Report from

the edge of the city


Madrid, Rotterdam, Torino, Milano

Davide Curatola, Alessandro Guida, Isabella Sassi

Report from the edge of the city is a project of documentary photography that investigates the administrative boundary of a city in relation to its actual “border”: those areas at the fringes (industrial areas, brownfields, port areas, green fields, suburban neighbourhoods, productive lands), that are the object of the most recent changes of the urban configurations as we know them.


The project is an exploration of those spaces of misty identity in a liquid territory, where people and goods, services,economy and territorial governance go far beyond the municipal limits. Territories whose representation is still missing, sometimes uncertain. The emerging challenge of contemporary architecture and urbanism is often the reorganization and the inclusion of these peripheral spaces, therefore photography becomes the means for documenting the difficulty to tackle those hurdles and cope with the endless evolution of urban territories.


With this project, we would like to take on a very specific angle and explore the edge of the city looking at the cases of Rotterdam, Madrid, Turin and Milan. How their city’s borders look like? Are they currently being transformed? They are the territories at the center of strategic and long-term transformation plans dating 2040-2050. They are the future. It’s about understanding what will be the city of tomorrow as a whole and how the urban patterns, in particular, those at the margins, will change in the years to come.


This project is a catalogue of those territories and landscapes: each city represents an episode, an attempt to make a different narrative of those well-known cities.


In Madrid, we look at the huge urban transformation of the southeast. Fragile relationship between countryside and new developments. Landscapes dehumanized, unbridgeable distances between endless land consumption and the human dimension.

This story places itself between the rural and urban divide of those territories between Madrid and Leganés, Getafe, Rivas and Coslada.


In Rotterdam we walk the administrative limits of the city. A sequence of industrial landscape, infrastructure and services. The city comes together in monofunctional areas dominated by infrastructure services and residential expansions. This story places itself along the motorway A15 in the south, along the A16 along the eastern border and the northerly territories heading towards Delft, Zoetemeer and Gouda.


In Turin the documentary catches the urban transition. Terrain vague, loneliness are the dominating themes. This story places itself in the southern areas and the Barriera di Milano Neighbourhood.


In Milan the city’s border is not perceived walking the landscape, however is the public transport system which determines the limits of the city. Highways and transport hubs. Some areas are suspended, given an uncertain use.

The story places itself in the northern area of Bovisasca and in the southern territories of Milan.


City after city, the project ‘Report from the edge of the city” will build a narrative about those realities at the margins.





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