Chiara Certomà


Chiara Certomà is currently on leave at the Centre for Sustainable Development, Ghent University where she has been awarded a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships for the project "Crowdsourcing Urban Sustainability Governance. Exploring innovative governance models for addressing urban sustainability through ICT-people interaction”.

At Sant'Anna School, Chiara is Research Fellow at the Dirpolis Institute – CDG Lab, and the Institute of Management – SUM Lab, working on  governance and planning  for sustainable cities and communities. She is  adjunct professor in Cultural Geography  at the Department of Science for Peace – University of Pisa, and in Development Studies at Scuola Sant’Anna. She obtained the italian professorship habilitation in Geography (sector 11/B1) in 2017.

Since january 2016, she serves as Director of the IRTA Leonardo – Research Institute on Territory and Environment, an interdepartmental research center supported by the University of Pisa and the Scuola Sant’Anna. Chiara is is Alumna of the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, LMU, Munich and  Senior Research Fellow of the  Earth System Governance Research Network, Lund University, and collaborates  as Affiliate member with the Open Space Research Centre at The Open University, Milton Keynes.

She holds a degree in Philosophy of Science from the University of Rome “La Sapienza” (2003); a Master in Environmental Communication from the University of Pisa – Human and Environmental Sciences Department (2004); and a PhD in Political Science from the Scuola Sant’Anna (2009).

She has been invited guest professor on Spatial and Environmental Justice and Urban Gardens Planning at the BOKU University of Vienna (2016); and visiting researcher at The Open University – Geography Department, UK (2007), at the Universitè Paris “La Sorbonne” – SciencePo, France (2011), at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, LMU, Germany (2012) and at the Department of Architecture and Urban Planning, Ghent University, Belgium (2013).

Chiara has been Post-doc Research Fellow (2010-2013) and Research Fellow in environmental politics at the Scuola Sant’Anna (2009); Research Fellow in rural development at the Department of Economics, University of Pisa (2005); and Research Assistant in urban environmental sustainability at the Province of Rome (2005).

She served as consultant and worked as internal with environmental NGOs (Legambiente, Greenpeace, ASud and Fondazione dei Diritti Genetici) and the National Institute of Statistics, Structural Business Statistics Dep. (2010-2012).


Principal research topics include: the politics of space and place; the social understanding of nature and technology (including current developments in environmental theory); the effects of informal urban planning practices, and the role of new ICTs in urban sustainability governance. From a methodological point of view Chiara works on Material Semiotic and Participatory science & politics approaches (particularly Action Research).

Chiara’s research interest lies at the junction of the two macro areas of Science, Society & Technology studies and Space, Society & the Environment. She is interested in innovative modes of geographical production, planning and governance performed by heterogeneous, multilayered and multiscalar networks. Key questions refer to how these networks assemble and negotiate socio-environmental issues, and how the material and semiotic implications of their agency is brought to the public fore.

Ongoing projects
"The Politics of Urban Climate Futures: Increasing Agency and Contested Empowerment" (scroll down the page)

 "Giustizia spaziale, conflitti ambientali e loro rappresentazione" XXXII Congresso Geografico Italiano

 "Making Injustice visible: cross-disciplinary representational techniques and processes of Spatial & Environmental Injustice and Environmental Conflicts" RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2017



2017 Development Studies: Environmental Justice, Conflicts and the Political Ecology of Development, Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa

2016/17 Environment and Society - Cultural Geography, Science for Peace Dep., MA course, University of Pisa

2016 Global Aspects of Landscape Planning, BOKU University, MA course Vienna

2015/16 Environment and Society - Cultural Geography, Science for Peace Dep., MA course, University of Pisa

2014/15 Environment and Society - Cultural Geography,  Science for Peace Dep., MA course, University of Pisa

2013/14  Cultural Geography, Science for Peace Dep., University of Pisa

2012 Introduction to Environmental Sustainability, PhD course, Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa

2011 Foundamentals of Environmental Sustainability, PhD course, Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa




(2017) Citizen Empowerment and Innovation in the Data-Rich City (edited with M. Dyer, F. Rizzi and L.Pocatilu) Spinger, New York

