Sergio Porta

Sergio Porta
University of Strathclyde · Department of Architecture

About

77
Publications
119,591
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5,303
Citations
Citations since 2016
29 Research Items
3684 Citations
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20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500600
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500600
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500600

Publications

Publications (77)
Preprint
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Cities are complex products of human culture, characterised by a startling diversity of visible traits. Their form is constantly evolving, reflecting changing human needs and local contingencies, manifested in space by many urban patterns. Urban Morphology laid the foundation for understanding many such patterns, largely relying on qualitative rese...
Article
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This paper describes a "Form Language" for gardens in and around Sorrento, Italy, produced by Building Beauty students 2017-2018. Form languages are complementary to pattern languages in describing a regional or local way of building in all its facets. They embody the building culture of a place, and both languages are at the basis of cultural land...
Article
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Unprecedented urbanisation processes characterise the Great Acceleration, urging urban researchers to make sense of data analysis in support of evidence-based and large-scale decision making. Urban morphologists are no exception since the impact of urban form on fundamental natural and social patterns (equity, prosperity and resource consumption's...
Chapter
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The beauty of buildings and places is not a luxury, it is a necessity if buildings are to be cared for over generations and therefore sustainable in the long term. Building Beauty is a new one-year postgraduate program teaching an integrated process of design and making. Its ultimate goal is learning to create wholeness, beauty, and life in the wor...
Article
Urban Morphometrics (UMM) is an expanding area of urban studies that aims at representing and measuring objectively the physical form of cities to support evidence-based research. An essential step in its development is the identification of a suitable spatial unit of analysis, where suitability is determined by its degree of reliability, universal...
Poster
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Slums and the City 'No city can claim to be prosperous when large segments of the population live in abject poverty and deprivation.' (UN Habitat, 2013. P. xii) UN Habitat (2013), reassessed city prosperity to include (not only productivity), but intangible aspects creating a sense of belonging and quality of life; such as social interaction, value...
Conference Paper
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Urban morphology is experiencing growth in quantitative analysis but faces a twofold problem concerning data used to represent urban form - their availability in the first place, and reliability in the second. Both problems concern several urban features, but are especially true in regard to the plot, whose GIS representation capturing a precise mo...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The idea of cities as complex systems in constant adaptive change is finally engaging urban thinking. However, we are still far from having this idea guide practice. UN-Habitat recognised this challenge in the “New Urban Agenda”, establishing the link between configuration of places and their performance. However, we lag behind in understanding how...
Article
This paper explores evidence that entrepreneurial opportunities for migrants and other lower-income populations can be expanded in part through increasing the presence of fine-grained scales of plots and plates along main streets, as part of a systematic urban design strategy. It describes that systematic strategy herein. The paper encompasses the...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Maddalena Iovene¹, Graciela Fernandéz De Córdova2, Ombretta Romice¹, Sergio Porta¹ ¹Urban Design Studies Unit (UDSU). Department of Architecture. University of Strathclyde. 75 Montrose Street, Glasgow, G11XJ, UK. 2Centro de Investigación de la Arquitectura y la Ciudad (CIAC), Departamento de Arquitectura, PUCP. Av. Universitaria 1801, 32 San Miguel...
Article
Full-text available
The modern discipline of urban morphology gives us a ground for the comparative analysis of cities, which increasingly includes specific quantitative elements. In this paper, we make a further step forward towards the definition of a general method for the classification of urban form. We draw from morphometrics and taxonomy in life sciences to pro...
Article
Full-text available
Over the last 200 years, particularly since the Second World War, comprehensive spatial masterplans, aimed at increasing the efficiency, amenity and value of degraded urban neighbourhoods, have been developed widely in the UK. However, contrary to the assumption of their creators that stable long-term outcomes could be planned and achieved, resulti...
Article
The results of an analysis of the urban form of central Tripoli, Libya are presented. Three cases from different morphological periods are compared: the Old Town (pre-modern), the Italian Quarter (colonial) and the Garden Suburb (early-Modernist). Two sets of descriptive indices that relate to street network and street-block structure are applied t...
Chapter
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This chapter deals with those aspects of the design of cities that have been shown to affect quality of life. Whilst direct causal relationships between physical space and well-being are often difficult to establish, physical space certainly does play a significant part in shaping the way we engage with it, informing the individual and collective s...
