dr. F. (Federico) Savini
Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
GPIO : Urban Planning
Nieuwe Achtergracht 166 Room number: B4.15
1001 NC Amsterdam
Federico Savini is Assistant Professor in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Amsterdam. He combines approaches of Political Sociology, Political Science and Urban Planning and Critical Geography to the study of institutions and socio-spatial change in cities. His expertise ranges across the areas of land policy, land regulations, environmental impact and technology driven urban experimentation. In his works, he studies the change of institutions and regulations that shape the city-regions. He observes a range of objects of study and social practices: the impact of planning regulations and legal frameworks on urban development ; the impact and organization of financial capital on land development; the politics and coalition building for regulatory reform in city-regional governance; the tacit social norms driving contemporary approaches to eco-and smart urbanism. His teaching includes core BA courses in Planning Theory, MA courses on research methods and several thesis supervisions. He is coordinator of the Research and Practice Masterstudio, which takes every year within the MA program in Urban Planning and it is developed in cooperation with the city of Amsterdam.
C.U.RES: Circular Urban Responsibilities
This project (not externally funded, duration one year) reseaches the politics of environmental governance from the perspective of shifting legal, political and moral responsibilities. The rising concerns with environmental quality, over consumption of resources and excess of urban waste are showing the limits of the institutionalized forms of governance in cities. Discourses on circular economic development are increasingly mobilizing metaphors for new institutional and political set ups of urban development processes. Citizens are looked at prosumers of their own waste and resources. Industrial corporations are being increasingly (de)responsibilized for their environmental impact. Local governments are playing double roles of enabler of new economies as well as regulators of urban investments against the environmental degradation of the city-regional ecosystem. National governments are increasinly relocating responsibilities to lower tiers in order to, arguably, promote more responsible economic systems. It is within this highly changing and dynamic political context that our research investigates the changing social, political and environmental responsibilities of urban stakeholders. It does so by analyzing the emerging political tensions between judicial regulatory frameworks and the self-defined roles of actors in the development process. At the University of Amsterdam I carry out this project together with my colleague Mendel Giezen and my research Master student Ena Zametica.
The Institutions of Circular Cities: Planning, Waste and Resources
This research trajectory (not externally funded, started mid-2017) tackles emerging disourses and projects of 'circular economy' in order to reveal the socio-institutional implications of contemporary models of ecological economic growth in city-regional governance. It starts from the observation that our societal understanding of waste and resources are getting more and more blurred and combined. Cities are searching for new ways to turn waste into resources, and undertake huge investments in the infrastructures of waste collection and reuse. Circularity appears to be a politically powerful concept in the context of global land and resource scarcity, yet the socio-political implications of these ideas on existing institutions are underinvestigated. In this research trajectory I enage with the regulatory challenges of new uses and framings of waste to reveal broader socio-political processes and power structures in city-regional development. Geographically, the research looks at areas of (urban) waste disposal and resource extraction, namely industrial areas in the periphery of cities.
CODALoop: Community data-driven feedback loops for sustainable urban lifestyle
This project (funded, JPI-Urban Europe, start in 2015) researches the role of socio-cultural norms in defining both social practices and city-regional policies targeting energy demand in cities. Despite targeted policies and technological innovations, household energy consumption is still increasing in Europe, showing the need for actions that are explicitly ‘reducing’ the demand of energy rather than making energy use more ‘environmentally sustainable’. This project seeks to break the vicious cycle of 'energy efficiency' by tackling instead the social norms that determine households’ daily practices of consumption in food, mobility and dwelling. With experimental and diverse methodologies of field-studies and action-oriented research, we study the feedback loops between individuals perceptions, social practices and policy making in Amsterdam, Graz and Istanbul. The project is transdisciplinary and experimental. It aims at: a) understanding learning feedback loops between individuals and communities that determine daily energy demand; b) setting up these loops through the designing of participatory spaces of discussion in selected neighbourhoods of the city; c) analysing the framings of energy consumption in a virtual community of Amsterdam city-region; c) analysing the interaction among individuals and groups within households communities to inform wider policies for energy transitions. The project delivers indications on the meaning of data and information in the context of social practices and concrete recommendations on how to move from 'efficiency' oriented policy making to 'reduction' oriented policy making. With its international consortium, CODALoop combines cutting edge cognitive modelling (Graz), data analysis (Istanbul) and action-oriented participatory research (Amsterdam). It includes a total of 13 partners from policy, research and practice.
