Education / Research

WAT Appia Antica 2011 - Rome, Italie

From June 27th to July 6th, 2011 in the spaces of the Appia Antica Park headquarters, the Dipartimento di Architettura e Progetto - Sapienza Università di Roma and the UNESCO Chair in Landscape and Environmental Design of University of Montréal, with the support of the Appia Antica Park Authority, the Regione Lazio and the Provincia di Roma, have organized an international conference and workshop on the Appia Antica Park.

The Park and the City. The historical territory of the Appia in the future of Rome.

This initiative is settled in the context of a bilateral agreement of scientific cooperation established in 2003 between the Dipartimento di Architettura e Progetto (DiAP) of Sapienza - University of Rome and the UNESCO Chair in Landscape and Environmental Design of the University of Montréal. This project carries on an Intenational research regarding periurban areas and sustainable development and it is inscribed in the line of research of:

a) Three Research Laboratories of the DiAP (LAGRATELaboratorio Grandi Temi, LPP Laboratotio di lettura e progetto del paesaggio, GROMA Laboratorio di Propettazione Roma) that have a tradition in studies concerning urbanism and landscape design and the study of the physical, social and cultural aspects of the territory, with particular focus on the city of Rome.

b) the UNESCO Chair in Landscape and Environmental Design of the University of Montréal is an international institution that gathers researchers and students coming from different countries, with the patronage of the MOST, MAB and WHC programs of the UNESCO. This international network of scientific cooperation has founded the Observatoire international despaysages périphériques: villes et métropoles, that has developed reflections through seminars (Roma/2004, Rabat/2004), conferences (Beyrouth/2005) and annual workshops (ReggioCalabria Italia/2003, Marrakesh Morocco/2004, Sidon Lebanon/2005, MadhyaTunisia/2006, Ganghwa Republic of Corea/2007, Jinze China/2008, Kobe Japan/2009, and Montréal Canada/2011) on issues of periurban rehabilitation and sustainable development.


Video of the activity (in Italian)


General context

The long and complex story of the Appia Antica Park is still in progress. It started with the first archaeological excavations of the mid eighteen century and the reconstruction of the monuments along the Appia road by Canina. It continued with the institution of the Passeggiata Archeologica (the archaeological public walk) established by Baccelli and Bonghi in 1887 (but realized only in 1918) and the insertion of a preserved area in the Rome Master Plan of 1931.

For the safeguard of this wedge-shaped area, that stretches from Rome city centre (where it forms a whole with the Ancient Roman Forum that constitutes the head-connection to the city) till theAlban hills, a crucial role has been played by Antonio Cederna and Italia Nostra (that commissioned to architect Vittoria Calzolari in 1976 the design of the first coherent project for the park). In the 1970’s and 1980’s they made pressures for the preservation and the enhancement of this great historical landscape resource, for which the Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Roma conducted a crucial work for the protection and the restoration of the heritage.

These steps brought to the creation of the large Archaeological Park of the Fori, in the centre of Rome, and to the protection of the Appia area, that was finally recognized in 1988 through the institution of the Parco Regionale dell'Appia Antica. The area was later mapped in the new Master Plan of Rome of 2002 as one of the five so-called "Ambiti Strategici" (the “Ambito Strategico AppiaAntica”), which are large-scale coherent systems that shape the city of Rome.

Ten years after the institution of the Regional Park, in 1998, was created a management institution, which, among different initiatives, elaborated a Structure Plan, still under approval process by the Regione Lazio. The endorsement of the Plan involves the realization and concretization of the planning prescriptions and the design of specific sites, as crucial and decisive stages for the authentic preservation and enhancement of this area.

The space of the Appia Antica represents for Rome the formidable and not common presence of an enormous void in the heart of a metropolis. Here, in this vast green area, very important in the ecosystem of the city, ruins - as an aesthetic or documentation resource - are one (very outstanding) component of the urban context, which performs a rather heterogeneous coexistence of museum areas and residences, tourist spots and city services, productive ensembles and agricultural lands, natural areas of high environmental value and wastelands. The consequence is that, regardless the deep fascination for this area and the existing laws aimed at preserving its integrity, it is difficult to acknowledge it as a park and it is not easy the fruition of its monuments and green spaces.

