Fotograaf: Michael Chia / JPI Urban Europe

dhr. dr. F. (Federico) Savini

  • Faculteit der Maatschappij- en Gedragswetenschappen
    Programmagroep: Urban Planning
  • Bezoekadres
    REC BC
    Nieuwe Achtergracht 166  Kamernummer: B4.15
  • Postadres:
    Postbus  15629
    1001 NC  Amsterdam

Federico Savini is Assistant Professor in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Amsterdam. He combines approahes of Political Sociology, Political Science  and Urban Planning to critically research urban trasformations in cities. His expertise ranges accross the fields of land policy, environmental studies and smart urbanism. His PhD project focused on the political dynamics of planning projects in the Urban Periphery. He currently works on diverse set of topics, all sharing a clear political and institutionalist approach to urban phenomena: planning regulations and laws,  financing of land development, political coalition building in city-regional governance, social practices and norms in contemporary techno-driven and circular urbanism. His teaching includes BA planning theory courses, research methods courses, and approaches to strategic planning. He is coordinator of the yearly MA studio on 'innovative planning practices', develping research-led/context-based learning in cooperation with the Municipality of Amsterdam. 

C.U.RES: Circular Urban Responsibilities 

The rising concerns with environmental quality, over consumption of resources and excess of urban waste are putting stress on the institutionalized forms of governance in cities. Discourses on circular economic development are increasingly mobilizing metaphors for new institutional and political set ups of urban development processes. Citizens are becoming prosumers of their own waste and resources. Industrial corporations are being increasingly (de)responsibilized for their environmental impact. Local governments are playing double roles of enabler of new economies as well as regulators of urban investments against the environmental degradation of the city-regional ecosystem. National governments are increasinly relocating responsibilities to lower tiers in order to, arguably, promote more responsible economic systems. It is within this highly changing and dynamic political context that our research investigates the changing social, political and environmental responsibilities of urban stakeholders. It does so by analyzing the emerging mismatch between formal regulatory frameworks and the self-perceived roles of actors in the development process. The project team at the University of Amsterdam is made of Federico Savini, Mendel Giezen and Ena Zametica.

The Circular Economy of Cities: Planning and Resources

The meaning of waste and resources are getting more and more blurred. Cities are searching for new ways to turn waste into resources, and undertake huge investments in the infrastructures of waste collection and reuse. Circularity is an extremely powerful concept in the context of global land and resource scarcity, yet the urban realizations and socio-political logics of these ideas are yet to be investigated in planning. My current research investigates the institutional logics of circularity in contemporary urban and environmental planning. It engages with the regulatory and governance challenges of addressing the emerging meanings of waste in the context of urban development. In doing so, it studies the changing institutional frames that regulate the way waste is disposed (or reduced) and simoultaneously how its alternative 'value' as resource is institutionalized. Geographically, the research looks at areas of (urban) waste disposal and resource extraction, namely industrial areas in the periphery of cities.

CODALoop: Community data-driven feedback loops for sustainable urban lifestyle

Despite targeted policies and technological innovations, household energy consumption is still increasing in Europe. This project seeks to break this impasse by enabling behavioral change through the design, implementation and assessment of learning feedback loops supported by a web-based platform. It will enhance individual and community learning processes and inform policies for the smart use of big data. The project is transdisciplinary and experimental, aiming at: a) understanding data-driven learning feedback loops between individuals and communities to enable behavioral change in energy choices, b) generating ‘Individual to Community’ and ‘Community to Policy’ loops through designing and testing a learning support software for data-sharing, c) analyzing and assessing the interaction among individuals and groups within this platform to inform wider policies for energy transitions. The project delivers: a) a prototype learning platform for sharing data about individual and community energy consumption choices; b) a plan for the marketization and wider application of this platform: c) policy recommendations for enabling learning and behavioral change towards reduced energy use. CODALoop combines cutting edge cognitive modeling, data analysis and qualitative research methods. It includes 13 partners with diverse backgrounds and focuses on a set of selected urban areas through a living lab approach.