APRILab: Regulation, Intervention and investment dilemmas for innovative urban development in living lab experiences (completed)
The project investigates the emerging dilemmas in the practice of urban development in the urban periphery though techniques of action-based research. It focuses on the combined innovation of planning regulations, financial arrangements and urban interventions in different European contexts. Innovation in planning practice through processes of co-creation has become a priority, not only for urban agencies in practice but also for scientific research. Planning practice is puzzled by upcoming concepts of adaptability, resilience, and self-organization which present idealized visions of governance. Urban development often still takes place through traditional forms of rational approaches of research and practice, characterized by its instrumental focus on goal-specific tasks, means, and outcomes rather than searching for context based adaptability under the guidance of generic principles. APRILab entails research into fundamental political dilemmas that constrain effective innovation. It focuses on three major dilemmas to conceptualize the different trade-offs for governance innovation between the extremes of self-organization and control:
Intervention, between control of spatial processes and accommodation of emergent urban change; Regulation, between instrumentalism and generic normative guidance of self-regulation; Investment, between supply and demand driven investments. The project is funded by The Dutch National Agency of Scientific Research (NWO) within the frame of the Joint Program Initiative ‘URBAN EUROPE’
Urban Peripheries: Completed
The PhD research by Federico Savini addresses the challenges, dilemmas and problematics of spatial planning in the contemporary urban periphery. His work focuses on patterns of decision making in large scale urban development. He adopts a comparative methodology to explore the way public, private and civic actors interacts and cooperate in order to govern planning processes and in the way institutional innovation is achieved in the practice of inter-municipal cooperation and metropolitan governance. By using theories on urban politics, the project particularly look at the political dynamics driving urban projects taking place in the urban periphery. The urban Periphery is an emerging and highly challenging space for planning. Urban transformations need to mediate between the creation of new spatial qualities and the coping with existing socio-economic problems. The project address the electoral and ideological background of development policies targeting the urban periphery in European cities. In particular, it looks at the behavior of political coalitions and political elites, and at their links with large private developers. The research is an international comparison of three projects currently taking place in the city regions of Amsterdam, Paris and Milan . The project develops with the cooperation of the Dutch Ministry of Spatial Planning, Environment and Housing
I am coordinator of the Masterstudio on Innovative Planning Practices, that takes place in Amsterdam every year in January. The Masterstudio is core part of the MA program in Urban Planning at the University of Amsterdam. It has the ambition to combine theoretical insights with examples of planning practices, in a didactic and interactive program for students, professionals and public employees. The studio is built around a different topic every year, to enable a responsive program to local and global emergent policy ideas. It consists of a full week of academic lectures from invited international speakers, several examples from practices based in Amsterdam, artists works and debates with local politicians. Students work on 'imaginative projects' to be presented to local activists and public officials. The studio is also open to external participants. Here below the former editions.
My research ambition is to develop knowledge on how, why and under what conditions the institutions that shape cities in contemporary capitalism change or are instead maintained. This is important to identify and tackle the factors that lie at the roots of today social, ecological and economic problems. All my works share an approach that combines the following ambitions:
Theorizing the regulations that shape urbanization
Cities are dynamic, complex and unpredictable spaces where new regulations, institutions and social norms are continuously built, contested, dismantled. It is thus necessary to openly appreciate and explain the empirical dynamism and variety of these processes. My research engages with the unexpected, relational and improvisational nature of institutional change and looks at urbanization as the socio-physical and material dimension of those institutions. I research regulations as the proxy of contemporary capitalist society, empirically looking at different types of norms: codified legal document, tacit social practices enacted in the daily life of households, formal and informal rules of the policy process, ways of framing societal problems and the institutes of State governance.
