27 de julho de 2013

Globalization and New Challenges of Agricultural and Rural Systems

21th Annual Colloquium of the International Geographical Union Commission on the Sustainability of Rural Systems

29th July - 4th August 2013

Japan, Nagoya

The Colloquium will address a number of key themes of current concern in rural areas under the broad heading of Globalization and New Challenges of Agricultural and Rural Systems. Abstracts are invited for papers that address the following seven themes and sub-themes, broadly defined, from theoretical perspectives and that document processes of change in particular geographical contexts:

1. The social construction and analysis of 'rural sustainability'
2. Governance and rural development: progress and prospects
3. Rural society, population and settlement under conditions of economic and social change
4. Sustainability and the rural business enterprise
5. Heritage, tourism and environment: challenges and opportunities
6. Sustainability in the interaction between rural and urban systems
7. Land use, agriculture and food: issues of local sustainability in a global context

Mais informação:

21 de julho de 2013


2013 Johannesburg

21 – 26 JULY 2013

Johannesburg and Stellenbosch (South Africa)

Hosted by:
- The Department of Geography, Environmental Management and Energy Studies (University of Johannesburg)
- The Department of Geography (University of Stellenbosch)


• Technological innovations and creative activities in cities.
• Contested social spaces.
• Creating sustainability.
• Dilemmas of aging cities.
• Increasing insecurity.
• Urban heritage and conservation.
• Urban governance.
• Complex urban systems.

Mais informação:

2º International Workshop on Urbanization and Cultural Landscape

An Italian Portuguese Scientific Cooperation Programme

Turin - Italy

24 - 31 July

Workshop topics and the framework:
How does the socio-cultural dimension of the heritage management in the historic urban landscapes matter in an era of mega-urbanization?
The 2º International Workshop on Urbanization and Cultural Landscape is a part of series of international workshops that focus on cultural and natural heritage management through relevant issues like, urbanization and urban growth, landscape quality assessment, spatial planning, cultural geography and territorial identity.
This workshop as well as the 1o International Workshop on Urbanization and Cultural Landscape will address issues regarding the rapid growth and changes of the urban context and aims at exploring, investigating and understanding dynamics between urban and rural areas, between historic and modern, in many functions and aspects: environmental, social, cultural, economic and institutional.
Landscape is in fact one of the fundamental dimensions of territory that reflects the interaction of nature, human settlement and history.City functions and their associated networksare an important and impacting factor in the development and change of landscape. This development in several cases is managed within the metropolitan boundaries and does not include also urban-rural interaction, which needs to be managed not only in an institutional framework and need to be understood at the local level. In this complexity, identifying, characterizing, evaluating are fundamental tools for planning and manage this complex urban-rural interaction, which is already an urgent issue at the global scale.

The methodology of this workshop is based on a multiple activity model including theoretical, practical, case studies and site visits, exercises, group work and classroom discussions. Participants will need to be active and involved during all these stages.

- Urban complexity and dynamics
- Innovative concepts on urban planning and design
- Urban landscape as a social and cultural process
- Participatory Landscape planning and management
- Indicators for a sustainable action plan
- Surveys and mapping of the city’s natural, cultural and social resources
- Policies for conservation and management in the Historic Urban Landscape
- Evaluation methodologies

Ver mais:

16 de julho de 2013


N. 3 (2013)


- Refreshing the parts that other transport cannot reach
Peter Hall

- Sorria: você está na Bahia. A urbanização e a turistificação do litoral baiano
Cristina Pereira Araujo, Heliana Comin Vargas
- A construção social dos territórios-rede da 2ª ruralidade - Dos territórios-zona aos territórios-rede - Construir um território de múltiplas territorialidades
Maria Mercês Covas, António Manuel Covas
- Reflexões sobre o contributo dos instrumentos de gestão para a resiliência de áreas protegidas em Portugal
Catarina Fonseca, Margarida Pereira
- Contributo Para o Conhecimento Geomorfológico e Geológico da Área Envolvente do Couto Mineiro da Panasqueira
Anselmo Ramos Gonçalves, Luis Jacques Ribeiro
- Percepção sociocultural de residentes de cidades médias brasileiras de tamanho intermediário
Ralfo Edmundo Matos
- Creative industries, spatial contrasts and urban governance in Madrid
Juan José Michelini, Ricardo Méndez
- A paisagem, uma ferramenta de análise das mudanças socioambientais no eixo da rodovia BR-163: de Cuiabá/MT a Santarém/PA
Messias Modesto Passos, Reginaldo José Souza
- As modernas tecnologias de informação e comunicação e o espaço público Explorando as fronteiras de uma nova relação
Carlos Smaniotto Costa, Rosita Maria Schmitz
- La justicia social y la Utopía dialética: Discutiendo con Harvey sobre espacio público
Márcio Moraes Valença
- Sistemas e Culturas de Planeamento: fatores e dinâmicas de transformação
Ana Valente Veneza