Article
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The failure of conventional, post-war development to bring about the housing-led regeneration of much of Glasgow's vacant and derelict inner-city land has exacerbated the loss of middle-income households to car-dominated suburbs built on green-field sites. Plot-based urbanism offers an innovative approach to development, based on an urban structure...
Article
Full-text available
The sheer complexity and unpredictability characterising cities challenges the adequacy of existing disciplinary knowledge and tools in urban design and highlights the necessity to incorporate explicitly the element of change and the dimension of time in the understanding of, and intervention on, the form of cities. To this regard the concept of re...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Christopher Alexander showed us that beauty can be investigated in nature, in things that are made and built, and in our collective and individual selves, in a way that leads us to understand and enhance wholeness. All of this he pursued on the basis of objective physical evidence. Also, Alexander showed that the unfolding geometry of beauty can be...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Christopher Alexander showed us that beauty can be investigated in nature, in things that are made and built, and in our collective and individual selves, in a way that leads us to understand and enhance wholeness. All of this he pursued on the basis of objective physical evidence. Also, Alexander showed that the unfolding geometry of beauty can be...
Article
Full-text available
Research in Urban Morphology has long been exploring the form of cities and their changes over time, especially by establishing links with the parallel dynamics of these cities’ social, economic and political environments. The capacity of an adaptable and resilient urban form to provide a fertile environment for economic prosperity and social cohes...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding urban growth is one with understanding how society evolves to satisfy the needs of its individuals in sharing a common space and adapting to the territory. We propose here a quantitative analysis of the historical development of a large urban area by investigating the spatial distribution and the age of commercial activities in the wh...
Article
Full-text available
Urban theorists, social reformists and philosophers have considered the city as a living organism since Plato. However, despite extraordinary advancements in evolutionary biology, now being used to explain social and cultural phenomena, a proper science of evolution in cities has never been established since Geddes' work at the dawn of the Town Pla...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents a morphological study of 100 main street networks from urban areas around the world. An expansion in the scale of main street networks was revealed using a unique heuristic visual method for identifying and measuring the lengths of main street segments from each of the study areas. Case studies were selected and grouped accordin...
Article
Many socioeconomic studies have been carried out to explain the phenomenon of gentrification. Although results of these works shed light on the process around this phenomenon, a perspective which focuses on the relationship between city form and gentrification is still missing. With this paper we try to address this gap by studying and comparing, t...
Article
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The organization of modern city planning into “neighborhood units” – most commonly associated with the Clarence Perry proposal of 1929 – has been enormously influential in the evolution of modern city form, and at the same time has also been the subject of intense controversy and debate that continues to the present day. New issues under debate inc...
Article
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We compare the structural properties of the street networks of ten different European cities using their primal representation. We investigate the properties of the geometry of the networks and a set of centrality measures highlighting differences and similarities among cases. In particular, we found that cities share structural similarities due to...
Article
Full-text available
The paper examines the geography of three street centrality indices and their correlations with various types of economic activities in Barcelona, Spain. The focus is on what type of street centrality (closeness, betweenness and straightness) is more closely associated with which type of economic activity (primary and secondary). Centralities are c...
Article
Full-text available
Urbanisation is a fundamental phenomenon whose quantitative characterisation is still inadequate. We report here the empirical analysis of a unique data set regarding almost 200 years of evolution of the road network in a large area located north of Milan (Italy). We find that urbanisation is characterised by the homogenisation of cell shapes, and...
Data
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Supplementary Information
Article
This paper examines the relationship between street centrality and land use intensity in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Street centrality is calibrated in terms of a node’s closeness, betweenness and straightness on the road network. Land use intensity is measured by population (residential) and employment (business) densities in census tracts, respective...
Article
Full-text available
Generative urban design has been always conceived as a creation-centered process, i.e. a process mainly concerned with the creation phase of a spatial transformation. We argue that, though the way we create a space is important, how that space evolves in time is ways more important when it comes to providing livable places gifted by identity and se...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper presents a methodology to compute an innovative density indicator of spatial events. The methodology is based on a modified Kernel Density Estimator (KDE) that operates along road networks, and named Network based Kernel Density Estimator (NetKDE). In this research, retail and service economic activities are projected on the road network...