Certainly a lot has been done to contribute to the enhancement of this area. However the territory of the Appia Antica shows aggression of illegal occupancy and presents areas of decay and social insecurity. Which are the opportunities for the preservation, transformation and development that this Plan engenders?

This land - that obviously needs to be protected for its history and precious environmental qualities - has to be re-considered despite the land tenure that is mostly private. The preservation of the environmental and historical values of this landscape are a challenge that only the project, together with the political will, can resolve an important occasion of reflection on issues regarding the design and the management of the archaeology, the agriculture and the public spaces.

Urban archaeology and urban design, intended as an active use of the landscape, should:

  • Promote the quality of the urban environment;
  • Go over the idea that archaeological sites are always enclosed precincts, restrained from belonging to local contexts, confined from social interactions, exiled in grounds that reflect only the scientific preservation;
  • Overcome the alienation of the population;
  • Avoid symptoms of decay and insecurity of open spaces and archaeological areas;
  • Include memory in the daily care of the landscape;
  • Incorporate history and nature in a design that embraces infrastructural networks, as well as historical and contemporary architecture, avoiding anachronistic separations between past and future.

Our initiative has encouraged a reflection, developed together with the involved institutions (the Ente Parco, the Regione Lazio and the Province) on what it could be a 21st century archaeological territory. The International Workshop was aimed at the elaboration of 12 landscape projects, able to combine in a unique system archaeological, environmental, economical, social and cultural issues.

Description and aims of the program

In June/July 2011 the International WAT_Appia Antica took place in the spaces of the Ente Parco Appia Antica. A preliminary preparatory seminar was held in May. The initiative aimed at:

a) Comparing, understanding and synthesizing the different preservation and planning tools

These issues were developed by a team of professors and experts of the participating institutions, and were discussed with the principal public actors involved in the preservation and transformation of the territory (the Regione Lazio and the Appia Antica Park, the Province and the Municipality of Rome). Conservation of historical landscapes and biodiversity, urban expansion, territorial identity, quality of life, cultural diversity, etc. were the principal matters that have been synthetized in a document, named Posterplan during a preliminary seminar.

b) Developing a multi-disciplinary know-how and opening a dialogue among different experts

This research project involved architects, landscape architects, urban designers, planners, archaeologists, and experts on agriculture and forestry, to develop a multidisciplinary reflection on the “creation of landscapes” and on sustainability issues.

c) Developing 12 landscape projects for the Parco dell’Appia Antica

Design during the workshop focused on the different landscapes of the Appia Antica park (the archaeological and heritage landscape, the agricultural landscape, the landscape of the quarries, the landscape of the XIX century military forts, the landscape of the economic boom of the sixties) and the important urban nodes of the city.

Students and professors of 11 different universities carried out 12 specific landscape projects on 6 different areas, with the aim of opening a debate on the enhancement and the enrichment of this area for the benefit of public actors and citizens.

Main attention was given to:

  • improvement of public spaces
  • enhancement of landscape and de-localization of incompatible activities
  • access and mobility
  • usability of the park
  • environmental design

d) Stimulating a design and a transformation of the territory that includes the notion of landscape

Aim of the program was to rethink the Appia territory and to convey to the students, to the principal actors of the preservation and planning policies and to the managers of the territory the most advanced international debate on issues concerning landscape. For this reason the projects and the conference were made public, an exhibition was organized and the results will be collected in a publication, which will ensure their diffusion.


The program was organized in 5 phases:

  • Phase 1 Agreement with the Ente Parco, collection of introductory materials, preliminary organizational issues, launching of explanatory brochure.
  • Phase 2 Agreements with other partners and fund-raising (2009-2010).
  • Phase 3 Elaboration of the Posterplan.Workshop for the workshop. (Rome May 5 / 6_2011).
  • Phase 4 Opening Conference and Workshop: development of 12 idea-projects, elaboration of a video. (Rome June 27 / July 6_2011)
  • Phase 5 Exhibition + Closing Ceremony with the presentation of the projects (Rome July 6_2011)

Preliminar Seminar / Posterplan

The Posterplan was conceived in what we called the “Workshop for the workshop". We developed 6 final panels that explain the main character of the Appia landscape and synthesize the principal planning instruments:

1. Land cover

2. Planning synthesis

3. Palimpsest

4. Nature

5. Mobility

6. Imaginary

International Conference

The International Conference “The Park and the City. The Historical Territory of the Appia in the Future of Rome” was held on June 27_2011.

