I am a social researcher from Milan with an interdisciplinary background in sociology, anthropology and political science. My research interests are at the intersection between analysis and intervention and include strategic planning, urban political economy and sustainable local development.

I have conducted a number of academic and applied researches. On the applied side, my latest project is the development of the neighbourhood regeneration strategy of the Morriston ward in Swansea (Wales, UK), coordinated by the University of Manchester and in partnership with local housing associations. Previously, I led an action-research at Rimaflow Cooperative - a recuperated enterprise in Milan - with the aim of designing the development strategy of the enterprise.

On the academic side, I am completing a PhD in Urban Studies (URBEUR Programme) at the University of Milano-Bicocca with a thesis on rethinking strategic urban planning from an ecological and social justice perspective. In the development of the thesis, I have collaborated with some of the leading European organisations in the field, including the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (Manchester), the Foundational Economy Collective (Manchester/Europe), of which I am a member, and the Office for Metropolitan Planning of Barcelona (PEMB).

I presented my work in different academic and professional settings, including Feltrinelli Foundation (October 2018), the International Conference of Urban and Regional Sociology (September 2017) and the Economic Development Agency of Barcelonn - Barcelona Activa (January 2019). In January 2019 I won the FABER residency on local development, and spent 2 weeks of intensive research in Olot, Catalonia with leading researchers and practitioners in the field of sustainable development across Europe.

Contact Luca at
Download here CV


Calafati Luca et al (2019) How an ordinary place works: understanding Morriston , Foundational Economy (English)

Calafati Luca and Chiappini Letizia (2018) Towards a sustainable urban future? Opportunities and challanges of new urban economies , Che Fare (Italian)

Calafati Luca and McInroy Neil (2017) Local government and the commons: the time has come, Centre for Local Economic Strategies (English)

Calafati Luca (2018) Making maker spaces transformative, Urban@it - Centro Nazionale di Politiche Urbane (Italian)


Introducing the foundational economy with Prof. Karel Williams (presentation at Centre for Socio-economic Innovation of Barcelona Activa. Barcelona, January 2019)

How grounded are Italian cities? An analysis of size and composition of the foundational sectors of urban economies in Italy (presentation at the International Conference of Sociology of Urban and Regional Development. Leeds, September 2017)

Building the city for all. The new strategies of economic regeneration in Europe (lecture at the course The Social Dimension of Urban Regeneration by the Emilia-Romagna Region. Bologna, February 2018)

New urban economies between innovation and social cohesion (public seminar by the University of Milano-Bicocca and CheFare at Giangiacomo Feltrinelli Foundation. Milan, October 2018