Francesco is a research fellow at Gran Sasso Science Institute (L’Aquila, Italy), where he is member of the scientific committee of the international PhD Program in Urban Studies. His research focuses mainly on the nexus between spatial planning and urban conflicts. He investigated in particular the political role of urban space and the related importance of spatial measures (such as urban policies, plans and projects) aimed at shaping it with regards to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict over Jerusalem. The politics on informal housing in the Arab sectors of the Holy City is at the centre of his research.
His papers have appeared in international journals such as Planning Theory, Town Planning Review, Cities, Geoforum, Journal of Urban Affairs, Land Use Policy, Journal of International Development. He wrote Shaping Jerusalem. Spatial planning, politics and the conflict (Routledge, 2016) and co-edited Cities to be tamed? The space of urbanism and planning in the urban South (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014).