(2016) Postenvironmentalism. A material semiotic perspective on living spaces, Palgrave Macmillan, New York

(2014) Chianti Experiences. Turning a post-rural place into a listening territory, ETS, Pisa

(2012) The Politics of Space and Place:  Exclusions, Resistance and Alternatives (edited with N. Clewer and D. Elsey), Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne

(2012) Laura Conti. Alle radici dell’ecologia, Edizioni e Ambiente, Milano

Peer-reviewed journal articles

(2017) (with M.Dyer, F.Corsini) "Making urban design a public participatory goal. Explorations toward evidence-based urbanism", Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Urban Design and Planning, doi 10.1680/jurdp.16.00038

(2017) (with B. Notteboom) "Hybrid planning in a transactive governmentality. Re-reading informal planning practices through Ghent's community gardens, Planning Theory

(2016) ""A new season for planning". Urban Gardening as Informal Planning in Rome", Geografiska Annaler B

(2015) (with C. Tornaghi) “Political gardening. Transforming cities and political agency”, Local Environment 20/10  (editorial)

(2015) (with F. Corsini, F. Rizzi) "Crowdsourcing urban sustainability. Data, people and technologies in participatory governance" , Futures, doi:10.1016/j.futures.2014.11.006    (slides)

(2014) "Expanding the ‘dark side of planning’. Biopolitics and governmentality in public garden planning”, Planning Theory

(2012) “Biopolitica dello spazio. Popolazione, potere, luoghi”, Journal of the Société internationale d'ethnographie, 1

(2011) “Critical Urban Gardening as Post-Environmentalis practice”, Local Environment, 16/1

(2011) “Standing-up vineyards. The political relevance of Tuscan wine production”, Environment and Planning D, 29

 (2010) Ecologia, la creazione di una scienza”, Physis. Rivista internazionale di storia della scienza, vol.XLV, 1-2/08

(2010) “Spazi locali, luoghi globali: geometrie di potere nella post-modernità”, Sviluppo locale, XIV, 34/1

(2009) “Environmental Politics and place authenticity protection”, Environmental Values, 18/3

(2007) Generazioni future e questioni ambientali”, Filosofia e Questioni Pubbliche, 1/07, XII

 (2006) “Ecology, Environmentalism and System Theory”, Kybernetes. The International Journal of Systems and Cybernetics, 35/6

Book Chapters

(2017) (with F. Rizzi) “Crowdsourcing process for citizen-driven governance ” in C.Certomà, M. Dyer, F. Rizzi and L.Pocatilu Citizen Empowerment and Innovation in the Data-Rich City, Spinger, New York

(2015) (with B. Ioannou, N. Morán, M. Sondermann and M. Hardman) Grassroots Gardening Movements: Towards Cooperative Forms of Green Urban Development?  in S. Bell, R. Fox-Kamper, N. Keshavarz, M. Benson, S.Caputo, S. Noori, A. Voigt (eds.) Urban Allotment Gardens in Europe, Routledge

(2015) (with M.Pimbert) "Crowdsourcing and Action Research. Fostering people’s participation in research through digital media" in H.Bradbury-Huang (ed.) Handbook of Action Research (4th edition), Sage, New York

(2015) "Critical Urban Gardening", in Pimbert M.,  Shindelar R. and  Schösler H.(eds.), "Think Global, Eat Local: Exploring Foodways," RCC Perspectives 2015, n. 1

(2014) “Post-environmentalism” in A. Orsini, J. Morin (eds.) Companion to Global Environmental Governance, Routledge, London

(2013) “Spazio post-globale” in S.Gianfaldoni (ed.) Lessico interculturale, Franco Angeli, Milano

(2013) “Identità locale” in S.Gianfaldoni (ed.) Lessico interculturale, Franco Angeli, Milano

(2013) “On the possibility of values translation in the global world”, in A. Loretoni, J. Pauchard and A. Pirni (eds.), Questioning Universalism. Western and New Confucianist Conceptions and Their Implications, ETS, Pisa

(2013) (with B. Henry) “Social Sciences as Sciences and Hermeneutics” , in A. Loretoni, J. Pauchard and A. Pirni (eds.), Questioning Universalism. Western and New Confucianist Conceptions and Their Implications, ETS, Pisa

