Photo of Dr Francesca Piazzoni

Dr Francesca Piazzoni Ph.D. (Planning); Ph.D. (Architecture); M.Arch.

Lecturer Architecture


Personal Statement

Francesca Piazzoni is a lecturer at the University of Liverpool, School of Architecture. Her research broadly explores how power dynamics shape and are shaped by the built environment, with a focus on public spaces, design justice, and critical heritage. Piazzoni holds a Ph.D. in Urban Planning from the University of Southern California, a Ph.D. in Architecture from IUAV University of Venice, and a Master of Architecture s.c.l. from Sapienza University of Rome.

Piazzoni's current project, funded by the RIBA Research Fund, explores older women's geographies of care in the Liverpool City Region. Previous work analyzed street vending in touristic Rome by combining archival and ethnographic methods. Beginning with Roman Jewish vendors in the late 19th century up to present-day Bangladeshi sellers, Piazzoni investigated how underprivileged groups emplace a Right to Difference by seeing and being seen in iconic landscapes.

The social and political implications of authenticity are another concern of Piazzoni's research. A licensed architect, Francesca started interrogating authenticity by practicing in China and Lithuania, an experience that prompted her to complicate Western-European constructs of "real" and "fake." Along other projects on this topic, Piazzoni's monograph titled "The Real Fake: Authenticity and the Production of Space" (Fordham University Press, 2018) analyzes how ideas of "the authentic" exclude underprivileged groups in Thames Town, the British-themed new town of Shanghai.

Before joining LSA in 2019, Francesca taught and carried out research at UCLA for the Urban Humanities Initiative, at the Tongji Urban Planning and Design Institute in Shanghai, and at the Vilnius Technical University (VGTU).

Francesca teaches Design Studios in the fourth year (M.Arch.), and lectures in urban studies at the postgraduate and undergraduate levels. She is part of the Urban Form and Social Space Research Group and co-advises Ph.D. students in Urban Studies and Landscape Architecture.


[1] monographs

Piazzoni, M. F. (2018) "The Real Fake: Authenticity and the Production of Space." New York: Fordham University Press. here

[2] Peer-reviewed Articles

Piazzoni, F. (2021) "The Other "Bangla-Town: : Marginality in the Centre of Rome." Migration Letters. 18(1), 73–83 here

Piazzoni, F. (2020) "Visibility as Justice. Immigrant Street Vendors and the Right to Difference in Rome." Journal of Planning Education and Research. here

Piazzoni, F. (2020). "What’s Wrong with Fakes? Heritage Reconstructions, Authenticity, and Democracy in Post-Disaster Contexts." International Journal of Cultural Property. here

Piazzoni M. F. & Banerjee T. (2018) "Mimicry in Urban Design. The Urban Form of Development." Journal of Urban Design. 23(4) 482-498 here

Piazzoni, M. F. (2018) "In Support of Stylistic Reconstructions: Some Thoughts on Authenticity and Justice." In C. Holtorf, L. Kealy, T. Kono eds. Reconstruction: an ICOMOS Integrating Journal p. 1-14.

Piazzoni, M. F. & Basso, M. (2017) "Shanghai, a (Self) Portrait." Journal of Architecture and Urbanism. 41 (2), 79-81here

[3] Book Chapters

Piazzoni, F.; Jamme, H.; (2020) "Private Uses Make Public Spaces. Street Vending in HCMC and Rome." In J. Ross ed. Routledge Handbook on Street Culture. London, Routledge.159-169 here

Piazzoni, M. F. (2019) "Theming as a Preservation Tool? On the Authenticity of Thames Town, the English Village of Shanghai." In V. Bharne & T. Sandmeier. Routledge Companion of Global Heritage Conservation. New York and London:
Routledge. here

Piazzoni, M. F. (2018) "Authenticity Makes the City. How "the Authentic" Affects the Production of Space." In L. Tate & B. Shannon Planning for Authenticities, New York and London: Routledge. 154-169. here

[4] Essays and Commentaries

Piazzoni, F. (2021) Review of "Fake Heritage: Why We Rebuild Monuments," by John Darlington, Yale University Press. on New Futures for Replicas here

Piazzoni, F. (2020) What Authenticity Does: On Fake Places and Real Emotions. Anima Loci: Journal of Images in Places [here]

Sandercock, L; Piazzoni, M.F. (2018) "Interview with Leonie Sandercock." Journal of Critical Planning, 23. 281-287 here

Maceratini E. & Piazzoni, M. F. (2012) Una Giornata a Corte, un Primo Passo Verso lo Spazio Pubblico Urbanistica 28 (3). 30-33