Matteo started his Ph.D. in October 2013 after having completed his Masters in "Ecosystems, Governance and Globalisation" at the Stockholm Resilience Centre. His MSc thesis was an empirical study based in Stockholm that explored the relation between persistent exposures to natural environments during preschool activities and the degree of children's affinity with nature. In the light of the results of such project, Matteo's Ph.D. project "Urban Reconnection with the Biosphere" revolves on how to create spatial configurations of urban nature that support the psychological foundation for environmental stewardship – identification with nature.
He recognizes that the 'extinction of nature experience' - commonplace in the urban lifestyle – is a systematic barrier for people's engagement in nature conservation because it fosters a self-reinforcing cycle of disaffection and apathy for ecological features. Reversely, constant interaction with nature, especially during childhood, nourishes the establishment of a life-long affiliation with nature. How humankind decides to design urban nature has therefore the fertile potential to nurture sustainable devotees. Matteo's research embraces this challenge in sustainability science. He researches the cognitive dimension of nature in cities, and explores the active design of spatial features that enable and foster identification with nature. The goal of his Ph.D. project is to highlight the importance of nature routines in cities and initiate a dialogue in sustainable urban design that goes beyond sustainable engineering.
He works in collaboration with Stephan Barthel, researcher at the Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC), and Lars Marcus, professor in architecture at KTH School of Architecture. Matteo is affiliated with the urban theme at the SRC, and privately nourishes collaborations with professionals in the field of sustainable urban design and planning.