TAU-Lab Meets

TAU-Lab Meets are colloquium-style sessions where the members of the Transnational Architecture and Urbanism Lab research unit and other invited speakers present their recent and ongoing work as well as workshop their research ideas, projects, methods, and publications with the others. It involves PhD students and Post-Doc researchers not only during the sessions as presenters and discussants, but also as active organizing members.

The sessions are both in person, at Politecnico di Milano DAStU, and online. This facilitates the participation of scholars and allows for a wider set of meetings during the year. The sessions are free of charge and open to scholars and experts who request to join, by sending an email to zachary.jones@polimi.it



Thursday, November 18, 2021, from 17 to 19 CET (Davide Ponzini, Politecnico di Milano)Thursday, December 2, 2021, 13 to 15 CET (Yiqing Zhao, Xi’an Jiaotong University)Thursday, December 16, 2021 from 17 to 19 CET (Zachary M. Jones, Politecnico di Milano)
Thursday, January 13, 2022, from 17 to 19 CET (Stefano Di Vita, Politecnico di Milano) 
Monday,  January 31, 2022, from 15 to 17 CET (research project presentations by PhD students)
Monday,  February 14, 2022, from 15 to 17 CET (research project presentations by PhD students)
Tuesday,  March 8, 2022, from 17 to 19 CET (Francesco Chiodelli, University of Turin)
Friday,  March 25, 2022, from 10 to 13 CET (David Gogishvili and Martin Müller, University of Lausanne)
Tuesday, March 29, 2022, from 17 to 19 CET (Nadia Alaily-Mattar, TU Munich) 
Tuesday, April 12, 2022, from 17 to 19 CET (presentations by PhD students) 
Tuesday, April 26, 2022, from 17 to 19 CET (Giulio Verdini, Westminster University)
Friday, December 2, 2022, from 14 to 16 CET (presentations by PhD students) 
Thursday, March 30, 2023 from 11:30 to 13 CET (Sven Daniel Wolfe, ETH Zurich)
Thursday, April 20, 2023 from 11:00 to 12:30 CET (Bipashyee Ghosh, University of Sussex)
Thursday, April 27, 2023 from 11:30 to 13:00 CET (Federico Cugurullo, Trinity College Dublin)
Thursday, May 4, 2023 from 14:30 to 16:00 CET (Jonathan Metzger, KTH – Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan) 
Tuesday, June 6, 2023 from 12:00 to 13:30 CET (Xiahong Hua, Tongji University Shanghai)


Webinar: Mega-events in heritage rich cities

On July 8, 2021 (starting at 11:00 CET), the “Mega-events in heritage-rich cities: From research to principles and policy recommendations” online conference will launch the Charter for Mega-events in Heritage-rich Cities


The webinar will introduce and launch the “Charter for Mega-events in Heritage-rich Cities”. During the sessions, leading international experts and policy-makers will discuss the current and future challenges regarding mega-events, heritage and the city.

Contact: zachary.jones@polimi.it

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Seminar Series – Mega-events and the City

Mega-events have long been synonymous with the creation of mass investments in iconic venues, new infrastructures and large development schemes. Yet many cities have come to question this model, either by rejecting mega-events altogether or instead seeking smaller, less expensive and more sustainable models. The last several bidding cycles for the Olympic Games in particular have seen many candidate cities abruptly cancel their bids, leading to the unprecedented move of both the 2024 and 2028 Games being awarded simultaneously. In particular, the plans for the upcoming Paris 2024 and Milan-Cortina 2026 Olympic Games clearly demonstrates a change in thinking and approach to hosting mega-events as both events will largely utilize existing venues while also involving heritage sites in varying ways. At the same time, cultural mega-events, like the European Capital of Culture program, have become increasingly popular in recent years. Though comparatively smaller in size and budget, such events also have come to have an important impact on the infrastructure, urban fabric and promoted image and development of these cities.

