Francesca Piazzoni is lecturer in Landscape and Urban Design at the School of Architecture, University of Liverpool. Her research focuses on the politics of public space, immigrant urbanisms, critical heritage, as well as the history and theory of urban design. She holds a Ph.D. in Urban Planning from the University of Southern California, a Ph.D. in Architecture and Urbanism from IUAV University of Venice, and a Master of Architecture from Sapienza University of Rome. Before joining LSA, Francesca served as a teacher and researcher at UCLA for the Urban Humanities (Mellon) Initiative in Los Angeles, at the Tongji Urban Planning and Design Institute in Shanghai, and at the Vilnius Technical University.
Francesca's latest research analyzes informal street vending in touristic Rome by combining archival and ethnographic methods. Beginning with the Jews in the late 19th century up to present-day Bangladeshi immigrants, she investigates how marginalized groups claim a Right to Difference by seeing and being seen in iconic landscapes. Drawing from the vendors' urbanisms of resistance, Francesca asks what kinds of place-shaping approaches can empower vulnerable groups to occupy, use, and be visible in the city.
Francesca's first book titled "The Real Fake: Authenticity and the Production of Space" (Fordham University Press, 2018) analyzes how ideas of "the authentic" affect the production of space while excluding vulnerable groups in Thames Town, the British-themed new town of Shanghai.