APRILab: Regulation, Intervention and investment dilemmas for innovative urban development in living lab experiences (completed)

The project investigates the emerging dilemmas in the practice of urban development in the urban periphery though techniques of action-based research. It focuses on the combined innovation of planning regulations, financial arrangements and urban interventions in different European contexts. Innovation in planning practice through processes of co-creation has become a priority, not only for urban agencies in practice but also for scientific research. Planning practice is puzzled by upcoming concepts of adaptability, resilience, and self-organization which present idealized visions of governance. Urban development often still takes place through traditional forms of rational approaches of research and practice, characterized by its instrumental focus on goal-specific tasks, means, and outcomes rather than searching for context based adaptability under the guidance of generic principles. APRILab entails research into fundamental political dilemmas that constrain effective innovation. It focuses on three major dilemmas to conceptualize the different trade-offs for governance innovation between the extremes of self-organization and control:

Intervention, between control of spatial processes and accommodation of emergent urban change;  Regulation, between instrumentalism and generic normative guidance of self-regulation; Investment, between supply and demand driven investments. The project is funded by The Dutch National Agency of Scientific Research (NWO)  within the frame of the Joint Program Initiative ‘URBAN EUROPE’

Urban Peripheries: Completed

The PhD research by Federico Savini addresses the challenges, dilemmas and problematics of spatial planning in the contemporary urban periphery. His work focuses on patterns of decision making in large scale urban development. He adopts a comparative methodology to explore the way public, private and civic actors interacts and cooperate in order to govern planning processes and in the way institutional innovation is achieved in the practice of inter-municipal cooperation and metropolitan governance. By using theories on urban politics, the project particularly look at the political dynamics driving urban projects taking place in the urban periphery. The urban Periphery is an emerging and highly challenging space for planning. Urban transformations need to mediate between the creation of new spatial qualities and the coping with existing socio-economic problems. The project address the electoral and ideological background of development policies targeting the urban periphery in European cities. In particular, it looks at the behavior of political coalitions and political elites, and at their links with large private developers. The research is an international comparison of three projects currently taking place in the city regions of Amsterdam, Paris and Milan . The project develops with the cooperation of the Dutch Ministry of Spatial Planning, Environment and Housing

I am coordinator of the Masterstudio on Innovative Planning Practices, that takes place in Amsterdam every year in January. The Masterstudio is core part of the MA program in Urban Planning at the University of Amsterdam. It has the ambition to combine theoretical insights with examples of planning practices, in a didactic and interactive program for students, professionals and public employees. The studio is built around a different topic every year, to enable a responsive program to local and global emergent policy ideas. It conists of a full week of academic lectures from invited international speakers, several examples from practices based in Amsterdam, artists works and debates with local politicians. Students work on concrete policy projects to be presented to local public officials and activists. The studio is open to public. Here below the former editions. 

2017-2018 - The Circle City: Planning for Resourceful Cities

2016-2017 - The i-City: Planning, ITs and Smart Urbanism

2015 -2016 - The Just City Planning for Equity

2014-2015: The Metabolic City: Planning the material flows

2013-2014: Remaking the Culture(s) of the City


  • Bossuyt, D. M., & Savini, F. (2017). Urban sustainability and political parties: Eco-development in Stockholm and Amsterdam. Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space. DOI: 10.1177/2399654417746172 
  • Savini, F. (2017). Planning, uncertainty and risk: The neoliberal logics of Amsterdam urbanism. Environment and Planning A, 49(4), 857-875. DOI: 10.1177/0308518X16684520  [details] 
  • VanHoose, K., & Savini, F. (2017). The Social Capital of Urban Activism: Practices in London and Amsterdam. City, 21(3-4), 293-311. DOI: 10.1080/13604813.2017.1325207 


  • Savini, F. (2016). A Europe of Peripheries. In V. Mamadouh, & A. V. Wageningen (Eds.), Urban Europe: Fifty Tales of the City (pp. 385-391). Amsterdam : AUP. DOI: 10.26530/OAPEN_623610  [details] 
  • Savini, F. (2016). Don’t blame public law: the legal articulation of certainty in Amsterdam land-use planning. Town Planning Review, 87(4), 459-479. DOI: 10.3828/tpr.2016.29  [details] 
  • Savini, F. (2016). IJburg, Amsterdam: Spatio-temporal regulation and the logics of risk. In F. Savini, & W. Salet (Eds.), Planning Projects in Transition: Interventions, Regulations and Investments (pp. 154-173). Jovis.
  • Savini, F. (2016). Overamstel, Amsterdam: Patchwork of projects and segmented realization. In F. Savini, & W. Salet (Eds.), Planning Projects in Transition: Interventions, Regulations and Investments (pp. 175-194). Jovis.
  • Savini, F. (2016). Self-Organization and Urban Development: Disaggregating the City-Region, Deconstructing Urbanity in Amsterdam. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 40(6), 1152–1169. DOI: 10.1111/1468-2427.12469  [details] 
  • Savini, F., & Dembski, S. (2016). Manufacturing the creative city: Symbols and politics of Amsterdam North. Cities : The International Journal of Urban Policy and Planning, 55, 139-147. DOI: 10.1016/j.cities.2016.02.013  [details] 
  • Savini, F., Boterman, W. R., van Gent, W. P. C., & Majoor, S. (2016). Amsterdam in the 21st century: geography, housing, spatial development and politics. Cities : The International Journal of Urban Policy and Planning, 52, 103-113. DOI: 10.1016/j.cities.2015.11.017  [details] 
  • Savini, F., Majoor, S. J. H., & Salet, W. G. M. (2016). Dilemma’s of Planning, Intervention, Regulation and Investment. In F. Savini, & W. Salet (Eds.), Planning Projects in Transition: Interventions, Regulations and Investments (pp. 26-43). Berlin: Jovis.
  • Markus, M., & Savini, F. (2016). The implementation deficits of adaptation and mitigation: green buildings and water security in Amsterdam and Boston. Planning Theory & Practice, 17(4), 497-515. DOI: 10.1080/14649357.2016.1210666  [details] 