Questioning the politics of institutional change
I understand the changing of institutions as a process made of conflicts, tensions and dilemmas that manifests in the way people and organizations deal with each other in organizing collective action. These processes are the visible manifestation of power in contemporary society and they translate into socio-political frictions over the property of land, the shape of material flows, the distribution of housing and the financing of public amenities and spaces in cities. In explaining how and why institutions change, I look at the interplay between power and norms in policy-making, decision-making and collective action, revealing the contradictions of institutional change. This gives room to knowledge that can inform actions that wish to tackle the institutional foundations of socio-ecological problems such as overconsumption or socio-spatial exclusion.
Placing peripheries at the centre of urban analysis
Politics and regulations have visible effects on the geo-political form of city-regions. My vision is to study cities as non-uniform, non-stable and uneven socio-spatial formations, made of tensions between centres and peripheries that are reproduced in time; Peripheries are the ‘suburban’, ‘peri-urban’, ‘post-industrial’, ‘fringe’ or ‘peri-urban’ zones of cities. These are spaces of old and new industrial and agricultural production, dense or diffuse residential fabrics, preserved or over-exploited natural areas. Their identity is connected to that of the global city centres of financial, commercial and residential consumption. The periphery is a highly dynamic space, where socio-economic institutions are contested or created. In these areas it is possible to appreciate and observe the politics of institutional change, examining the diverse geography of institutionalized power structures.
- Bossuyt, D. M., & Savini, F. (2018). Urban sustainability and political parties: Eco-development in Stockholm and Amsterdam. Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space, 36(6), 1006-1026. DOI: 10.1177/2399654417746172 [details]
- Savini, F. (2018). Responsibility, Polity, Value: the (un)changing norms of planning practices. Planning Theory. DOI: 10.1177/1473095218770474
- Savini, F. (2017). Planning, uncertainty and risk: The neoliberal logics of Amsterdam urbanism. Environment and Planning A, 49(4), 857-875. DOI: 10.1177/0308518X16684520 [details]
- VanHoose, K., & Savini, F. (2017). The Social Capital of Urban Activism: Practices in London and Amsterdam. City, 21(3-4), 293-311. DOI: 10.1080/13604813.2017.1325207
- Savini, F. (2016). A Europe of Peripheries. In V. Mamadouh, & A. V. Wageningen (Eds.), Urban Europe: Fifty Tales of the City (pp. 385-391). Amsterdam : AUP. DOI: 10.26530/OAPEN_623610 [details]
- Savini, F. (2016). Don’t blame public law: the legal articulation of certainty in Amsterdam land-use planning. Town Planning Review, 87(4), 459-479. DOI: 10.3828/tpr.2016.29 [details]
- Savini, F. (2016). IJburg, Amsterdam: Spatio-temporal regulation and the logics of risk. In F. Savini, & W. Salet (Eds.), Planning Projects in Transition: Interventions, Regulations and Investments (pp. 154-173). Jovis.
- Savini, F. (2016). Overamstel, Amsterdam: Patchwork of projects and segmented realization. In F. Savini, & W. Salet (Eds.), Planning Projects in Transition: Interventions, Regulations and Investments (pp. 175-194). Jovis.
- Savini, F. (2016). Self-Organization and Urban Development: Disaggregating the City-Region, Deconstructing Urbanity in Amsterdam. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 40(6), 1152–1169. DOI: 10.1111/1468-2427.12469 [details]
- Savini, F., & Dembski, S. (2016). Manufacturing the creative city: Symbols and politics of Amsterdam North. Cities : The International Journal of Urban Policy and Planning, 55, 139-147. DOI: 10.1016/j.cities.2016.02.013 [details]
- Savini, F., Boterman, W. R., van Gent, W. P. C., & Majoor, S. (2016). Amsterdam in the 21st century: geography, housing, spatial development and politics. Cities : The International Journal of Urban Policy and Planning, 52, 103-113. DOI: 10.1016/j.cities.2015.11.017 [details]
- Savini, F., Majoor, S. J. H., & Salet, W. G. M. (2016). Dilemma’s of Planning, Intervention, Regulation and Investment. In F. Savini, & W. Salet (Eds.), Planning Projects in Transition: Interventions, Regulations and Investments (pp. 26-43). Berlin: Jovis.
