Letizia Chiappini

Letizia Chiappini

Teacher Creative Business
Lecturer, PhD candidate, researcher and consultant. She is currently a lecturer at the University of Applied Science in Utrecht. Letizia started her PhD trajectory focussing on social research design; qualitative and quantitative methods with a regard to digital techniques (i.e. virtual ethnography; urban governance, social innovation, smart city, maker movement, and digital platforms). She has been conducting her fieldwork in Milan and Amsterdam. She has been recently involved in the Horizon 2020, European project REFLOW, based with the Amsterdam pilot at the Waag. She is a freelance consultant for the circular economy, smart city, and digital platforms. Founder of the collective Slutty Urbanism.


Letizia Chiappini is an urban sociologist, PhD candidate with a double affiliation at the University of Milano Bicocca and Universiteit van Amsterdam. Her research revolves around the relationship between cities and technology. In her PhD project, she analysed hyped phenomena such as ‘sharing economy’ and ‘maker movement. She analysed digital platforms, by asking questions on the architecture of platforms and how this relates to the urban realm. She argues we should move beyond the simplistic view of ‘smart city, or the epitomised notion of ‘sharing economy’ and cast ;aside the motive of the ‘city as a platform, to answer the urgent question on the relationship between platforms and production of urban space. She co-edited The Production of Alternative Urban Space (2018) Routledge; Enabling Urban Alternatives (2018) Palgrave Macmillan; The Critical Makers Reader: Collaborative Learning with Technology. Institute of Network Cultures. She is a member of the Centre for Urban Studies at UvA.

In 2021, the Austrian Pavilion has invited her collective Slutty Urbanism to be part of the international exhibition La Biennale Architecture in Venice. The main topic gravitates around the concept of platform urbanism, discussing the fundamental transformation of urban space through platform technologies.

In 2020, she won the Global Digital Cultures grant with a project titled “Global Boss, Local Workers? How context influences food delivery riders’ relation to platforms (GLOBLOW)” Awarded to Letizia Chiappini and Dr Davide Beraldo. In 2019, she won the CUS seed grant for a project titled “Alternative Urban Futures - Towards a Critical Research Agenda”. Awarded to Letizia Chiappini (September 25, 2019, one day of event organised both at UvA and Pakhuis de Zwijger).

Research for her master thesis focused on smart city discourse and participatory processes in urban governance. She holds a BA in literature and philosophy (University of Parma), and a MA in sociology and social research (University of Milan-Bicocca, co-supervised with Aalborg University, Denmark).

Fields of expertise

  • Smart city, digital platforms, circular economy, sustainability
  • Policy framework, Horizon 2020 consultancy
  • Research methods
  • Collaborative Tools – blogging, manifesto writing
  • G.I.S. and Web map servers – Arcview, ArcGis, OpenMap
  • Social Network Analysis – Ucinet, Gephi
  • Statistical Analysis Software – SPSS
  • Qualitative Analysis Software – AtlasTi, Stata

Research themes

#platformisation #urbanism #methods #circular-economy #collective-writing

Project title Digital Geography, Platformisation and Alternative Urbanism Patterns.
Keywords Platform Urbanism; Urban Digital Platform, Critical Theory
Years of completion Ongoing
General project description The research project proposes the concept of ‘urban digital platform’ as a theoretical lens to analyse digital platforms oriented to support grassroots initiatives and citizen engagement. Such as civic crowdfunding and complementary welfare platforms. It is a comparative analysis based on four years of fieldwork in Milan and Amsterdam. In particular, the research project attends to the ways in which a diverse set of differentially situated urban actors are able to influence processes of policymaking in the two cities. As such the project is positioned within the broad field of urban political economy. In other ongoing projects, she investigates the maker movement, crafting, digital fabrication and making more broadly (e.g. makerspace) as an alternative mode and space of production, starting from initial empirical engagement in Milan.
Your Role in project Researcher – PhD candidate

Other recent projects

Presentations at conferences:

  • 2021: La Biennale Architecture Venice. Slutty Urbanism project. Platform Urbanism. Austrian Pavilion.
  • 2019: SPUI-25 – Amsterdam. Platform Imaginaries Rethinking Airbnb and other dominant technologies.
  • 2018: Conference - Sheffield Hallam University (UK) People, Place and Policy: Alternative urban futures for tackling social and spatial inequalities panel. Speaker.
  • 2018: Annual conference AAG – American Geographer Association (New Orleans, US) Alternative urbanisms panel. Speaker.
  • 2017: Annual conference RC21 at Leeds University (UK) Rethinking Global Urban Justice panel. Speaker.
  • 2016: Annual conference - Italian Association of Political Science (SISP) Regional studies and local policies panel. Speaker.
  • 2016: Annual conference Royal Geographical Society (RGS-Igb) - Imperial College London (UK). Nexus Thinking panel. Speaker.
  • 2015: International Conference - University of Barcelona (SP). Innovation, creativity and culture: outline of a new socio-economic post-crisis model for cities and regions panel. Speaker.
  • 2015: Annual Conference Regional Studies Association (RSA) at Piacenza Catholic University (IT). Alternative Spaces in the Urban Region: Translocal Movements & Communities in a Time of Global Growth Agendas. Panellist.
  • 2015: International Conference – Digital Polis (Paris, FR). Makers and the city, new perspectives on artisans and localised production panel. Speaker.
  • 2015: University of Monterrey – UDEM (MX). The Maker Movement: FabLab & makerspace, a comparative study across the world panel. Speaker.