The conference was aimed at introducing the participants of the workshop (students and professor) to the issues related to the Appia territory. The conference served also as opening of a public debate and it was structured in three sessions :

  • Heritage and Nature
  • Landscape and Infrastructure
  • Strategy and Design

Each session featured :

  • Three papers concerning themes and issues strictly related to the Appia Antica Park and Rome
  • One paper by an invited guest of a foreign university on similar topics concerning other areas
  • A discussion on the issues emerged in the papers and in the Posterplan proposal presented by the research group


The workshop was held in the spaces of the ancient paper factory the main headquarters of the Appia Antica Park Authority. Students and professors of 11 different universities carried out specific landscape projects on 6 different areas.


  • 1st Prize
Site 3 Laurentina / Vigna Murata
POP-UP. Emerging identity
Paola Fusco (Sapienza Università di Roma)
Vincenzo Sammito (Sapienza Università di Roma)
Thomas Vongpradith (Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture Paris Malaquais)
Michela Ekstrom (Sapienza Università di Roma)

  • 2nd Prize
Site 4 Torricola Train Station / Quarry Selce
Giorgia Aquilar (Università degli studi di Napoli "Federico II")
Adrian Montero Jabonero (Universidad Politecnica de Madrid)
Sophie Julien (Université de Montréal)
Paolo Marcoaldi (Sapienza Università di Roma)

  • 3rd Prize
Site 5 Tuscolana / Cinecittà
Francesca Avitabile (Università degli studi di Napoli “Federico II)
Marie-Andrée Thiffault (Université de Montréal)
Alessandro Pirisi (Sapienza Università di Roma)
Javier Jose Gonzalez Sanchez (Universidad Politecnica de Madrid)

  • Honorable mention
Site 3 Laurentina / Vigna Murata
Alessia Zarzani (Sapienza Università di Roma)
Roberto Carpino (Università "Mediterranea" di Reggio Calabria)
Ana Gomez Cortez Acciaiuoli Barbosa (Universidade do Porto)
Erica Chladova (Delft University of Technology)

Territories and issues

The study areas were selected for their strategic and heterogeneous structure in the park’s territory. In each area there were issues related to: archaeological and historical heritage, biodiversity and natural resources, mobility, access, and interface between city and park:


Site 1: Aurelian Wall / North Access


  • Highest concentration of heritage
  • One part of the park, the Caffarella, is already organized and used by the citizens for sports, leisure and nature
  • Quality of the urban fabric in the historic district of Garbatella, presence of services, public transport and well equipped public spaces
  • Transformations undergoing in disused urban areas

Critical issues:

  • Difficult relationship between the pre-existing infrastructures and historic archaeological sites
  • Historical and archaeological heritage to be protected and enhanced in the first section of the Via Appia Antica
  • Problematic intersections among crossing roads and via Appia Antica
  • Difficult access to the Appia Antica park from the Appio Latino and Garbatella districts

Team 1a
Claudia Pannaioli (Sapienza Università di Roma)
Alessandro Felici (Sapienza Università di Roma)
Giuseppe Accettola (Sapienza Università di Roma)
Nicolas Bien (Ecole Nazionale Supérieure d’Architecture Paris Malaquais)Panel 1 Panel 2

Team 1b
Armando Iacovantuono (Sapienza Università di Roma)
Sanne Allersma (Delft University of Technology)
Saverio Rizzato (Università Mediterranea di Reggio Calabria)Panel 1 Panel 2


Site 2: Sette Chiese / Tor Marancia


  • Quality of the urban fabric in the historic district of Garbatella, Presence of services, public transport and well equipped public spaces
  • Via delle Sette Chiese can become a possible cross-connection between Via Ostiense and via Appia Antica
  • Central area Giustiniano Imperatore to be transformed with services and new constructions