- Markus, M., & Savini, F. (2016). The implementation deficits of adaptation and mitigation: green buildings and water security in Amsterdam and Boston. Planning Theory & Practice, 17(4), 497-515. DOI: 10.1080/14649357.2016.1210666 [details]
- Savini, F., & Aalbers, M. B. (2015). The de-contextualisation of land use planning through financialisation: Urban redevelopment in Milan. European Urban and Regional Studies, 23(4), 878-894. . DOI: 10.1177/0969776415585887
- Salet, W. G. M., & Savini, F. (Eds.) (2015). Theme issue Urban periphery. Environment and planning C: Government & policy, 33(3).
- Salet, W., & Savini, F. (2015). The political governance of urban peripheries. Environment and planning C: Government & policy, 33(3), 448-456. DOI: 10.1177/0263774X15594052 [details]
- Salet, W., Vermeulen, R., Savini, F., & Dembski, S. (2015). Planning for the new European metropolis: functions, politics, and symbols. Planning Theory & Practice, 16(2), 251-254. DOI: 10.1080/14649357.2015.1021574 [details]
- Salet, W., Vermeulen, R., Savini, F., & Dembski, S. (2015). Which challenges for today's European metropolitan spaces? Planning Theory & Practice, 16(2), 274-275. DOI: 10.1080/14649357.2015.1021574 [details]
- Savini, F. (2015). Het Europa van de randgebieden. In V. Mamadouh, & A. van Wageningen (Eds.), EU@Amsterdam: Een stedelijke raad (pp. 387-394). Amsterdam: AUP. [details]
- Savini, F., Majoor, S., & Salet, W. (2015). Dilemmas of planning: intervention, regulation, and investment. Planning Theory, 14(3), 296-315. DOI: 10.1177/1473095214531430 [details]
- Savini, F., Majoor, S., & Salet, W. (2015). Urban peripheries: reflecting on politics and projects in Amsterdam, Milan, and Paris. Environment and planning C: Government & policy, 33(3), 457-474. DOI: 10.1068/c13132 [details]
- Salet, W., & Savini, F. (2013). Le paradoxe de la démocratie dans les périphéries urbaines. In C. Lefèvre, N. Roseau, & T. Vitale (Eds.), De la ville à la métropole: les défis de la gouvernance (pp. 65-76). (Critiques & cités). Paris: L'Œil d'Or. [details]
- Savini, F. (2013). Political dilemmas in peripheral development: investment, regulation, and interventions in metropolitan Amsterdam. Planning Theory & Practice, 14(3), 333-348. DOI: 10.1080/14649357.2013.820340 [details]
- Savini, F. (2013). The governability of national spatial planning: light instruments and logics of governmental action in strategic urban development. Urban Studies, 50(8), 1592-1607. . DOI: 10.1177/0042098012465131 [details]
- Savini, F. (2012). 1996-2011: l'odissea della programmazione negoziata nelle aree ex Falck di Sesto San Giovanni. Urbanistica, 148, 104-117. [details]
- Savini, F. (2012). Who makes the (new) metropolis? Cross-border coalition and urban development in Paris. Environment and Planning A, 44(8), 1875-1895. DOI: 10.1068/a44632 [details]
- Savini, F. (2011). Il valore aggiunto della pianificazione sovra-locale: interventi strategici e governo centrale in Olanda. Territorio, 59, 118-127. DOI: 10.3280/TR2011-059016 [details]
- Savini, F. (2011). The endowment of community participation: institutional settings in two urban regeneration projects. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 35(5), 949-968. DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2010.00997.x [details]
- Savini, F., & Habdank, K. (2018). A Database of Circular Economy Policies and Projects: Europe (A) and initial exploration worldwide (B). Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam. [details]
- Pineda Revilla, B., Bertolini, L., Pfeffer, K., & Savini, F. (2016). Changing Energy Needs. Pursuing ‘energy conscious lifestyles’ through data-driven social learning and individual behavior adaptation feedback loops. University of Amsterdam.
- Savini, F., & Salet, W. G. M. (2016). Planning Projects in Transition: Interventions, Regulations and Investments. Jovis.
