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Simone Ferrari

One of the most suggestive scenes, almost apocalyptic of the story.

The city: building, microclimatic and pollution.

Every city has its historic and architectural peculiarities, but it is not only a matter of style. These peculiarities make whole regions unique and tell about the past, power relationships, and the way how societies have evolved. But palaces, buildings and city clusters, modern and less recent, do not only tell a lot about the stylistic and historical importance of urban centres, but they are also a signal of the state of health of the cities. Their shape, structure, the materials that compose the buildings and their distribution on the territory depend on two factors: the rising of temperatures and pollution of city clusters.

The cities, islands of heat.

There’s an invisible line that separates the city centre from the suburbs, the cities from the country, the inhabited places from the isolated ones. It is mainly felt in summer. To change in a clear way is not only the landscape, but also the temperature changes: the cities are warmer than the countryside, even if to separate them there are only a few kilometres. Urban agglomerations, in fact, compared to the surrounding less populated areas, are characterised by a particulate microclimate. The phenomenon that experts define as a heat island and that causes a rise in temperatures of about 5 or 6 degrees in the cities compared to the countryside. The shape of the buildings, their distribution and density are between the causes. But we must also count the widespread cement, asphalt surfaces that prevail over green areas. On top of that, there are pollutant emissions from vehicles, pollution from heating and air conditioning systems used in homes.

The pollution in the cities.

The world population is constantly growing. The migratory phenomena see a frequent shift of the people from the countryside to the cities; families migrate looking for better working and life conditions, attracted by the possibilities and services offered in a city context. Because of this trend the cities have become larger, the number of buildable areas has grown. A building typology that copes with this population increase is at the root of the pollution phenomena in the cities. The pollutants spread in the air, in fact, remain trapped in the buildings, the density of these structures, together with their shape, modifies the air flows, it hinders the recycle. Thus, the lack of ventilation hinders the dilution of the pollutants in the air that therefore remain trapped inside the cities, between palaces and buildings.

How to avoid the sixth mass extinction.

The UN declared in 2019, that man could be the cause of the sixth mass extinction. These predictions become real in the first episode of the web series. The cities, already saturated, are inhospitable environments for the man of the future. For this reason, the main characters of the story are forced to go back to the countryside where the pollution still allows the survival even if in critical conditions.

The apocalyptic story emphasizes the consequences of what might happen and provides a warning. The responsibility of change is in the man’s hands, thanks to his capability of reasoning, thanks to a process of consciousness achievable through studying and information. It is the task that society, in other words, entrusts to the future generations of architects and engineers. Inhabiting in the city will mean respecting the balances of the environment, using the knowledge on the study of air flows, to build cities that are on a human scale and of the nature that hosts him.

Discover more about The Shifters

Maria Chiara Di Guardo – pro-rector for innovation and territory, Micaela Morelli – pro-rector for research and Roberta Vanni – Director of CESAR tell the dynamics that have led to the realisation of a crossmedial project about the third mission of University of Cagliari.

Watch the project’s trailer

There’s always something fascinating behind change. An obstacle course that talks about our future. Telling the world is our mission.

The Shifters

Telling the research: out mission.

Learn more

Sustainable development: the role of the Shifters inside the community strategy.
The Shifters: changing, a UniCa mission.
Science: the taste of discovery.
A story full of science twist and turns.
Why a Third mission project.

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