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Environmental Planning and Design; Social Sciences and Humanities; Environment and Sustainable Development

Alice Covatta

Professeure adjointe

Faculté de l'aménagement - École d'architecture


Faculté des arts et des sciences - Centre d'études et de recherches internationales


Research expertise

Professor of architecture and urban studies with an international academic and professional background spanning Europe and Japan. Her research has provided valuable insights into  new urban landscapes oriented toward promoting social values, health and the notion of public space. At UdeM, Professor Covatta focuses on interdisciplinary research and teching around three axes: (1) the integration of health in the architectural project, (2) the exploration of new urbanities in the context of globalization, and (3) the temporal urbanism of the city.

Alice graduated with honors from the IUAV University of Venice and a doctorate in architecture with the highest distinction from the University of Udine. In 2016, she obtained the Japan Foundation Fellowship postdoctoral fellowship. She subsequently worked as a researcher at Keio University in Tokyo until 2019. In this hyperdense city, her postdoctoral work focused on the habitability of its architecture and public spaces.

Since 2009, she has acquired professional experience in architecture and urban design (among others with Andrea Caputo, Kengo Kuma and Associates, Albert Abut Architecture),  earning several awards and distinctions. In 2018, she co-founded her own agency CoPE, which has been successful in various architectural competitions, including being awarded 1st prize for Europan14 “Productive Cities” 2019, focusing on the urban development of the city of New-Ulm, and the Europan16 “Living Cities” 2021, for a new residential sector in Wernigerode; both projects are underway.

Alice Covatta is currently a visiting professor at the co+lab: Urban Architecture Research & Design Laboratory, Keio University, a member of the Center for Urban Design and Mental Health and the JSAC Japan Studies Association of Canada, and director of MedialabAU. In Japan she was a contributor to  Domus magazine and a consultant for Warehouse TERRADA in Tokyo. Her works have been exhibited at the Venice Biennale and the MAXXI Museum in Rome, among other places.


2017, Architecture and Urban Studies, Keio University, Department of Systems Design Engineering (Japon) 

PhD Architecture and Urban Studies,
2015, University of Udine (Italy) 

Visiting researcher PhD 
2014, Architecture, Keio University (Japan) 

Master in Architecture Landscape
2010, IUAV, Venice (Italy) 

Programme Erasmus 
2007, Architecture, ENSA Paris-Belleville (France) 

Bachelor of Architecture
2007, IUAV, Venice (Italy)

Awards and recognitions

  • 2017 Europan 14 winner with “the productive hearth of Neu-Ulm” project with CoPE Architects
  • 2016 Winner of the Intellectual Exchange Fellowship, Japan Foundation, Tokyo
  • 2016 Second prize in the Sogin International Competition while at Corde Architetti Associati
  • 2015 Honorable mention for the Passages. Transitional Spaces for the 21st Century International Competition 2015
  • Second prize in the CineCity Film Competition, Melbourne, with Eloise Mavian
  • 2011 First prize competition for Aalst Masterplan in Belgium while at SpedStudio
  • 2010 First prize competition for mixed-use project in Vicenza while at Silvia Bortolini Architect


  • 2007 — Baccalauréat en architecture — — IUAV, Venise
  • 2007 — Programme Erasmus — ArchitectureENSA Paris-Belleville
  • 2010 — Maîtrise en architecture de paysage — — IUAV, Venise
  • 2014 — Étudiante internationale au PHD — ArchitectureKeio University
  • 2015 — PhD Architecture et Design urbain — — Université de Udine
  • 2017 — Post-Doctorat — Études urbaines, ArchitectureKeio University , Department of Systems Design Engineering

Affiliations and responsabilities

Research affiliations

Research units



Visiting Associate Professor co+labo: Urban Architecture Research & Design Laboratory Keio University, Japon

Membre JSAC Japan Studies Association of Canada

Professional titles and affiliations

Clinical and professional activities

Co-founder du bureau d'architecture Collective of Projects in Equipoise 

University service and activities

Activities within organizations or entities of the institution

Responsable de la Charrette interuniversitaire La ville de 25h du CCA.