Critical issues:

  • Difficult access to the Tor Marancia park
  • Problematic transformation of the ex-Rome Trade Fair
  • Sports and leisure areas along via Cristoforo Colombo to be enhanced
  • Presence of bike tracks to be implemented

Team 2a
Ilaria Cotrufo (Sapienza Università di Roma)
Stefano Dan (Sapienza Università di Roma)
Jean-Pierre Fuda (Ecole Nazionale Supérieure d’Architecture Paris Malaquais)
Valentina Sales (Sapienza Università di Roma)Panel 1 Panel 2

Team 2b
Gomes Cruz Lopes António José (Universidade do Porto)
Leo Viola (Sapienza Università di Roma)
Lorenza Gasparella (Sapienza Università di Roma)
Sabrina Sella (Università degli Studi di Sassari)Panel 1 Panel 2


Site 3: Laurentina / Vigna Murata


  • Presence of the experimental field of the Agriculture College
  • Open views towards the landscape of the park from Tor Carbone road
  • Central area Laurentina to be transformed with services and new constructions
  • Presence of the historic Appio Fort

Critical issues:

  • Illegal ex-ultra-luxury area named Cava Pace
  • Absence of connection between main east-west routes (via di vigna murata, via Tintoretto, via Emilio Spalla)
  • Problematic intersection between Tor Carbone and the Appia Antica
  • Problematic intersection between via di Vigna Murata, Tor Carbone and via Ardeatina
  • Isolated residential developments (social housing)
  • Via Ardeatina creats a barrier between two different areas of the park

Team 3a
Paola Fusco (Sapienza Università di Roma)
Vicenzo Sammito (Sapienza Università di Roma)
Thomas Vongpradith Bien (Ecole Nazionale Supérieure d'Architecture Paris Malaquais)
Michela Ekstrom (Sapienza Università di Roma)Panel 1 Panel 2

Team 3b
Alessia Zarzani (Sapienza Università di Roma)
Roberto Carpino (Università Mediterranea di Reggio Calabria)
Ana Gomez Cortez Acciaiuoli Barbosa (Universidade do Porto)
Erica Chladova (Delft University of Technology)
Panel 1 Panel 2


Site 4 : Torricola train station/ Cava Selce quarry


  • Views of the Appia Antica road and its monuments
  • Presence of vernacular farms
  • Archeological area of the Quintili Villa
  • Torricola rail station

Critical issues:

  • The quarry named Cava Selce
  • Railroad tracks in the trenches
  • Areas of railroad embankments
  • Re- localization of industrial areas
  • Problematic intersection between Appia and Torricola roads
  • Overlapping margin of the infrastructure
  • Absence of parking spaces and of pedestrian and protected areas

Team 4a
Giorgia Aquilar (Università Federico II di Napoli)
Adrian Jabonero Montero (Universidad Politecnica de Madrid)
Sophie Julien (Université de Montréal)
Paolo Marcoaldi (Sapienza Università di Roma)Panel 1 Panel 2

Team 4b
Roberto Busonera (Università degli Studi di Sassari)
Francisca Lima De Almeida e Cunha Machado (Universidade do Porto)
Davide Maglietta (Sapienza Università di Roma)
Laura Spenkelink (Delft University of Technology)Panel 1 Panel 2


Site 5: Tuscolana / Cinecittà


  • Views of the landscape from via Tuscolana (typical roman countryside)
  • Cinecittà Film Studios, the Experimental Film Center Cinecitta centrality in the 10th Municipality
  • Park of the Aqueducts, many archaeological sites and medieval towers
  • The “INA casa” Tuscolano District

Critical issues:

  • Railway creates a barrier in the district
  • Interchange Anagnina is a problematic intersection between different kinds of infrastructures
  • Lack of public parking
  • Train depot is an unresolved site
  • Problematic margin between park and residences
  • Absence of adequate facilities in the park

Team 5a
Carmela Coviello (Università degli Studi di Sassari)
Hyun KyungAh (Sapienza Università di Roma)
Camilla Migliori (Delft University of Technology)
Javier Muller Lamothe (Universidad Politecnica de Madrid)
Panel 1 Panel 2