- Savini, F., Salet, W., & Markus, M. (2015). APRILab: regulation dilemma report. (APRILab deliverable; No. 3a). Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam. [details]
- Salet, W. G. M., Savini, F., & Majoor, S. J. H. (Eds.) (2013). Environment and planning C: Government & policy. Environment and planning C: Government & policy.
- Savini, F. (2017). Wasted experiments: a commentary on Amsterdam policy for a circular society. In F. Miazzo (Ed.), Beyond the wasted city : Socio-Spatial Transitions for Circular City Making Trancity/Valiz.
- Savini, F. (2016). Amsterdam in transizione. Urbanistica Informazioni, 265, 64-69. [details]
- Savini, F., Verschuuren, S., Salet, W., & Raats, K. (2015). Master studio urban planning 2014-2015: urban metabolism. Amsterdam: Department of Human Geography, Urban Planning and International Development Studies, University of Amsterdam. [details]
- Savini, F., Salet, W., & Verschuuren, S. (2015). Introduction: The metabolic city. In F. Savini, S. Verschuuren, W. Salet, & K. Raats (Eds.), Master studio urban planning 2014-2015: urban metabolism (pp. 4-5). Amsterdam: Department of Human Geography, Urban Planning and International Development Studies, University of Amsterdam. [details]
- Savini, F. (2012). The framework for SAPONIs in the Netherlands: programmes, projects and instruments. In B. Scholl (Ed.), SAPONI: Spaces and Projects of National Importance (pp. 44-48). Zürich: Vdf Hochschulverlag AG an der ETH Zürich. [details]
- Savini, F. (2012). [Review of: S. Dühr, C. Colomb (2010) European spatial planning and territorial cooperation]. Urban Research & Practice, 4(3), 359-361. DOI: 10.1080/17535069.2011.616757 [details]
- Savini, F., & Ovink, H. (2012). The role of national governments in addressing complexity in spatial planning. In B. Scholl (Ed.), SAPONI: Spaces and Projects of National Importance (pp. 64-66). Zurich: Vdf Hochschulverlag AG an der ETH Zürich. [details]
- Savini, F., Salet, W., & Majoor, S. (2010). Enabling strategic projects: assessment of key instruments for national spatial planning. Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam. [details]
Talk / presentation
- Savini, F. (speaker) (28-11-2018). The circular economy of cities: new paradigm of eco-modern growth?, Université Paris-Est (UPE).
- Savini, F. (speaker) (27-11-2018). Comparing power and politics in post-industrial peripheries of Europe, Université Paris-Est (UPE).
- Savini, F. (invited speaker) (11-5-2018). The (un)Changing Norms of Planning: and Institutionalist critique to Circular Economy, Gran Sasso Science Institute.
- Savini, F. (invited speaker) (7-5-2018). ’Social Norms and Change: Responsibility, Polity Value’, Polytechnic of Milan.
- Savini, F. (keynote speaker) (5-12-2017). Keynote Panel on EU Urban Agenda and EU research agenda, JPI Urban Europe summit, Brussels.
- Savini, F. (invited speaker) (12-10-2017). Invited Presentation at the Municipality of Amsterdam, Gemeente Amsterdam.
- Savini, F. (invited speaker) (18-9-2017). Ethical Challenges on Social Science Research, Other.
- Savini, F. (keynote speaker) (7-6-2017). Keynote at symposium ‘The Open City’, RMUS.
- Savini, F. (speaker) (15-5-2017). On Sustainability in Amsterdam, University of Pittsburgh.
- Savini, F. (keynote speaker) (9-2-2017). Keynote at Conference on Strategic Development of Urban Fringe Areas, Aalborg University Denmark.
- Savini, F. (speaker) (8-2-2017). Self-Organization, Disaggregation and Urbanity, Technical University of Stockholm.
- Savini, F. (speaker) (2016). Discussant ‘Social Segregation in Naples’ (Urban Movie), Pakhuis de Zwijger, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
- Savini, F. (speaker) (2016). Political drivers of Institutional Change, Institutions in Action , Amsterdam.
- Savini, F. (speaker) (2016). Discussant of Amsterdam Alderman for Sustainability, SDG Conference, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
- Savini, F. (speaker) (2016). Presentation ‘Governance by sustainable Development Goals', Other.