  • Savini, F., & Aalbers, M. B. (2015). The de-contextualisation of land use planning through financialisation: Urban redevelopment in Milan. European Urban and Regional Studies, 23(4), 878. [4]. DOI: 10.1177/0969776415585887 
  • Salet, W. G. M., & Savini, F. (Eds.) (2015). Theme issue Urban periphery. Environment and planning C: Government & policy, 33(3).
  • Salet, W., & Savini, F. (2015). The political governance of urban peripheries. Environment and planning C: Government & policy, 33(3), 448-456. DOI: 10.1177/0263774X15594052  [details] 
  • Salet, W., Vermeulen, R., Savini, F., & Dembski, S. (2015). Planning for the new European metropolis: functions, politics, and symbols. Planning Theory & Practice, 16(2), 251-254. DOI: 10.1080/14649357.2015.1021574  [details] 
  • Salet, W., Vermeulen, R., Savini, F., & Dembski, S. (2015). Which challenges for today's European metropolitan spaces? Planning Theory & Practice, 16(2), 274-275. DOI: 10.1080/14649357.2015.1021574  [details] 
  • Savini, F. (2015). Het Europa van de randgebieden. In V. Mamadouh, & A. van Wageningen (Eds.), EU@Amsterdam: Een stedelijke raad (pp. 387-394). Amsterdam: AUP. [details] 
  • Savini, F., Majoor, S., & Salet, W. (2015). Dilemmas of planning: intervention, regulation, and investment. Planning Theory, 14(3), 296-315. DOI: 10.1177/1473095214531430  [details] 
  • Savini, F., Majoor, S., & Salet, W. (2015). Urban peripheries: reflecting on politics and projects in Amsterdam, Milan, and Paris. Environment and planning C: Government & policy, 33(3), 457-474. DOI: 10.1068/c13132  [details] 


  • Savini, F. (2014). What Happens to the Urban Periphery? The Political Tensions of Postindustrial Redevelopment in Milan. Urban Affairs Review, 50(2), 180-205. DOI: 10.1177/1078087413495809  [details] 


  • Salet, W., & Savini, F. (2013). Le paradoxe de la démocratie dans les périphéries urbaines. In C. Lefèvre, N. Roseau, & T. Vitale (Eds.), De la ville à la métropole: les défis de la gouvernance (pp. 65-76). (Critiques & cités). Paris: L'Œil d'Or. [details] 
  • Savini, F. (2013). Political dilemmas in peripheral development: investment, regulation, and interventions in metropolitan Amsterdam. Planning Theory & Practice, 14(3), 333-348. DOI: 10.1080/14649357.2013.820340  [details] 
  • Savini, F. (2013). The governability of national spatial planning: light instruments and logics of governmental action in strategic urban development. Urban Studies, 50(8), 1592-1607. [1607]. DOI: 10.1177/0042098012465131  [details] 


  • Savini, F. (2012). 1996-2011: l'odissea della programmazione negoziata nelle aree ex Falck di Sesto San Giovanni. Urbanistica, 148, 104-117. [details] 
  • Savini, F. (2012). Who makes the (new) metropolis? Cross-border coalition and urban development in Paris. Environment and Planning A, 44(8), 1875-1895. DOI: 10.1068/a44632  [details] 


  • Savini, F. (2011). Il valore aggiunto della pianificazione sovra-locale: interventi strategici e governo centrale in Olanda. Territorio, 59, 118-127. DOI: 10.3280/TR2011-059016  [details] 
  • Savini, F. (2011). The endowment of community participation: institutional settings in two urban regeneration projects. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 35(5), 949-968. DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2010.00997.x  [details] 


  • Savini, F., & Habdank, K. (2018). A Database of Circular Economy Policies and Projects: Europe (A) and initial exploration worldwide (B). University of Amsterdam.