(2012) “Non-extractive policies as a main road to Environmental Justice? The case of the Yasunì Park in Ecuador” (with L. Greyl), in Haarstad H.(ed.) New Political Spaces in Latin American Natural Resource Governance, Palmgrave Macmillan

(2012) Exploring the crisis of contemporary environmental politics”, in W. Jackson, B. Jeffery, M. Marino and T. Sykes (eds) Crisis, Rupture and Anxiety: An Interdiciplinary, Examination of Historical and Contemporary Human Challenges, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne

(2012) “The death of Environmentalism”, in P. Robbins, J. Newman, J. G. Golson (eds) Green Series Volume 8: Green Ethics and Philosophy, SAGE Publications, Thousand Oaks

(2011) “The evaluation of sustainability of organic farms in Tuscany”, with P. Migliorini, in Gökcekus H., Türker Umut T., LaMoreaux J.W. (eds.) Environment: Survival and Sustainibility, Springer, New York, NY

(2009) “Human Rights” in Fagan G. H., Munck R. (eds.), Globalisation and Security - An Encyclopaedia, Westport, Greenwood Publishing Group, Praeger Press, Santa Barbara

(2009) “Produzione alimentare e identità del territorio”, in Cristiani E., Massart A. (eds.), Prodotti tipici e turismo sostenibile come strumento di sviluppo del territorio, ETS, Pisa

(2008) “Authentic Place, Local Identities and Environmental Discourses”, in Hillerbrand R.C. and Karlsson R. (eds.), Beyond the Global Village. Environmental Challenges inspiring Global Citizenship, The Interdisciplinary Press, Oxford

(2005) “Valutare l’agricoltura sociale”, in Noferi M. (ed.), Agricoltura sociale e agricoltura di comunità, Arsia - Regional Agriculture Office of Tuscany, Firenze

(2005) “La tela di Penelope”, introduzione a Imprenditrici by Foschi A.D., Edizioni Camera di Commercio di Livorno


(2014) Brunello di Montalcino. Understanding and appreciating one of Italy’s greatest wines by K O’Keefe, in  Journal of Wine Research, 4

(2011) Radical Gadening. Politics, Idealism and Rebellion in the garden, by McKay G., in New Formations , 75

(2010), Diritti al cibo! Agricoltura sapiens e governance alimentare, by Colombo L., Onorati A., in Il Pensiero Economico Italiano, Anno XVII/2

(2007) Time Strategies, Innovation and Environmental Policy, by Sartorius C. and Zundel S., in Environmental Politics, Univ. of Edinburgh, 16/4

(2007) Nature Knowledge, by Sanga G., Ortalli G., in Environmental Politics, 16/3

(2005) Ambiente, Società, Sviluppo, by L. Iacoponi, in Il Pensiero Economico Italiano, XXIII/1

(2004) Storie di femministe. Filosofe rumorose, by Giuliani F., Pasquino M., Fortuna S., in Kainos. Rivista on-line di critica filosofica

Academic and Institutional journal articles

(2016) (with M. Frey) "Governance fluida, pianificazione informale e nuove forme di resilienza urbana” , Sentieri Urbani, 20

(2015)  “Informal planning: a new approach to participatory transformation of public space?”, Memorie della Società di Studi Geografici - Rivista Geografica Italiana, Firenze University Press

(2013) “Orti urbani, giardini condivisi, guerrilla gardening: l’impegno della società civile nella costruzione partecipata dello spazio pubblico”, Rivista di Diritto Agrario, n.4/2012

 (2013) “Giustizia spaziale e giustizia ambientale. Una lettura spaziale della disuguaglianza sociale”, Post, 3

(2012) “Prima che Politica muoia? Crisi e trasformazione del pensiero ambientale contemporaneo”, Prometeo 118

(2012) “The political to come. Notes on the transformation of the public space in the late globalization”, Bollettino Telematico di Filosofia Politica

 (2010) “Diritto al cibo, sicurezza alimentare e sovranità alimentare”, Rivista di Diritto Alimentare, IV/ 2