Key publications

Professional publications

  • Slutty Urbanism Collective (2021) Glitches from the Pandemic. In P. Moertenboeck, H. Mooshammer (eds.) Platform Urbanism and its Discontents. Nai010 Publisher: Rotterdam.
  • Bogers, L., Chiappini, L. (Eds.) (2019) The Critical Makers Reader: (Un)learning Technology. INC Reader; No. 12. Institute of Network Cultures.
  • Chiappini, L., Anselmi, G. (2017) Molto più di un bit… La comunicazione online e offline dei makers. d’Ovidio, M., Rabbiosi, C. (eds.) Maker e Città. E-book: Fondazione Feltrinelli.
  • Anselmi, G., Chiappini, L. (2017) L’imprenditorialità diffusa del Movimento Makers: tra fiducia e reputazione. d’Ovidio, M., Rabbiosi, C. (eds.) Maker e Città. E-book: Fondazione Feltrinelli.
  • Luise, V., Chiappini, L. (2016) Sharing economy e nuove forme di precarietà: problematiche, resistenze e possibili soluzioni. Governare il processo. Futuri 8(1). Italian Institute for the Future.
  • Chiappini, L., d’Ovidio M. (2016) Il potenziale dei Makers: tra Innovazione Economica e Coesione Sociale. Bidussa D., Polizzi E. (eds.) Agenda Milano. Ricerche e pratiche per una città inclusiva. Feltrinelli: Milano, pp. 34-35.
  • Chiappini, L. (2015) Makers e Città. Rivista di cultura sociale Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli. Feltrinelli: Milano.
  • Chiappini, L. (2014) Smart City e partecipazione: un’arena inclusiva per i cittadini. Il caso di Aalborg. In EyesReg 4(4).
  • Chiappini, L., Frazzei, L. (2013) Verso il quartiere utopico. San Salvario e Quartiere Roma, due esperienze a confronto. Città in Controluce. Nuvolati G. (eds.). 23-24. Vicolo del Pavone: Piacenza.

Academic publications:

  • Chiappini, L. (2022 - forthcoming) Commonfare as Urban Digital Platform. Vignettes from Milan and Amsterdam. City, Culture, and Society.
  • Chiappini, L., de Vries, J. (2021) Civic Crowdfunding as Urban Digital Platform in Milan and Amsterdam. Don’t Take Pictures on a Rainy Day! Digital Geography and Society.
  • Anselmi, G., Chiappini, L., Prestileo, F. (2021) The greedy unicorn: Airbnb and capital concentration in 12 European cities. City, Culture, and Society.
  • Chiappini, L. (2020) The Urban Digital Platform. Instances from Milan and Amsterdam. Urban Planning 5(4).
  • Törnberg P., Chiappini L. (2020) Selling black places on Airbnb: Colonial discourse and the marketing of black communities in New York City. Environment and Planning A. 52(3), 553 – 572.
  • Chiappini, L. (2019) The Collective Turn in Finance: On Commonfare and Social Wallet in Flying Money Conference Proceedings, Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam.
  • Chiappini, L., Törnberg, P. (2018) Deus Ex-Machina: Makerspaces in Milan and their Transformative Potential. In Fisker, K.J., Chiappini, L., Pugalis, L., Bruzzese, A. (eds.) The Production of Urban Alternative: an International Dialogue. Routledge: London.
  • Fisker, K.J., Chiappini, L., Pugalis, L., Bruzzese, A. (2018) The Production of Urban Alternative: an International Dialogue. Routledge: London.
  • Fisker, K.J., Chiappini, L., Pugalis, L., Bruzzese, A. (2018) Enabling Urban Alternatives. Crises, Contestation, and Cooperation. Palgrave Macmillan: London.
  • Chiappini, L., Vicari Haddock, S. (2018) Smart City in Europa: a che punto siamo? Sperimentare e co-creare, il laboratorio urbano di Amsterdam. In Nuvolati, G. (eds.) Sviluppo urbano e politiche per la qualità della vita. Firenze University Press: Firenze.
  • Chiappini, L., Colleoni, E. (2018) Réputation ou confiance? Une étude sur les fonctions en et hors ligne du mouvement des fablabs. De Biase, A., Ottaviano, N., Zaza, O. (eds.) Digital Polis. La ville face au numérique: enjeux urbains conjugués au future. L’œil d’or: Paris.


  • 2021: BDB (BQE) Certificate – HU – Hogeschool Utrecht Basic Qualification in Teaching Competency.
  • 2018: Academic Writing Course – University of Amsterdam.
  • 2017 – ongoing: Joint PhD Programme - Univeristeit van Amsterdam (NL).
  • 2016 – ongoing: UrbEur PhD Programme – University of Milan-Bicocca (IT).
  • 2017: Summer School – Antwerp University. CityLabV: a critical approach to Smart City.
  • 2015: Summer School – University of Essex. Social Science Data Analysis. Courses: Mathematics for Social Scientists, Part 1; introduction to Social Network Analysis: Ucinet & Gephi.
  • 2012 – 2014: MSc - Master Program in Sociology and Social Research - University of Milan-Bicocca (IT), including the Exchange Program – Aalborg University (DK). (Final grade: 110/110 cum laude).
  • 2013: Intensive Programme (IP) Middle East Technical University (METU) Campus Ankara (TK). Department of City and Regional Planning, Faculty of Architecture. Spatial Development and Planning. Grant European Commission.
  • 2008 – 2012: BA - Bachelor Degree in Literature and Philosophy – University of Parma (IT). Final grade: 100/110.