  • Pineda Revilla, B., Bertolini, L., Pfeffer, K., & Savini, F. (2016). Changing Energy Needs. Pursuing ‘energy conscious lifestyles’ through data-driven social learning and individual behavior adaptation feedback loops. University of Amsterdam.


  • Savini, F., Salet, W., & Markus, M. (2015). APRILab: regulation dilemma report. (APRILab deliverable; No. 3a). Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam. [details] 


  • Salet, W. G. M., Savini, F., & Majoor, S. J. H. (Eds.) (2013). Environment and planning C: Government & policy. Environment and planning C: Government & policy.


  • Savini, F. (2009). Burgerparticipatie in Denemarken en Italië. Agora, 25(1), 36-39. [details] 
  • Savini, F. (2009). Governo e governance per la rigenerazione urbana. Urbanistica Informazioni, 223, 57-65. [details] 


  • Savini, F. (2017). Wasted experiments: a commentary on Amsterdam policy for a circular society. In F. Miazzo (Ed.), Beyond the wasted city : Socio-Spatial Transitions for Circular City Making Trancity/Valiz.


  • Savini, F. (2016). Amsterdam in transizione. Urbanistica Informazioni, 265, 64-69. [details] 


  • Savini, F., Verschuuren, S., Salet, W., & Raats, K. (2015). Master studio urban planning 2014-2015: urban metabolism. Amsterdam: Department of Human Geography, Urban Planning and International Development Studies, University of Amsterdam. [details] 
  • Savini, F., Salet, W., & Verschuuren, S. (2015). Introduction: The metabolic city. In F. Savini, S. Verschuuren, W. Salet, & K. Raats (Eds.), Master studio urban planning 2014-2015: urban metabolism (pp. 4-5). Amsterdam: Department of Human Geography, Urban Planning and International Development Studies, University of Amsterdam. [details] 


  • Savini, F. (2013). [Review of: A. Balducci, V. Fedeli (2011) Strategic planning for contemporary urban regions: city of cities: a project for Milan]. Urban Research & Practice, 6(2), 235-236. DOI: 10.1080/17535069.2013.808437  [details] 


  • Savini, F. (2012). The framework for SAPONIs in the Netherlands: programmes, projects and instruments. In B. Scholl (Ed.), SAPONI: Spaces and Projects of National Importance (pp. 44-48). Zürich: Vdf Hochschulverlag AG an der ETH Zürich. [details] 
  • Savini, F. (2012). [Review of: S. Dühr, C. Colomb (2010) European spatial planning and territorial cooperation]. Urban Research & Practice, 4(3), 359-361. DOI: 10.1080/17535069.2011.616757  [details] 
  • Savini, F., & Ovink, H. (2012). The role of national governments in addressing complexity in spatial planning. In B. Scholl (Ed.), SAPONI: Spaces and Projects of National Importance (pp. 64-66). Zurich: Vdf Hochschulverlag AG an der ETH Zürich. [details] 


  • Savini, F., Salet, W., & Majoor, S. (2010). Enabling strategic projects: assessment of key instruments for national spatial planning. Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam. [details] 


  • Savini, F., & Salet, W. G. M. (2016). Planning Projects in Transition: Interventions, Regulations and Investments. Jovis.