Team 5b
Francesca Avitabile (Università Federico II di Napoli)
Marie-Andrée Thiffault (Université de Montréal)
Alessendro Pirisi (Sapienza Università di Roma)
Jose Javier Gonzalez Sanchez (Universidad Politecnica de Madrid)
Panel 1 Panel 2


Site 6: Santa Maria delle Mole / South Access


  • Areas of sport activity: ice rink, golf course
  • Railway station of Santa Maria delle Mole
  • Archaeological sites along the Via Appia Antica
  • Vineyards, ancient olive orchards and arable Municipal railway Roma-Velletri

Critical issues:

  • Strong fragmentation of the urban landscape: Santa Maria delle Mole, Frattocchie, Poggio delle Mole and Cava Selci are separated neighborhoods
  • Via Appia Nuova represents a barrier that divides the residential areas
  • Lack of public spaces

Team 6a
Filomena Cicala (Università Federico II di Napoli)
Sara Gangemi (Sapienza Università di Roma)
Alessendro Ponteduro (Sapienza Università di Roma)
Juan Jacobo Gonzalez Munoz (Universidad Politecnica de Madrid) Panel 1 Panel 2

Team 6b
Frédérick Boily (Université de Montréal)
Marina Macera (Sapienza Università di Roma)
Maria Elena Marani (Sapienza Università di Roma)
Ivano Tolomeo (Università Mediterranea di Reggio Calabria)Panel 1 Panel 2



  • Arch. Brigitte Colin, UNESCO, Expert in Architecture and Cities_Migration and Urbanization
  • Prof. Piero Ostilio Rossi, Dipartimento di Architettura e Progetto, Sapienza Università di Roma
  • Dott. ssa Alma Rossi, Ente Parco Appia Antica
  • Prof. Umberto Cao, Facoltà di Architettura di Ascoli Piceno, Università di Camerino
  • Prof. Francesco Garofalo Facoltà di Architettura di Pescara, Università di Chieti
  • Prof. Franco Panzini, Architect
  • Prof. Livia Toccafondi Facoltà di Architettura, Sapienza Università di Roma


Diffusion and rights

The scientific results of the Workshop_atelier/terrain were presented and spread at the end of the work through a public ceremony and an exhibit. The documentation of the work and the opening seminar will be published in Italian and English with the participation of the involved institutions. The results of this experimentation will be diffused also through the CUPEUM Observatoire international des paysages urbains.


Press review

1_ newspaper article “La Repubblica”’appia-nel-futuro-di-roma--.aspx


Promoters of the initiative


  • Dipartimento di Architettura e Progetto
Sapienza Università di Roma
Chairman: Piero Ostilio Rossi
Responsible of the initiative: Alessandra Capuano
  • Chaire UNESCO en paysage et environnement
Université de Montréal (CUPEUM)
Co-responsible and Director: Philippe Poullaouec-Gonidec



  • Park Authority Appia Antica
Commissioner: Federico Berardi
Director: Alma Rossi
  • PHD in Design and management of the environment and the landscape
Sapienza Università di Roma
Coordinator: Achille M. Ippolito



United Nations, Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
Director General: Irina Bokova
Migration and Urbanization Division of Social Sciences, Research and Policy: Brigitte Colin
National Italian Commission
General Secretary: Lucio A. Savoia
  • Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Roma
Superintendent: Anna Maria Moretti
Responsible for Area XI/Appia: Rita Paris
  • Ministero Politiche Agricole Alimentari e Forestali
Ministry: Francesco Saverio Romano
Direction of Nursery Sector: Alberto Manzo
  • Regione Lazio
President: Renata Polverini
Councilor Territorial Policies and Planning: Luciano Ciocchetti
Department for Planning Security and Surveillance of Illegality: Patrizia Colletta
  • Provincia di Roma
President: Nicola Zingaretti
Department of Territorial Policies and Environmental Protection
Councilor: Michele Civita
Dep. VI Territory and Mobility: Manuela Manetti
Department VI Ecological Network: Maria Luisa Salvatori
  • Associazione Nazionale Centri Storici e Artistici
President: Anna Marson

