The Research Unit LANDSCAPE and RURAL BUILDINGS (RU-TRC) investigates a complex plurality of topics, relevant issues relating to SSD AGR/10 [rural construction and agricultural and forestry territory], macro-sector 07 / C "Agricultural, forestry and biosystems engineering" (sector 07 / C1).

The research topics concern construction for agriculture, animal husbandry, protected crops, rural housing, forest and wildlife activities, conservation and processing of livestock, food and forestry products, aquaculture, management of livestock and agro-industrial wastewater; the design, functional, technical-construction, energy, environmental, safety, biomaterial aspects relating to rural constructions; the analysis and modeling of biological systems concerning rural buildings; the classification, recovery, and enhancement of the rural building heritage; the survey, representation, analysis, modeling and planning of the rural territory; the evaluation of plans and interventions on the territory and the environment; the planning, design, and recovery of rural infrastructures and the rural landscape, including green areas.

Currently, the RU is engaged in the following lines of basic and applied research:

  • Energy efficiency of buildings: passive, active solutions, energy storage;
  • Methods and tools for participatory planning;
  • Agro-forest ecosystem services concerning the urban-rural-natural gradient;
  • Remote sensing for the classification and analysis of land use and land cover;
  • Quantitative analysis, through GIS-multi-criteria systems, of the quality of the landscape;
  • Indices for assessing the quality of urban green;
  • Analysis and enhancement of the territory and landscape with particular reference to agricultural and rural resources;
  • Agriculture and sustainable development;
  • Development of dynamic simulation models of the energy behavior of rural buildings integrated with genetic optimization algorithms;
  • Design of participatory planning paths for the implementation of "River Contracts";
  • Urban green design, with particular reference to accessibility and usability, rainwater management and vertical green systems;
  • Building systems for animal husbandry and welfare;
  • Improvement interventions on the building units of livestock farms;
  • Recovery and reuse of widespread agricultural and rural building heritage;
  • Geospatial analysis systems to support decisions in the agro-environmental field.

STAFF Piero Borghi, associate professor \Scopus

David Grohmann, researcher \Scholar \Scopus

Maria Elena Menconi, researcher \Scholar \Scopus

Marco Vizzari, researcher \Scholar \Scopus


Technical and administrative staff

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PhD students

Andrea Tassi


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