In this context, the ”Mega-events and the City” series draws on multiple kinds of mega-events, their similarities and differences to pinpoint which lessons and learning can be translated among different experiences and how the plans for the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Olympics as well as others may benefit from the past cases. The seminars will be clustered to investigate 3 specific perspectives:
– Urban governance and legacy
– Cultural heritage and landscape
– Urban regions and networks


Click here to watch: Mega-events and the City: An introduction

with Davide Ponzini, Zachary Jones,Nicole De Togni and Stefano Di Vita (Politecnico di Milano)




April 21, 2020

Mega-events and cultural policy: Urban effects, legacies and governance [Click here to watch]

with Franco Bianchini (University of Hull)


April 28, 2020

Effects of Turku 2011 European Capital of Culture: A long-term perspective [Click here to watch]

with Sampo Ruoppila (University of Turku)


May 5, 2020

Liverpool 2008-2018: The impacts of the European Capital of Culture  [Click here to watch]

with Beatriz García (University of Liverpool).


May 12, 2020

The (un)sustainability of the Summer Olympic Games  [Click here to watch]

with Eva Kassens-Noor (Michigan State University)


May 19, 2020

Dubai’s urban and regional development and the 2020 Expo project [Click here to watch]

with Khaled Alawadi (Khalifa University)


May 26, 2020

How (un)sustainable are the Winter Olympic Games? From Salt Lake 2002 to Sochi 2014 and beyond [Click here to watch]

with Martin Müller (University of Lausanne).



The video of each seminar will be posted online the day prior on this webpage, with a live online discussion taking place at 17.00
Please request access to the online discussion by sending an email to: zachary.jones@polimi.it; nicole.detogni@polimi.it

Click here to download the seminar series poster


With support from DAStU, JPICH HOMEE Project, Urban Center Milano, Triennale Milano

SEMINAR SERIES “Cultural Mega-events and Urban Heritage: Threats and Opportunities for European Cities”

Place and Dates

Politecnico di Milano, Leanardo Campus in Milan

Wednesdays at 4.30pm from the 20th of March until April 17th 2019


In recent years, mega-events have begun to lose their appeal in Western cities and are increasingly encountering resistance. In response, their programming is changing the way they relate to the city, to reduce costs and better facilitate the management of the event’s legacy. This has included re-using existing infrastructures and intervening in historic places rather than creating large platforms on the outskirts. In Europe, this can expose cities and their cultural heritage to new risks, particularly in the most fragile territorial and cultural contexts. At the same time, the presence of major events can also serve as an opportunity for the enhancement of heritage and for the development of the city.


The seminar series “Cultural Mega-events and Urban Heritage” invites international experts to explore this controversial topic for the first time through examples of mega-cultural events (such as the European Capital of Culture of Wroclaw 2016, Pafos 2017 and Matera 2019).

20 March 2019, 16:30, room GAMMA

Sampo Ruoppila (University of Turku): “Effects of Turku 2011 European Capital of Culture: a long-term perspective”


27 March 2019, 16:30, room S1.4

Enrico Tommarchi (University of Hull): “Mega-events and heritage: learning, legacies and the urban space in the case of Hull UK City of Culture 2017”


3 April 2019, 16:30, room GAMMA

Evanthia Dova (Neapolis University Pafos): “Fast Events and Slow Heritage: The case of Pafos 2017 European Capital of Culture”


10 April, 16:30, room GAMMA

Mariavaleria Mininni (Università della Basilicata): “Matera-Basilicata 2019: Events, heritage and ongoing analysis of their urban effects”


17 April 2019,16:30, room GAMMA

Jacek Purchla (International Cultural Center): “The Politics of Heritage and the Urban Economy of Mega-events: Kraków 2000 and Wroclaw 2016 two Polish European Capitals of Culture contrasted”


Full program available here


All seminars took place at Politecnico di Milano, Leonardo Campus in Milan and were supported by the DAStU Department, the JPICH HOMEE project, and the Dipartimento di Eccellenza program.


Contacts and information:

nicole.detogni@polimi.it  zachary.jones@polimi.it


Place and Date

Politecnico di Milano – Aula Gamma, March 6, 2019


Harvey Molotch, New York University

Davide Ponzini, Politecnico di Milano



Yasser Elsheshtawy (Columbia University)

Carolina Pacchi (Politecnico di Milano)

Valeria Talbot (ISPI – Istituto per gli Studi di Politica Internazionale)

Serena Vicari (University of Milan Bicocca)



Stefano Moroni (Politecnico di Milano)