With the contribution of:

  • Ceramiche Appia Nuova
  • Florovivaistica del Lazio
  • Promoverde

Hosting Universities:

  • Sapienza Università di Roma with Università del Molise and Università della Tuscia
PHD in Design and management of the environment and the landscape
PHD in Architecture Theory and Design
PHD in Architecture and construction, Space and Society
PHD in Interior Design
Specialization School in Gardens and Landscape Design

Participating Universities and Teachers:

  • Delft University of TechnologyProfessors: Beata Labuhn and Eric Luiten
  • Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’architecture Paris- MalaquaisProfessors: Sabine Chardonnet and Alessandra Criconia
  • Universidade do PortoProfessors: Francisco J. Barata Fernandez and Madalena Pinto da Silva
  • Universidad Politécnica de MadridProfessors: José M. Ezquiaga and Gemma Peribanez
  • Università degli studi di SassariProfessor: Stefan Tischer
  • Università di Napoli Federico IIProfessor: Pasquale Miano
  • Università Mediterranea di Reggio CalabriaProfessors: Antonino Minniti and Renato Nicolini
  • Université de MontréalProfessors: Sylvain Paquette and Philippe Poullaouec-Gonidec


Organization of the initiative

Honorary Committee:

  • Federico Berardi
Commissioner Park Authority Appia Antica
  • Raimondo Cagiano de Azevedo
Delegate of the Provost to International Relations, Sapienza, Università di Roma
  • Luciano Ciocchetti
Councilor Territorial Policies and Planning, Regione Lazio
  • Michele Civita
Department of Territorial Policies and Environmental Protection, Provincia di Roma
  • Brigitte Colin
Migration and Urbanization Division of Social Sciences, Research and Policy UNESCO
  • Alberto Manzo
Direction of Nursery Sector, Ministero Politiche Agricole Alimentari e Forestali
  • Renato Masiani
Dean of the School of Architecture, Sapienza Università di Roma
  • Anna Marson
President of ANCSA Associazione Nazionale Centri Storici e Artistici
  • Anna Maria Moretti
Superintendent Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Roma
  • Piero Ostilio Rossi
Chairman of the Dipartimento di Architettura e Progetto, Sapienza Università di Roma
  • Lucio A. Savoia
General Segretary Commissione Nazionale Italiana dell’UNESCO
  • Giuseppe Scarascia Mugnozza
Director of the Department of Agronomy Forestry and Territory of the CRA

Scientific and operative direction:

  • Alessandra Capuano (direction)
DiAP, Sapienza Università di Roma
  • Philippe Poullaouec-Gonidec
Chaire UNESCO en paysage et environnement, Université de Montréal
  • Orazio Carpenzano
DiAP, Sapienza Università di Roma
  • Fabrizio Toppetti
DiAP, Sapienza Università di Roma

Scientific Committee :

  • Rita Biasi
Università della Tuscia di Viterbo
  • Gert Burgers
Accademia Olandese di Roma
  • Lucina Caravaggi
Sapienza Università di Roma
  • Patrizia Colletta
Regione Lazio
  • Paola Falini
Sapienza Università di Roma
  • Laura Valeria Ferretti
Sapienza Università di Roma
  • Achille M. Ippolito
Sapienza Università di Roma
  • Manuela Manetti
Provincia di Roma
  • Marco Marchetti
Università degli Studi del Molise
  • Rita Paris
Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Roma
  • Caterina Rossetti
Ente Parco Appia Antica
  • Alma Rossi
Ente Parco Appia Antica
  • Maria Luisa Salvatori
Provincia di Roma
  • Roberto Secchi
Sapienza Università di Roma
  • Antonino Terranova
Sapienza Università di Roma
  • Stefan Tischer
Università di Sassari

Operative Research Group:

  • Coordination
Fabio Contini
Massimiliano Gotti
Federica Morgia
Riccardo Salvati
  • Graphics
Simona Casciaro
Michela Guglielmi
Paola Fortunato
Anna Lei
  • Secretary
Tommaso Picerno

Alessandra Di Giacomo