Chapter
Full-text available
This essay outlines how to incorporate morphological rules within the exigencies of our technological age. We propose using the current evolution of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) technologies beyond their original representational domain, towards predictive and dynamic spatial models that help in constructing the new discipline of “urban s...
Article
Full-text available
A controversy remains among planners and urban designers about the proper location of the non-residential core (nucleus) of a neighborhood in relation to thoroughfares. One school of thought suggests that the nucleus should be located along the busiest thoroughfares; a second school holds that it must be some distance away from them – which, becaus...
Article
Full-text available
People relate to places for all sorts of different reasons. If we want to capture their interest we need to understand the nature of those bonds. We have explored the political and cultural context within which we might encourage greater understanding and appreciation of the history of places, but the relationship that people have with their enviro...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter provides a common platform for the research presented in this book and is divided into two parts. The first section examines the elements of urban form identified for the purposes of the research and explains how they were measured. The second section profiles the five case study cities and fifteen case neighbourhoods which were the fo...
Article
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This paper examines the relationship between street centrality and densities of commercial and service activities in the city of Bologna, northern Italy. Street centrality is calibrated in a multiple centrality assessment model composed of multiple measures such as closeness, betweenness, and straightness. Kernel density estimation is used to trans...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Urban structuring must optimize access, exchange, retail, ‘Movement Economy’, and public transport from neighborhoods to regions and their centers. But modern impediments include America’s ‘Functional Classification’ road system, retail orthodoxy, and fragmented “neighborhood units” following the 1929 Perry diagram. After clarifying the challenges,...
Article
Full-text available
The paper examines the geography of three street centrality indices and their correlations with various types of economic activities in Barcelona, Spain. The focus is on what type of street centrality (closeness, betweenness and straightness) is more closely associated with which type of economic activity (primary and secondary). Centralities are c...
Article
Full-text available
One of the largest of Europe, the recently realized university campus ‘Area of the Sciences’ in Parma, northern Italy, has been planned for a comprehensive programme of renovation and revitalization with a special focus on vehicular accessibility and the quality of open spaces. As part of the problem setting phase, the authors, with Rivi Engineerin...
Article
Full-text available
In previous research we defined a methodology for mapping centrality in urban networks. Such methodology, named Multiple Centrality Assessment (MCA), makes it possible to ascertain how each street is structurally central in a city according to several different notions of centrality, as well as different scales of "being central". In this study we...
Article
The application of the network approach to the urban case poses several questions in terms of how to deal with metric distances, what kind of graph representation to use, what kind of measures to investigate, how to deepen the correlation between measures of the structure of the network and measures of the dynamics on the network, what are the poss...
Article
Full-text available
Recent theoretical and empirical studies have focused on the structural properties of complex relational networks in social, biological, and technological systems. Here we study the basic properties of twenty 1-square-mile samples of street patterns of different world cities. Samples are turned into spatial valued graphs. In such graphs, the nodes...
Article
Full-text available
We study centrality in urban street patterns of different world cities represented as networks in geographical space. The results indicate that a spatial analysis based on a set of four centrality indices allows an extended visualization and characterization of the city structure. A hierarchical clustering analysis based on the distributions of cen...
Article
Full-text available
Centrality has revealed crucial for understanding the structural properties of complex relational networks. Centrality is also relevant for various spatial factors affecting human life and behaviors in cities. Here, we present a comprehensive study of centrality distributions over geographic networks of urban streets. Five different measures of cen...
Article
Full-text available
Recent studies have revealed the importance of centrality measures to analyze various spatial factors affecting human life in cities. Here we show how it is possible to extract the backbone of a city by deriving spanning trees based on edge betweenness and edge information. By using as sample cases the cities of Bologna and San Francisco, we show h...
Article
Full-text available
The network metaphor in the analysis of urban and territorial cases has a long tradition, especially in transportation or land-use planning and economic geography. More recently, urban design has brought its contribution by means of the ‘space syntax’ methodology. All these approaches—though under different terms like ‘accessibility’, ‘proximity’,...