The Smart City I Would Like. Maps and Storytelling in Teaching Geography

Paola Zamperlin, Margherita Azzari


In this paper we present the results of some educational workshops held at selected lower secondary schools within the Le chiavi della città (The Keys to the City) project, coordinated by the municipality of Florence. The main objective of these workshops was to motivate students towards an analytical reflection on their city, observed through the guiding principles of the Smart City concept. The students were prompted to discover the new geographies that are modeling contemporary cities and, in order to do this, they were provided with both theoretical and technological tools. The former are necessary for a critical reading of the phenomenon, and the latter to enable them to re-interpret and redesign their city in the light of new findings. The teachers primarily defined the problem domain and presented traditional concepts of scale, place and space identified according to the pillars of the Smart City: Environment, Mobility, Economy, People, Living. Then the students were asked to reshape the urban spaces of their own daily life by using the ArcGIS Online platform. This proved to be a valuable tool because it allowed them to synthesize and to show their newly acquired knowledge. Moreover through the mashup of maps and multimedia contents, they were able to express themselves in a closer way to their common language, and therefore these tools had an important role in the mediation and translation of their ideas into proposals for shared actions.

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Sapienza Università di Roma University of Helsinki Università di Torino Western Michigan University


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Edizioni Nuova Cultura


Online ISSN: 2281 - 5694 Print ISSN: 2281 – 4310 © 2013 - Edizioni Nuova Cultura