(2009) “Being globally local: power-geometries in post-global space”, Bollettino Telematico di Filosofia Politica

 (2008) “Costruire roccaforti, costruire incontri: sulla retorica dell’autenticità dei luoghi”, Gazzetta Ambiente, 3

 (2008) “Da Kant alla hybrid geography: luoghi authentici e viaggi di scoperta”, Philosophema , 4

 (2007) “Acqua pubblica o acqua privata?”, Gazzetta Ambiente, 4

 (2007) “Privatizzazione o (ri)pubblicizzazione? Il dibattito internazionale sulla gestione delle risorse idriche”, Locus, 6

 (2007) “Ecofemminismo: una presentazione critica”, DonnaWomanFemme n.1/73

 (2007) “Acqua: dalla desacralizzazione alla privatizzazione”, Economia e Ambiente, 1-2

 (2007) “Dagli equilibri naturali all’ipotesi Gaia”, Parchi, 52

 (2005) “Valutare l’agricoltura sociale”, in Noferi M. (ed.), Agricoltura sociale e agricoltura di comunità, Arsia, Firenze

 (2005) “Debito Ecologico e Sociale: un nuovo  modo di leggere il mondo”(with Orsini M.), Gazzetta ambiente, 4

 (2004) Per un’economia dei diritti”, Regioni e Ambiente, 6

 (2003/4) (with Greco L.) “Pagamento in natura”, Semi. Agricolture, risorse, territori, XIV/3-4

 (2003) “La nascita dell’ecologismo scientifico”, Il Pensiero Economico Moderno, XXIII/1-2

 (2003) “Ecologia, ecologismo e teoria dei sistemi”, Economia e ambiente, 22/3

 (2003) “Suggestioni dall’ecologismo contemporaneo”, Studi economici e sociali, 38/2

 (2003) “Un percorso del pensiero ecologico”, Philosophema, 1-2

Conference Proceedings

(2013) (with F. Corsini, F. Rizzi) "Crowdsourcing urban sustainability. Data, people and technologies in participatory governance", 8th Conference on Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems
(2012) “Sulla retorica del locale”, in E. Cristiani, G. Strambi (eds.), Regole delle produzioni locali e mercato globale,  ETS, Pisa

(2011), “Some philosophical issues on the European Convention on Landscape”, Living Landscape, vol II, UNISCAPE Publications, Bandecchi e Vivaldi Editori, Pontedera

(2011) “Riflettendo sul Paesaggio. Brevi considerazioni su territorio, appartenenza e cambiamento”, in Cristiani E., Alabrese M., Strambi G., (eds.), La convenzione Europea del Paesaggio nel decennale della sua approvazione, ETS, Pisa

(2010) “Territori e produzioni alimentari tra locale e globale”, in Pellecchia E. (eds), Cibo e Conflitti, Plus-Pisa University Press

(2005) “Sale su Cartagine: guerra e ambiente”, in Pellecchia E., Consorti P. (eds.), Diritti, tolleranza, memoria. Una città per la Pace, Plus-Pisa University Press

Edited special issues

(forth.)  (with C. Tornaghi) “Political gardening”, Local Environment 20/10

(2009) Tutela dell’ambiente tra scienza e società, Quaderni di Locus n.3 (with E.Cristiani) , Felici Editore, Pisa

(2009) “Pontedera”, Locus, n. 12 ( with R. Ciuti and B. Leoni), Felici Editore, Pisa

(2009) “Il Parco, i parchi”, Locus, n. 13/14 ( with R. Pazzagli), Felici Editore, Pisa


(2015) (with M.Frey, N.Gusmerrotti, M.Macellari) "Making the case. Business, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services as tool for change", Global Compact Network Italia

(2014) "Verso un'interpretazione inclusiva della Sicurezza Urbana. Analisi delle tendenze internazionali e del lavoro dell’Osservatorio per la Sicurezza Urbana della Provincia di Pisa" (con M. Battaglia, F. Biondi Dal Monte, E. Passetti), Provincia di Pisa

(2013) "Wine Experience. Social Mapping Wine Tourism", Great Wine Capitals - International Research Grant 2012-13 (GWC 2013 Laureats presentation) - research geo-blog:  "Chianti Experiences. Unconventional notes on people's encounters with wine and place"