Comité EDI (Équité, diversité et inclusion).

Comité consultatif sur les bibliothèques.

Administrative responsibilities

Teaching and supervision Currently recruiting

Recruitment in research Currently recruiting

Disponible pour la supervison de projet de doctorat. Contactez-moi directement par courriel pour toute question sur la supervision de votre projet.


Research projects

2023 - 2029

Architecture comme tissu spatial et social: perspectives japonaises pour promouvoir les relations multi échelles

Lead researcher : Alice Covatta
Funding sources: CRSH/Conseil de recherches en sciences humaines du Canada
Grant programs: PVXXXXXX-Subvention Savoir
2022 - 2026

Les lieux d’une solitude positive : analyse sociospatiale des stratégies communes dans la vie urbaine densifiée.

Lead researcher : Alice Covatta
Funding sources: FRQSC/Fonds de recherche du Québec - Société et culture (FQRSC)
Grant programs: PV113813-(NP) Soutien à la recherche pour la relève professorale
2022 - 2024

DARE-DARE: Centre d'artistes nomade, modulaire et transitoire

Funding sources: CRSH/Conseil de recherches en sciences humaines du Canada
Grant programs: PVXXXXXX-Subvention d'engagement partenarial
2021 - 2023

Isolement en haute densité : nouvelles approches conceptuelles pour favoriser l’interaction sociale dans la ville de Tokyo

Lead researcher : Alice Covatta
Funding sources: CRSH/Conseil de recherches en sciences humaines du Canada
Grant programs: PVX20020-Subvention institutionnelle du CRSH - Subventions d'exploration


Expertise professionnelle (hors de l’institution)

Publications and presentations



  • Ikalović Vedrana, et Covatta Alice. 2023. Tokyo liminal spaces as a dispersed constellation of spatial identities. SAJ, Serbian Architectural Journal, 14_1. ISSN 1821-3952, e-ISSN2787-1908 
    Covatta Alice, and Ikalović Vedrana. 2022. Urban Resilience: A Study of Leftover Spaces and Play in Dense City Fabric. 14 (13514): 13514–14. 
  • Covatta Alice. The Urbanism of Play: the mutation of what is a necessity into a public amenity. In The right of the city édition spéciale de a+u Architecture and Urbanism, décembre 2021.
  • Covatta Alice. Design strategies from industrial regeneration towards community health Learning from the Montreal ephemeral ecosystem. Sens Public. Mai 2022. ISSN 2104-3272 
  • Covatta Alice. The Urbanism of Play: the mutation of what is a necessity into a public amenity, a+u Architecture and Urbanism Japon, décembre 2021.
  • Covatta Alice. The monument for Fukuoka. A sensitive architecture to human emotions and economic prosperity, Aldo Rossi Perspective from the world, Il Poligrafo, 2020
  • Covatta Alice. Planning a local and global foodscape: Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, Integrating Food into Urban Planning, pp.172-186, UCL PRESS, 2018
  • Covatta Alice, From infrastructure to playground: the playable soul of Copenhagen, Journal of Urban Design and Mental Health, 2018:5, ISSN 2398-4082

  • Covatta Alice, Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA Tsuruoka Cultural Hall, Domus 1022, pp.62-73, March, 2018

  • Covatta Alice, Density and Intimacy in Public Space. A case study of Jimbocho, Tokyo’s book town, Journal of Urban Design and Mental Health, 3:13, 2017, ISSN 2398-4082




