Fondazione Pesenti & “Shaping the City”

A Forum for Sustainable Cities and Communities, at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition 2021


On October 15-16, 2020, Allen Sayegh and Stefano Andreani discussed about the future of our built environments, sharing some insights from Actar Publishers Responsive Environments book and research projects part of the REAL Lab Harvard GSD & University of Bergamo joint initiative, supported by the Pesenti Foundation, in the framework of the project “Real Cities – #Bergamo2035”. The conference took place in the iconic Palazzo Michiel, and it was streamed online on the ECC Italy YouTube Channel.

“Shaping the City” tackled contemporary urbanization and key issues in the city, presented and debated through the perspectives of a group of academics, urban planners and designers, architects, policy makers, and scholars. Through presentations and panel discussions, the forum dealt with the fundamental topics shaping the cities in the world.

The Speakers

International experts including Golden Lion Winner and Curator of the National Pavilion of United Arab Emirates Wael Al Awar, Editorial Director of Domus Walter Mariotti, Assistant Professor of Architecture at Abu Dhabi University Nadia Mounajjed, Professor and Head of Planning and Climate Change Lab at Università IUAV in Venezia Francesco Musco.

The Themes

Re-Imagining the City” explored how the morphological dimension, engulfing both the architectural character and the urban environment, creates an image and an identity for the city. The panel discussion investigated the sensory and experiential qualities in architecture and the distinctive qualities of the urban space, where daily life unfolds.

“Climate Change and Resilient Cities” explored how to engage with the surrounding urban systems and discusses concepts related to urban resilience and climate change adaptation in designing and building cities.

Cities are the engines of change and represent the opportunity to shape the future of millions of inhabitants. “Building Through Technology” investigated the possibilities of new sustainable and vernacular materials as a construction solution. It demonstrated the latest trends and improvements in architecture technology and innovative materials. Best practices are explored with the aim to use eco-friendly construction materials and alternatives to help combat climate change.

“Architecture for the People” explored how regeneration projects, social housing, and urban policies are reactivating the neglected parts of the urban fabric of the city and promoting dynamic and social transformations. It highlighted alternative approaches to housing that stress on urgent matters such as population displacement due to geopolitical issues as well as global warming, and environmental issues.


Shaping the City – Forum for sustainable cities and communities from VeniceDocumentationProject on Vimeo.