We use cookies to improve your experience online. By using our website, you agree to the use of cookies as described in our cookies policy.

As restrictions ease, the number of visitors to the RA is increasing. Find out what plans are in place to make your visit safe and comfortable.

Working in the urban periphery

Renzo Piano: The Art of Making Buildings


Wednesday 19 September 2018
6.30 — 8pm

This event has now ended

See upcoming talks

Part of our

Renzo Piano

events programme
Go to exhibition page

Peripheral area in Librino, Catania, where the G124 group operates

© Gruppo G124

A debate examining the pressing issues facing the urban periphery and how alternative models might provide solutions to transform these realities.

“The great challenge of our century is to transform peripheries in urban places. It is about fertilising the peripheries so that they become cities,” – Renzo Piano Hon RA.

Since the 70s, Renzo Piano has backed social projects for UNESCO and different NGOs in which he has developed strategies and buildings to improve quality of life of people. Part of his work is devoted to examining the urban peripheries and edges where he declares is the future of cities. In 2013, Renzo Piano was appointed an Italian Senator for Life and as part of this commitment he established the G124 team which employs young architects to explore the suburbs and outskirts of Italy’s cities.

Today 90 per cent of people live in the outskirts of cities. The urban peripheries are playing an increasingly key role in the future growth and definition of cities and their rapid expansion is providing employment, recreation, affordable housing and cultural infrastructure. However, many cities produced through peripheral urbanisation and urban sprawl have presented issues around social inequality and the quality of the urban space varies considerably. What are the issues arising in the urban periphery in different geographical areas? How can these spaces be more integrated, tolerant and liveable spaces?

This debate will analyse urban periphery’s role in the understanding of the city, examining what are the challenges faced in the urban edges and how architects and thinkers are responding to them in different geographical contexts.


Massimo Alvisi - architect and co-founder of Alvisi Kirimoto + Partner, representative of Gruppo G124

Torange Khonsari - architect, director and co-founder of public works, course leader in MA Design for Cultural Commons at London Metropolitan University, visiting professor at School of Music and Drama at the Barbican

Adam Kaasa (chair) - Senior Tutor in Architecture, RCA; writer and musician with an interest in urban culture

Supported by the Italian Cultural Institute in London

● Fully booked

● Cancelled

Wednesday 19 September 2018

6.30 — 8pm

The Benjamin West Lecture Theatre, Burlington Gardens, Royal Academy of Arts

£15, £9 concessions