Gianni Talamini

Gianni Talamini
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
To be held virtually via Zoom
Urban Nature and The Great Sanitary Awakening
Dr. Gianni Talamini
Dept. of Architecture & Civil Engineering
City University of Hong Kong

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Lecture Abstract

Urban concentration has long been one of the primary stimuli for developing disciplines that aim to improve the standard of living for urban inhabitants through the rational use of economic and social resources and their topographic and topological articulation. The stimulus derives from the concern of the immediate and tangible consequences of periods of intense migration towards urban areas and the resulting crowding of people that, in conjunction with poor hygiene, creates the conditions for the rapid spread of large-scale epidemics. One of these periods, perhaps the most widely discussed in urban studies, extends from the mid-nineteenth century to the 1930s, which largely coincides with the first significant industrial expansion of the European continent. At that time, modern medicine demonstrated the causal relationship between poor hygienic conditions and the threat of epidemic infections, leading to “the great sanitary awakening” (Winslow, 1923), the birth of modern public health, and laying the foundations for the modern approach to planning.

A century later, a fast-urbanizing world is again under the threat of a pandemic and urgently demands a new sanitary awakening in the form, among others, a larger provision of urban nature. The lecture will present ongoing research on the relationship between urban green space and behaviours, and it will discuss how the “Healthy City” concept established itself as the framework for the progressive normalization of exceptional response to an urgency.


Gianni Talamini is a registered Italian architect and Assistant Professor at the City University of Hong Kong, where he leads the Master of Urban Design and Regional Planning.

Gianni gained international experience both as a researcher and practitioner, combining the conception of his theoretical framework with the profession of architecture. Working on the boundary between art and architecture, he managed the construction of installations designed by worldwide renowned architects and artist (e.g., Lebbeus Woods and Cai Guo-Qiang) and exhibited his work on some of the most prestigious international venues. He collaborated on the realization of several art and architecture exhibitions. In 2012, he was in charge of the restoration of the Finnish Pavilion designed by Alvar Aalto at the Venice Biennale.

He completed with full marks his PhD in Urbanism at the Iuav University of Venice under prof. Bernardo Secchi, in 2013. Since then, he has been researching the notions of organic urbanism, spatial semiotics, and the relationship between society and space. He works for an environmentally innocuous, culturally leavened, and spatially just society.