  • Savini, F. (invited speaker) (11-5-2018): The (un)Changing Norms of Planning: and Institutionalist critique to Circular Economy, Gran Sasso Science Institute.
  • Savini, F. (invited speaker) (7-5-2018): ’Social Norms and Change: Responsibility, Polity Value’, Polytechnic of Milan.
  • Savini, F. (keynote speaker) (5-12-2017): Keynote Panel on EU Urban Agenda and EU research agenda, JPI Urban Europe summit, Brussels.
  • Savini, F. (invited speaker) (12-10-2017): Invited Presentation at the Municipality of Amsterdam, Gemeente Amsterdam.
  • Savini, F. (invited speaker) (18-9-2017): Ethical Challenges on Social Science Research, Other.
  • Savini, F. (keynote speaker) (7-6-2017): Keynote at symposium ‘The Open City’, RMUS.
  • Savini, F. (speaker) (15-5-2017): On Sustainability in Amsterdam, University of Pittsburgh.
  • Savini, F. (keynote speaker) (9-2-2017): Keynote at Conference on Strategic Development of Urban Fringe Areas, Aalborg University Denmark.
  • Savini, F. (speaker) (8-2-2017): Self-Organization, Disaggregation and Urbanity, Technical University of Stockholm.
  • Savini, F. (speaker) (2016): Discussant ‘Social Segregation in Naples’ (Urban Movie), Pakhuis de Zwijger, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
  • Savini, F. (speaker) (2016): Political drivers of Institutional Change, Institutions in Action , Amsterdam.
  • Savini, F. (speaker) (2016): Discussant of Amsterdam Alderman for Sustainability, SDG Conference, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
  • Savini, F. (speaker) (2016): Presentation ‘Governance by sustainable Development Goals', Other.
  • Savini, F. (speaker) (2016): The impacts of Self-Organization in Amsterdam, University of Groningen.
  • Savini, F. (speaker) (2016): Discussant on ‘The Global Suburb’, Pakhuis de Zwijger, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
  • Savini, F. (speaker) (2016): Lecturer at workshop on interview and text coding with Atlas.ti, Nethur.
  • Savini, F. (speaker) (2016): Expert Leading Workshop on Amsterdam North for University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG).
  • Savini, F. (speaker) (2016): Expert in OESO Panel on Land Governance, Gemeente Amsterdam.
  • Savini, F. (keynote speaker) (2016): Keynote Panel ‘routes to urban research and innovation (RURI)’, Pakhuis de Zwijger, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
  • Savini, F. (speaker) (2016): Expert Leading Workshop on Amsterdam North for University of Cardiff, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG).
  • Savini, F. (keynote speaker) (2016): Keynote at Intrepid-COST Workshop ‘Beyond Disciplinariety’, TU Delft.
  • Savini, F. (keynote speaker) (21-4-2016): Beyond Disciplinariety, Workshop Urban Research, Delft.
  • Savini, F. (speaker) (2015): Expert in Panel ‘Amsterdam 750 Years’, organized by Municipality of Amsterdam and Buck Consultants, Gemeente Amsterdam.
  • Savini, F. (speaker) (23-2-2015): The political construction of the urban periphery, IRS Seminar, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
  • Savini, F. (speaker) (2014): Lecture ‘Planning Dilemmas and political issues’, Hogeschool van Amsterdam (HvA).
  • Savini, F. (speaker) (2014): Expert at ‘Mobile Workshop Amsterdam North’, AESOP Congress University of Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands.
  • Savini, F. (keynote speaker) (2014): Keynote Strategies of Research Consortium Building, Matchmaking JPI Urban Europe Meeting (Utrecht).
  • Savini, F. (keynote speaker) (2-9-2014): Keynote on Interdisciplinary Research at SEISMiC network, SEISMIC Network Dutch inaugural workshop, Amersfoort.
  • Savini, F. (speaker) (13-4-2014): presentation matchmaking JPI, Urban Europe meeting, Utrecht.
  • Savini, F. (speaker) (2013): Lecture ‘The Public Planning Agency of ORSA in Paris Region’, Municipality of Amsterdam, Department of Spatial Planning (DRO), Amsterdam.
  • Savini, F. (speaker) (2013): Lecture: de transformatie van de stad: ruimtelijk, politiek, cultureel', Advanced Course 'Triomf van de Stad', Het Rijks Opleiding Instituut, Almere.
  • Savini, F. (speaker) (2013): Lecture ‘Urban Peripheries and Project’, Netherlands Environmental Agency (PBL) Den Haag.
  • Savini, F. (speaker) (2013): Lecture ‘Urban Governance for the City of Culture’, Municipality of Urbino, Urbino.
  • Savini, F. (speaker) (2012): Lecture ‘Dutch Key Projects and the Role of the Government’, SAPONI 3 Technical University of Zurich.
  • Savini, F. (speaker) (2012): Lecture ‘Challenges of Political Governance’, Ministry of Spatial Planning, Environment and Housing (The Hague).
  • Savini, F. (speaker) (2011): Lecture ‘Enabling Strategic Projects’, Ministry of Spatial Planning, Environment and Housing (The Hague).
  • Savini, F. (speaker) (2011): Lecture ‘Large Scale Urban Development Projects in the Periphery', Polytechnic of Milan.
  • Savini, F. (speaker) (2009): Lecture ‘New Strategies and Instruments of Communication ‘, Province of Pesaro-Urbino.


  • Salet, W.G.M. (organiser), Savini, F. (organiser) & Verschuren, San (organiser) (2016): master studio urban planning (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
  • Savini, F. (participant) (10-5-2016): Urban Debate, New urban Activism and city making (participating in a conference, workshop, ...).
  • Savini, F. (organiser), Verschuren, San (organiser) & Salet, W.G.M. (organiser) (12-1-2015): Urban Metabolism (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
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