Rebecca Cavicchia

Senior Research Fellow

Architect with a PhD in Urban and Regional Planning. My research has been focused on the possible, sometimes unexpected, social consequences of urban sustainability strategies.

I am particularly interested in housing-related issues regarding exclusion, segregation, gentrification dynamics and different displacement forms. My research ambition is to explore how green transition initiatives can be made more just and inclusive for people.

Academic qualifications

  • PhD in Urban and Regional Planning at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), Norway
  • MSc in Architecture at La Sapienza University of Rome, Italy


  • Italian (native)
  • English (professional working)
  • Norwegian (basic)

Prior Positions

  • Teaching assistant in Urban Sociology, Norwegian University of Life Sciences
  • PhD candidate in Urban and regional planning, Norwegian University of Life Sciences
  • Intern at Municipality of Rome, Department of Transport and Mobility
  • Intern at the Municipality of Venice, Department of Development of Historical Town and Islands

Peer-reviewed articles and chapters

Cavicchia Rebecca. (2023). Housing accessibility in densifying cities: Entangled housing and land use policy limitations and insights from Oslo. Land Use Policy, 127, 106580.

Cavicchia Rebecca. (2022). “Urban densification and exclusionary pressure: emerging patterns of gentrification in Oslo”. Urban Geography. doi: 10.1080/02723638.2022.2100174

Cavicchia Rebecca. (2021). “Are Green, dense cities more inclusive? Densification and housing
accessibility in Oslo.” Local Environment 21 (10):1-17. doi: 10.1080/13549839.2021.1973394.

Cavicchia Rebecca, and Roberta Cucca. (2021). “Urban Densification and Its Social Sustainability.”
In The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Urban and Regional Futures, 1-14. Cham: Springer International

Cavicchia Rebecca, and Roberta Cucca. (2020). “Densification and School Segregation: The Case of Oslo.” Urban Planning 5 (3). doi: 10.17645/up.v5i3.3215.

Popular communications

Cavicchia, Rebecca. (2023). I conflitti tra la sostenibilità urbana e l’accesso alla casa in Norvegia. DiTe- Dinamiche Territoriali, Online magazine

Cavicchia, Rebecca. (2021). “Uoppnåelig dyre boliger og fortetting. Et komplekst forhold”.
Oslospeilet, nummer 2.2021

Rebecca Cavicchia‘s spatial story

In Venice, Google maps doesn’t always work. The little dot indicating your position might just get stuck on the map and so the only, and best, thing you can do is get lost. You can let the narrow, winding streets guide you but also trick you, because sometimes they look incredibly similar, and very often at their end you just find the water of a canal. From above, Venice looks like a fish with a tangle of little streets on the top. I studied its map several times, and I think that, somehow, I got to understand how to move in it from above more than from inside. I guess it was at that point that I started to truly love maps, to just understand space differently.

Looking back at it, I believe that my first experience as an urban planner in Venice played a big role in my choice of starting a PhD in urban planning later on. I experienced a city that is not only architecturally unique and incredibly inspiring but also carries the plague of tourism and the financialization of housing. A city that has been losing its inhabitants for years. I got incredibly interested in understanding these dynamics, and the processes of transforming the use value of housing into pure investment value.

Somehow, in 2018, life brought me to the North, in Ås, a little Norwegian village, located a bit south of Oslo, to study those things I was getting more passionate about. If Venice was north for a young woman from a little town outside of Rome, Ås felt like the North Pole for the first weeks. Giving up on sunny winter days, tasty vegetables and cheap beers has not been an easy process but after four years in Norway, I started to love cinnamon, prefer long coffee upon espresso and sometimes have “matpakke” for lunch.

At the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, I learnt how to become a critical researcher and, in a context like Oslo where “green” discourses are very central in the urban development vision, I became interested in understanding what kind of trade-offs and synergies might come into play between the environmental and the social side of urban sustainability, and how developing green cities might impact on the possibility to make them also more inclusive.

Apparently, I have started to enjoy Nordic countries for real. I am very excited that my spatial story is now making a step in Nordregio, where I will get to explore urban sustainability from different perspectives and where my love for maps will be matched:)