Rural Architectural Intensification is an innovative design action for architecture and urban design.

This operative action is applicable for regenerate and transforms the contemporary city-landscape into uses that are suitable for contemporary ways of living through the construction of a new paradigm that will shape an architectural and urban project committed to sustainability.


Rural Architectural Intesification has three keywords:

Rural as environment with richness of history, values, memory and high quality;

Architecture as a process and construction product, which can create social, cultural, economic and technological innovation;

Intensification as a strategy to create sustainable density of activities and spaces for people in which the natural environment and the rural-urban environment coexist harmoniously.



Presented principles and guidelines derive from Italian National Research (PRIN2009) “Architecture as Heritage: innovative instruments for the tutelage and the improvement of the local border systems”; within this National framework, authors from University of Pavia participated the research theme on “Regeneration and renewal of rural landscape. Building strategies in the surroundings of new urban centres”.


This issue aims to the regeneration of the rural landscape, with particular focus on landscape and architecture design which can become the instrument for promoting the value, the memory and the environmental quality of the rural landscape as cultural heritage. Provided that the built-up landscape is capable of nourishing research and design innovation. 


The crisis in rural areas is essentially a European problem: depopulation and ageing of the population, abandonment and decay of small town centres, difficulty in keeping existing businesses and/or in launching new start-ups, intensive agricultural practices to the detriment of biodiversity, pollution, a lack of infrastructures and services for tourism, as well as a shortage of job opportunities for the population, etc.


Which is the role that architecture has to play in this framework of rural intensification? 


Through workshop, seminars we questioned the architecture role in the process of regeneration of the rural landscape...


Enhancing rural architecture, small towns, farmsteads and ancient relics is one of the main components for the regeneration of the countryside. It is a strategy with a positive outcome, even only if it has been supported simultaneously by the possibility of creating more business (also working from this architectural heritage), but which nevertheless is planned taking into account the improvement of the perceived aesthetic structure of the countryside.


What parameters can be used to assess the improvement of a rural region?


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