Department of Civil, Environmental and Architecture Engineering

Chiara Garau is an associate professor in Urban and Regional Planning) at the DICAAR (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Architecture) of the University of Cagliari, Italy.
She obtained the national scientific qualification as Full Professor (June 2021) for the Scientific Sector ICAR/20 (Urban and Regional Planning).

She is graduated in Architectural Engineering (2003) and in Communication Science (2013) both with 110/110 summa cum laude (equivalent to First class honours). Since then, she has actively continued post-graduate research, holding a II level University Master Degree in Business Intelligence (December 2005), and a PhD in Land Engineering and Urban Planning (January 2008).

From 2012 to 2015, she was an honorary fellow in the Scientific Disciplinary Sector ICAR/20 (Urban and Regional Planning). She was a member of the scientific and organizing committee of the YA AESOP (Young Academics - Association of European Schools of Planning [2011 -2013]); she was a scientific and technical adviser to Observatory Smart Cities of Rome (2013-2014) and she held several postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Cagliari (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Architecture-DICAAR).

She was also selected by Regional Studies Association (RSA) and by the Committee of the Regions (CoR) to be part of the OPEN DAYS 2014 UNIVERSITY MASTER CLASS (ODU-MC)  on EU cohesion policy.

In June 2015 she obtained the Best paper award at ICCSA 2015 with the manuscript entitled "Benchmarking Smart Urban Mobility: A Study on Italian Cities", co-authored with Francesco Pinna, and Francesca Masala.

She was also selected as an international scientist by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) to be part of the programme “Science Tour 2016: City of the Future – Research for Sustainable Urban Development” (Germany, 31 January-5 February 2016).
In May 2019 she was recognised as a high-level academic by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy and she was selected by the European Community to be part - the only representative for Italy - of the project evaluation jury RegioStars 2019 together with great experts and academics in the field of smart cities.
She was visiting professor at: 1) the Centre for Advanced Studies in Urban Science and Design (CASUS) research centre, at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands (From August 2020 to October 2020); 2) the Geography Department of Trinity College Dublin in Ireland (May 2022); 3) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban in South Africa (July 2022); and 4) at the ThéMA research center of the Université de Franche-Comté in Besançon in France (September 2023).

She was the Coordinator of the PhD course “Smart and Sustainable Cities, started in the first semester of 2020/2021) and offered periodically in the following years with the 2nd and 3rd editions, within the Doctorate in Civil Engineering and Architecture of the University of Cagliari.
From 10 June 2020 to 10 July 2020 she was Lecturer for 20 hours in the Globalization Studio ARO400-401 course “Greater Bay Area 2030+ Ecologies and Projections” course coordinator Diego Andres Sepulveda Carmona. The course was developed in collaboration with the Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Architecture and the Urban Environment, Department of Urbanism; The Polythecnic University of Hong Kong PolyU Design; and supported by the International Forum of Urbanism [IFoU].
In June 2021, she was member of the scientific and organizing committee of the 1st International Space Syntax PhD Conference, at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences.
In December 2021 and December 2022, she was invited among world-renowned scholars to the "Nobel X Conference in Urbanism - Smart Mobility & Urban Analytics", at the Department of Civil Engineering and Energy Technology of the Oslo Metropolitan University (among the well-known scholars: Peter Nijkamp, Michael Batty, Itzhak Benenson, Aura Reggiani, Nicos Komninos, Beniamino Murgante, Michael Mehaffy, Valerio Cutini, Nikos Salingaros, Akkelies van Nes, Chiara Garau, Karima Kourtit, and many others).

In January 2023, she was invited by the Shenzhen Talent Institute to the Global Conference on Regional Development, for presenting "A Smart Urban Planning Model to Optimize the Social and Spatial Capital of Regional Internal Areas" (Among the well-known scholars of global renown were present: Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, Peter Nijkamp, Karima Kourtit, Saskia Sassen, Andrea Caragliu, Michael Porter, Michael Storper, Edward Glaeser, Roberta Capello, Denise Pumain, NIcos Komninos, Dani Broitman, Zeynep Elburz, Chiara Garau and many others).
Currently, she is guest editor of the following special issues: Smart Cities 3.0: Citizens, Space and Sustainable Mobility for the Future City in Sustainability; Technologies and Humanities for Smart Cities in Urban Science; “Paving the way towards the development of a smart and blue city – Policies and Practices” in Journal of Urban Planning and Development; "Landscape Planning and Management in Europe: Methods, Tools and Approaches" in Sustainability.
Currently, she is also a member of the scientific and/or organisational international committee of the following scientific communities:

  1. ICCSA;
  2. Smart blue cities,;
  3. REAL CORP []

She currently coordinates, is responsible for a local unit and is a member of various national and international projects including: “ISL - Forming interdisciplinary Island Communities of Practice operating for sustainable cultural tourIsm models” (Erasmus+); “SMART3R-FLITS: SMART Transport for TRavellers and Freight Logistics Integration Towards Sustainability” (PRIN 2022); MOVING StEPS "Moving from STreet Experiments to adaptive Planned Solutions" (PRIN 2022);  "WEAKI TRANSIT - WEAK-demand areas Innovative TRANsport Shared services for Italian Towns” (PRIN 2017).

Over the years, she has served as an evaluator for the financing of international initiatives, including the ERC Starting Grant – Call 2020 and ERC Consolidator Grant – Call 2023 calls issued by the European Research Council Executive Agency.

According to the ranking Stanford Research Excellence, she is in the top 2% list of world's most cited scientists on Scopus for both 2021 ( and 2022 (

The President of the Ordinary Court of Cagliari designated her as an effective member of the territorial Discipline Council of the Order of Engineers of Cagliari on September 2022, for the four-year period 2022-2026, per Presidential Decree. 137, 7 August 2012.

Her main research interests are focused on issues of the Scientific Disciplinary Sector of Urban and Regional Planning, particularly on smart cities; participatory processes; cultural heritage; urban governance and urban policies.
A referee of several international scientific journals, she is author of over one hundred and thirty publications, including monographs, conference proceedings, articles in books, national and international journals.


This CV was last updated in November 2023.


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