  • Covatta, Alice. Cartographier le territoire et l’exil. Entretiens Jacques-Cartier “Fabriquer l’hospitalité dans la ville refuge : une obligation positive”, Montreal 29 novembre 2022. 
  • Covatta, Alice. Tokyo perspectives: a neighborhood in a building. Indian Ocean World Centre à McGill University, Montreal 23 novembre 2022.
  • Modératrice "Réinventer la ville par le design" entre le Bureau du design de la Ville de Montréal,  Cité du design et Saint-Étienne Métropole, Entretien Jaques Cartier Montreal 2 novembre 2022.
  • Covatta, Alice. A neighborhood in a building: Japanese perspectives to reduce social isolation in high density. The Healthy City Design International Congress and Exhibition 2022, à Londres, Royaume-Uni du 10 au 11 octobre 2022. 
  • Covatta, Alice. Artifice and uncertainty of Parc-Extension, Exploring new strategies of equality in our increasingly unequal societies. RAIC-CCUSA Academic Summit on Architecture, juin 15 2022.
  • Covatta, Alice. Tokyo from 1964 to 2021: the “postponed” Olympic CityConférencier invité par la Japan Foundation, 11 mars 2022.
  • Covatta, Alice. Stratégies d’aménagement temporaire et transitoire de l’espace public, Conférencier invité par le Bureau du design I Service du développement économique I Ville de Montréal, 23 février 2022
  • Covatta, Alice. Learning from Montreal Ephemeral Ecosystem congrès "From Urban Voids to Generative Commons, Engagement and Impact, Infrastructures of Urban Commons, Urban commons in action," Université de Turin et Generative Commons project, 23 juin 2021
  • Collaborative workspace: in between the third-space and non-lieu (non-place) avec la professeure Vedrana Ikalovic (Université Catholique de Lille), congrès Regions in Recovery E-Festival dans la session "The Different Functions of Collaborative Workspaces in Rural and Suburban Areas", 3 juin 2021
  • WRLD CTY événement en ligne, panéliste pour Cities at Night, 2020.
  • Performing the City symposium en ligne organisé par l’University of Sydney, modératrice de la session principale pour le Dr. Quentin Stevens, 2020.
  • Conférence d’ouverture Place making for meaningful social connection in rapidly urbanising environment, UNSW Sydney, 2019.
  • Conférence d’ouverture Integrating Health into Urban Planning towards Sustainable Development Goals in Developing Countries, Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS), Kyoto University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 2019.
  • Panéliste au lancement du livre Integrating Food into Urban Planning, UCL University College London, 2019.
  • Tokyo Playground. The Atlas of Emotional Infrastructure, UIA 2017 World Architects Congress, Seoul, 2017
  • Tokyo Love affair, the interplay between the infrastructure and the common space, Visual Methods Conference: Visualising the City, Singapore, 2017
  • Two Modes of Tokyo Temporalities. Shibuya and Taito under-construction everyday life, COHDA Human Development in Asia with Ikalovic Vedrana and Medina Ana, Hiroshima, 2017
  • Meantime Shibuya. Potential and Opportunities of Temporal Common Spaces in Shibuya’s Urban Redevelopment, Management and Sustainability in a Globalized World with Ikalovic Vedrana and Medina Ana, Fukuoka, 2017
  • Foodscape: informal place for sale and trade, the Second International Conference on Agriculture in an Urbanizing Society. Reconnecting Agriculture and Food Chains to Societal Needs, Rome, 2015
  • Tsukiji: la cucina di Tokyo, Demanio Marittimo Km 278 edited by C. Colli and P. Ciorra, Senigallia IT, 2015


  • Solo exhibition Yamanote-sen at Centro Culturale Candiani, Venice, 2016
  • Tsukiji strip: Tokyo’s Pantry at "FOOD dal cucchiaio del mondo", MAXXI Museum, Rome, 2015
  • The film entitled The Journey has been selected and screened for Cinecity Project 2015 in Melbourne, Australia, 2015
  • Master degree thesis Microclimi and Macrostrutture has been displayed to Biennale de Paisatge Barcelona, 2010
  • Studio project Archipelago has been shown at the Venice Biennale of Architecture [awarded by IUAV Venice], 2009
  • Documentary Palast der Republik of Berlin was displayed during the Venice Biennale of Architecture 2009


  • Correspondent in Japan for the Italian architectural magazine Domus
  • Referee for the scientific magazine Agribusiness Landscape and Environment (AP&A)


  • Architecture
  • Urban Studies
  • Urban planning
  • Design

Areas of expertise

  • Architecture
  • Urban landscapes
  • Urban design and urban architecture
  • Public spaces
  • Architectural design
  • Japan
  • Environnement and sustainable development
  • Public architecture
  • Sociological aspects
  • Cultural landscapes
  • Asia
  • Italy