My research takes a communication and new media approach to sustainable urban development (i.e. environmental protection and social equity). I focus on the relation between language and space (both physical and digital) and the role that mobile media play in reshaping urban (public) space.

In order to achieve this goal, I employ computational methods to carry out an analysis of social media data that exploits the linguistic, communicative and relational characteristics of the users. To this end, I have developed an innovative methodology that combines quantitative analysis (word frequency, social network analysis) with qualitative analysis (thematic analysis) in order to reveal the implicit meaning of the data. The results shed light on the way city dwellers use media and communication to shape sustainable development. I focus on two communities: skilled creative migrants and the elderly.

The results of my research are summarized in a series of audio papers: Mediating sustainable cities.

In my past research, I have explored the use of Language Technology and Knowledge Representation in eLearning. I have acquired the EU project "Language Technology for eLearning" (1.5 million euros) and I was its project leader and scientific coordinator from 2005-2008. I was also principal investigator of the EU project "Language Technology for LifeLong Learning" (3.7 million euros) from 2008-2011, as well as of several NWO projects on the creation of Language Resources (2000-2012).

In my free time, I am a passionate and proud producer of Italian organic olive oil.