- Savini, F. (speaker) (2016). The impacts of Self-Organization in Amsterdam, University of Groningen.
- Savini, F. (speaker) (2016). Discussant on ‘The Global Suburb’, Pakhuis de Zwijger, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
- Savini, F. (speaker) (2016). Lecturer at workshop on interview and text coding with Atlas.ti, Nethur.
- Savini, F. (speaker) (2016). Expert Leading Workshop on Amsterdam North for University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG).
- Savini, F. (speaker) (2016). Expert in OESO Panel on Land Governance, Gemeente Amsterdam.
- Savini, F. (keynote speaker) (2016). Keynote Panel ‘routes to urban research and innovation (RURI)’, Pakhuis de Zwijger, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
- Savini, F. (speaker) (2016). Expert Leading Workshop on Amsterdam North for University of Cardiff, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG).
- Savini, F. (keynote speaker) (2016). Keynote at Intrepid-COST Workshop ‘Beyond Disciplinariety’, TU Delft.
- Savini, F. (keynote speaker) (21-4-2016). Beyond Disciplinariety, Workshop Urban Research, Delft.
- Savini, F. (speaker) (2015). Expert in Panel ‘Amsterdam 750 Years’, organized by Municipality of Amsterdam and Buck Consultants, Gemeente Amsterdam.
- Savini, F. (speaker) (23-2-2015). The political construction of the urban periphery, IRS Seminar, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
- Savini, F. (speaker) (2014). Lecture ‘Planning Dilemmas and political issues’, Hogeschool van Amsterdam (HvA).
- Savini, F. (speaker) (2014). Expert at ‘Mobile Workshop Amsterdam North’, AESOP Congress University of Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands.
- Savini, F. (keynote speaker) (2014). Keynote Strategies of Research Consortium Building, Matchmaking JPI Urban Europe Meeting (Utrecht).
- Savini, F. (keynote speaker) (2-9-2014). Keynote on Interdisciplinary Research at SEISMiC network, SEISMIC Network Dutch inaugural workshop, Amersfoort.
- Savini, F. (speaker) (13-4-2014). presentation matchmaking JPI, Urban Europe meeting, Utrecht.
- Savini, F. (speaker) (2013). Lecture ‘The Public Planning Agency of ORSA in Paris Region’, Municipality of Amsterdam, Department of Spatial Planning (DRO), Amsterdam.
- Savini, F. (speaker) (2013). Lecture: de transformatie van de stad: ruimtelijk, politiek, cultureel', Advanced Course 'Triomf van de Stad', Het Rijks Opleiding Instituut, Almere.
- Savini, F. (speaker) (2013). Lecture ‘Urban Peripheries and Project’, Netherlands Environmental Agency (PBL) Den Haag.
- Savini, F. (speaker) (2013). Lecture ‘Urban Governance for the City of Culture’, Municipality of Urbino, Urbino.
- Savini, F. (speaker) (2012). Lecture ‘Dutch Key Projects and the Role of the Government’, SAPONI 3 Technical University of Zurich.
- Savini, F. (speaker) (2012). Lecture ‘Challenges of Political Governance’, Ministry of Spatial Planning, Environment and Housing (The Hague).
- Savini, F. (speaker) (2011). Lecture ‘Enabling Strategic Projects’, Ministry of Spatial Planning, Environment and Housing (The Hague).
- Savini, F. (speaker) (2011). Lecture ‘Large Scale Urban Development Projects in the Periphery', Polytechnic of Milan.
- Savini, F. (speaker) (2009). Lecture ‘New Strategies and Instruments of Communication ‘, Province of Pesaro-Urbino.
- Salet, W. G. M. (organiser), Savini, F. (organiser) & Verschuren, S. (organiser) (2016). master studio urban planning, Amsterdam (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
- Savini, F. (participant) (10-5-2016). Urban Debate, New urban Activism and city making, Amsterdam (participating in a conference, workshop, ...).
- Savini, F. (organiser), Verschuren, S. (organiser) & Salet, W. G. M. (organiser) (12-1-2015). Urban Metabolism, Amsterdam (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
- Savini, F. (2014). Urban peripheries: The political dynamics of planning projects [details]
- No ancillary activities