(2013) "Digging  deep corporate liability. Environmental Justice strategies in the world of oil" (with Greyl, L.,Ojo, G. U., William S., Greco, L., Ogbara, N. Ohw ojeheri, A.), EJOLT- Environmental justice organisations, liability and trade project, FP/7

(2006), “Sostenibilità sociale e sostenibilità ambientale. Un’opportunità di sviluppo rurale per la Toscana”, Arsia – Regione Toscana

Other publications

(2015) (with F. Rizzi) "Smart Cities for Smart Citizens: Enabling Urban Transitions through Crowdsourcing", Urbanisation and Global Environmental Change -UGEG Viewpoints blog, IHDP

(2010) “Riprendiamo il filo”, La Nuova Ecologia, march

(2009) Notes on the History of Ecology, Villaggio Globale on line

(2006) “Campi di battaglia”, Filosofia ambientale

(2005) “Darwin e noi”, La Nuova Ecologia, nov.

(2004) “Grano o grane. Prevenire il frumento transgenico”, section "Narrazioni", Fondazione dei Diritti Genetici

(2003) “Conversazione con Serge Latouche. Immaginare il dopo-sviluppo”, Villaggio globale online

(2001) “Dall’ecofemminismo all’etica dell’ambiente”, Filosofia ambientale


Audio and Video outputs

"Critical Urban Gardening", RCC media, 17 september 2012, CLICK

"Chianti Experiences with Chiara Certomà", How to tour Italy Blogradio, 20 july 2013 CLICK

“Orti urbani, giardini condivisi e guerrilla gardening: nuove forme di pianificazione urbana condivisa", Sant’Anna Science Cafè, Pisa, 21 june 2012 CLICK

“Il filo di Arianna”, Legambiente, Roma, 28 january 2010 CLICK



"Art and Politics Program", Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies

"Tourism and Heritage Uses of the Mediterranean Coast Adjacent to Risk Industry" (THUMCARI), Laboratoire méditerranéen de sociologie, CNRS

"La Regione Toscana verso Expo2015", Toscana Promozione - Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies

"Urban gardening and socio-political commitment in mid-cities. The case of Ghent" in COST Action TU 1201 "Urban Allotment Gardens"

"Gardening Rome. Exploring public space transformation from the accidental city to informal planning practices" in COST Action TU 1201 "Urban Allotment Gardens"

"Ejolt- Environmental Justice Organizations, Liabilities and Trade", FP7 project. ASud. Ecology and Cooperation team

"Corporate social responsibility & Human Rights", University of Pisa, Dep. of Economics and Management



Roberto Sciarelli,“From grassroots environmental conflicts to international organizations: the introduction of Environmental Human Rights and the issue of their effective application”, MA, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna

Roberto Sciarelli, "Environmental human rights: exploring the relationship between international organizations, social activism and transnational corporations", MA, University of Florence

Myriam Bartolucci "I conflitti ambientali come forma di percezione e azione territoriale. Il caso toscano dell’ estrazione del marmo della Alpi Apuane, nella provincia di Massa Carrara", MA, Science for Peace- University of Pisa

Elisa Grandi, "‘Identity matters’. What about identity in territorial transition: challenges for local and regional development and planning. ‘Still’ or ‘steel’ identity in Piombino and Val di Cornia?", PhD, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna

Roberto Sciarelli "Defending Middle-sea. The geopolitical scope of environmental conflicts", BA, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna

Roberto Sciarelli " Teoria della lotta di classe ed ecologia politica a confronto nell'interpretazione dei conflitti ambientali. Il caso dei Murati Vivi", BA Political Sciences, University of Pisa


Current affiliations

2015 Advisor Corporate Social Responsibility and Human Rights Project, University of Pisa

2015 Affiliate member Open Space Research Centre, The Open University

2014 Fellow Earth System Governance Network, Lund University

2014 Consultants network IRPET

2012 Alumna, Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, LMU, Munich

2012 Editorial board of “Political Theory, Culture and Social Critic” book series, Pensa Multimedia

2003 ASud. Ecologia e Cooperazione




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