is about promoting, producing, and disseminating scientific knowledge, and higher and continuous education.

The 1st International Conference organized by the University of Parma and INBAR, “Architecture as Common Good: Recovering urban quality and well-being” will be held in Parma, Italy, May 3–4, 2018, to debate some fundamental issues of actual environmental transformations. The conference title stresses its concern and vision about the responsibility of researchers and professionals in offering good solutions for the environment and human settlements. We need design actions based on the purpose of recovering and spreading well-being and urban quality.

The Conference is devoted to three urgent topics and it is thus organized through three sections.

Session 1: Buildings’ recovery and urban regeneration

It is nowadays common wisdom that urban and building transformation should focus mainly on reusing and retrofitting deteriorated areas and buildings, supporting the development of settlements that enforce more and more smart and green principles such as energy saving, renewable energies, and home automation.

Urban recovery, reuse and retrofitting should therefore be at the center of national and international politics. We need to trigger virtuous processes among local communities, valorize the existing building heritage that deserves protection, retrofit the obsolete one, and ameliorate the public space.

This section aims at presenting projects and planning tools capable of rethinking cities and buildings through the lens of functional and aesthetic regeneration, yet working on what already exists. A possible yet non exhaustive list of subjects include: unfinished and precarious urban landscape; valorization of historical urban centers; recovering under-used urban spaces; healing environmental, urban and architectural degradation; urban obsolescence after functions’ decay; reclaiming dismissed public service buildings, abandoned historical centers, and non-places; restoration through update of functions, technology, and energetic cycles.

Session 2: Well-being while living and inhabiting

We need to go beyond the inherited corpus of theory and practice in order to reflect on the future of the architectural project and of the urban and landscape planning in Italy.
Contemporary life and dwelling are complex actions that require an interdisciplinary and integrated form of design. Urban centers need to be seen as dwellings of life where social and civic processes unfold, interpret the future, and highlight resources rather than limits into the physical constraints. Human beings and their environment must be the rule of every strategic and design choice.

Sustainable development and wise use of resources; environmental wholeness and formal unity; social harmony, justice, and participation, as well as economic viability are elements of a wider strategy aimed at new levels of well-being while living and inhabiting.

This session aims at exploring dwelling and design solutions inclusive of advanced urban and natural equilibria, capable of recovering what we have lost via projects that are at the same time social and cultural processes.

Session 3: Architecture for housing emergency

With increasing intensity, our country and our planet are affected by events that produce housing emergencies, such as earthquakes, floods, landslides, migratory processes, socio-economic crisis, and wars.

Therefore, a very specific housing need emerges that does not have much to share with ordinary real estate. This session aims at researching the best solutions to such a need. Case studies, prototypes, and reflections on national and international housing policies are among the subjects.

The proceedings of the Conference will be published in the Journal of Biourbanism.

The Study Center and Archive of Communication (Centro Studi e Archivio della Comunicazione–CSAC), University of Parma will host the Conference in the building of Valserena Abbey (also known as “Certosa di Paradigna”), which is a few kilometers from Parma.

Abstracts must be submitted in English and should be no longer than 2,000 characters (spaces included). They need to include:
a. Title, each author’s name, address, affiliation, and 3 keywords;
b. Desired session;
c. Subject;
d. A synthesis inclusive of both content and methodology;
e. Achieved or expected results.

Abstracts are to be submitted by Monday, April 2, 2018 to
The Scientific Committee of the Conference will inform authors whether or not their proposals have been accepted by Sunday, April 5, 2018. Detailed editorial guidelines for writing the final paper will follow. The publication of papers is subject to participation in the Conference.

Participants are required to pay the enrollment fee as follows:

Conference only
Senior 240.00 € / Junior 120.00 € (early-bird fee by April 25, 2018: 200.00 € and 100.00 € respectively)

Conference only, INBAR members
Senior 200.00 € / Junior 100.00 € (early-bird fee by April 25, 2018: 180.00 € and 80.00 € respectively)

Conference + INBAR 2018 enrollment
Senior 240.00 € / Junior 120.00 € (early-bird fee by April 25, 2018: 220.00 € and 100.00 € respectively)

Traditional local food gala dinner at Certosa di Parma. Limited seats. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free menu to be requested in advance.
50.00 € per person

Before the Conference, as follows:

by credit card here


by bank transfer to:
Bank: Banca Etica – Via Parigi, 17 – 00185 ROMA
IBAN: IT55 D050 1803 2000 0001 1205 549
Purpose of the payment: CONFERENZA INBAR PARMA 2018



Marwa Al-Sabouni
Architect & Writer, Syria

Filippo Angelucci
“G. d’Annunzio” University of Chieti-Pescara, Italy

Laura Baratin
University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Italy

Marco Casagrande
C-Lab & International Society of Biourbanism, Finland

Carmelo Celona
Istituto Nazionale di Bioarchitettura, Italy

Mario Cerasoli
Roma Tre University, Italy

Eva Coisson
University of Parma, Italy

Giampaolo Munafò
University of Pisa, Italy

Robert Neuwirth
Journalist & Writer, United States of America

Patrizia Piro
University of Calabria, Italy

Andrea Rinaldi
University of Ferrara, Italy

David Rudlin
University of Manchester & The Academy of Urbanism, United Kingdom

Stefano Serafini
International Society of Biourbanism & Istituto Nazionale di Bioarchitettura, Italy

Michele Zazzi
University of Parma, Italy