[Book] Service Design for Urban Commons

Service Design for Urban Commons
By Anna Meroni and Daniela Selloni
Part of the book series: SpringerBriefs in Applied Sciences and Technology
August 2022, 134 pages

The service design experts of the Politechnic University of Milan have always been at the forefront – globally – of defining the service design practice, through education, practical project engagement and theoretical reflection.

In this book Anna Meroni and Daniela Selloni start from a concrete participatory co-design engagement, focused on elaborating a vision of the future of an important historic site in a mid-Italian city, to cleverly define a new language and approach for service design that brings together citizen-centered processes, bottom-up participatory design, urban commons approaches, architectural planning, scenario planning and urbanism. The book covers methods and conceptual outlines that will be useful for practitioners worldwide.


This book explores the application of service design to urban commons, focusing on the Reggio Emilia Ducal Palace in Italy.

The book explores the application of service design to urban commons. It originates from a project developed by the research group of POLIMI DESIS Lab of Politecnico di Milano, aimed at imagining the future of the Reggio Emilia Ducal Palace and its park – the Reggia di Rivalta. The peculiarity of the project lays in the idea that the design of a (public) space should be informed by the design of its services, because the development of specific activities actually builds a fundamental part of the identity of a place, conceiving both the tangible and intangible dimensions as part of a single creative process. The combination of a participatory process and the integration of spatial and service design led to infrastructuring a multi-stakeholder participatory action research of envisioning the future of a public good. This effort has been thus framed into a working methodology, specific tools and progressive outputs, which are defined as Service Master Planning (the process), and Service Master Plan (the product), allowing service design professionals to expand their knowledge and develop skills for a new field of application connected to urban planning.