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 explores the politics of public space with a focus on design justice, insurgent urbanisms, 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.

Francesca's work broadly investigates how design processes can help empower marginalized groups to occupy, use, and produce the city. Her current project 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 Jewish vendors in the late 19th century up to present-day Bangladeshi sellers, Piazzoni invstigated how marginalized groups emplace a Right to Difference by seeing and being seen in iconic landscapes.

Another strand of Piazzoni's research examines the social and political implications of authenticity. A licensed architect, Francesca started interrogating authenticity by practicing in China, Lithuania, and Italy, an experience that prompted her to complicate Western-European constructs of "real" and "fake." Along other projects on this topic, Piazzoni's first book 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.



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


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

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

Non-peer Reviewed

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