Dr. Deni Ruggeri Leads Students on a Masterplan Project in Italy

Perspective image depicting part of the masterplan design

August 1, 2022

This summer, a group of UMD Landscape Architecture students have taken on an impressive planning project in Castel Cerreto, a small village making up a fraction of the Italian municipality of Treviglio. It is a predominantly agricultural center immersed in the countryside, and has approximately 380 inhabitants.

Dr. Deni Ruggeri, an Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Maryland, College Park whose research focuses on social and psychological dimensions of landscape architecture and urban design, participatory design, and urban green infrastructure, has taken the lead on this project in tandem with the designer Marco Vanoli. Aligning with Dr. Ruggeri’s research interests, the students have been tasked with designing, organizing and presenting a social masterplan in the form of a document that strategically addresses the future of the territory from the perspective of sociality. 

On June 25th at the “Giuliano Donato Petteni” multifunctional center, the social Masterplan was presented to enhance the small village of Castel Cerreto. The presentation examined a development of the district with respect to its history of agriculture and high value on social welcome and hospitality. Dr. Deni Ruggeri explains that the Masterplan takes into account the new emerging needs of the inhabitants of the small hamlet and of the new needs of living and the need to maintain a connection with the surrounding environment."  

Gabriele Riva, director of the Educational Institutes Foundation of Bergamo and owner of the Cerreto area states:

“The social development of Castel Cerreto, an area of ​​which the Foundation is the owner, has been and will be possible thanks to the virtuous synergy between those who are attentive to the needs of the territory, which has always been a precursor in many initiatives to focus on the needy. The projects launched over time in Cerreto such as the Agricultural Colony of the early 1900s, the Società dei Probi Contadini, the Castel Cerreto Cooperative, the Fraternity Association and the School for Working in the agri-food sector, testify to the implementation of the values ​​of cooperation, attention to the education and training of the youngest, care for the environment and love for the land. I am sure that the masterplan will give answers to the social needs of the hamlet, keeping intact the nature of Cerreto as a solidarity neighborhood." 

During the research phase of the Masterplan, the students conducted “remote” mapping of the hamlet of Cerreto including its services and commercial activities in order to analyze possible social interactions to include within the development plan. Excitingly, these students will also be spending two weeks in Castel Cerreto to begin the preparatory work for the implementation of the social activities of the place.