Ver mais:

14 de julho de 2013

Planning for Resilient Cities and Regions


15th - 19th July 2013

Dublin, Ireland

AESOP, Association of European Schools of Planning
ACSP, Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning
UCD, University College Dublin

The Congress focuses on resilience which has become a new banner for various societal and related planning efforts in cities and regions across the globe. These efforts generally aim to sustain the urban and rural viability and improve the quality of life for their residents amidst the global economic and socio-political crisis and climate change.
The contemporary challenges require innovative and sustainable solutions in the creation of more resilient and adaptive cities and regions, which balance economic competitiveness, environmental protection and social flourishing. These solutions derive in part from spatial planning, building on the roles of urban design, community engagement and technological innovations to ensure that urbanisation is managed in a sustainable manner.
In addition, there is an opportunity to examine planning issues from peripheral (edge) as well as "in between" positions and perspectives. With the joint involvement of AESOP and ACSP, it is expected that the conversations will take special regard for cross-societal and cross-cultural themes and promote exchanges between the American and European as well as participants from other continents.

• Advances in Planning Theory and Practice
• Planning for Gender, Diversity, and Justice
• Environment, Energy and Climate Change
• Housing & Regeneration and Community Development in Time of Crisis
• Transport and Infrastructure Planning
• Governance, Institutions and Civic Initiatives
• Land Use Policy and Planning
• Innovation in Planning Education
• Design and History of the Urban Environment
• International Planning, Cross-border and Inter-regional Cooperation
• Spatial and Planning Analysis Methods in a Digital World
• Planning for Urban Regions in Transition, Growth and Shrinkage
• Urban and Regional Economic Planning under Prosperity and Austerity
• Planning for Risks - Health, Safety and Security
• Planning Law, Regulation and Dispute Resolution
• Rural and Landscape Planning

Ver mais:

13 de julho de 2013

Shopping malls as public space in India

ADRIANA Valdez Young

MAY 15, 2013

It was high monsoon season. Rain-dodging families, teenagers and the elderly were in search of a retreat: a place to gather, stroll and dig into their lunch tiffins away from the oppressive heat and humidity. As India’s leading builder of enclosed shopping malls, Mumbai granted refuge to its citizens in the form of air-conditioned glass and steel retail oases. Plagued by high vacancy and low purchasing rates, Mumbai’s new breed of shopping malls had become a neighborhood stomping ground for a city with a serious dearth of open public space and a mean appetite for public spectacle.

Particularly in Mumbai, a city of 18 million residents with less than one square meter per person of open public space, were shopping malls a remedy for overcrowding? Were the malls becoming a second “nature,” an indoor city of clean air, benches and space to stroll?

Despite aggressive visual branding and explicit inducements to pursue shopping fantasies, reality ruled the mall. People were using malls to go for walks, meet up with lovers, or shrug off their slippers and settle in for a nap. In addition to reclining on the benches and ledges of mall entrances and atria, friends catching up or checking their phones would occupy the displays of living rooms and televisions. Rather than remain vigilant of shoplifters, security guards were poised at the bottom and top of escalators: ushering up and off giddy grown-ups venturing on their first rides on mechanical stairs. And to affordably enjoy the ambiance of the food court, large families or groups of friends would purchase a single soda or piece of pizza to earn them the right to a table, and then fill the rest of the meal with food from their own set of tiffins.

Overall, the building’s amenities were themselves the objects of entertainment and exploration. Indian consumers were happy to dip their toes in the waters of Western retail, testing the temperature of what new shopping environments had to offer, without committing to major purchases. In his analysis of the boom in shopping mall construction, Raju Bist confirms that the majority of mall goers are spectators not shoppers: ‘Some of the visitors are serious shoppers, attracted by the convenience of buying a wide variety of goods under one roof at economical prices. But most are partaking of new experiences – gawking at luxury goods, cooling off in air-conditioned comfort and enjoying an ambiance seen only in Hollywood movies up until now’ (2004). Some shopping malls counteracted this practice by instating strict admittance policies, granting entrance only to shoppers who could show a credit card or a mobile phone to security as a way of proving their status as potential consumers. Although these polices were scraped after customer complaints, there remains a tension between mall owners eager to turn a profit and a public more interested in riding the escalators. If Indian consumers are willing to spend time, but not money at shopping malls, can there be a balance struck between public space and private gains? And if not, and malls continue to provide the public with vital open, recreational space they crave, could the city step in to subsidize overhead costs? Perhaps a private-public partnership is what’s in store next monsoon season.

Link para o artigo completo:

12 de julho de 2013

“La ville tourné vers l’espace public. Prix européen de l’espace public urbain 2012”

La exposición del Premio 2012 se muestra en Lyon

La exposición del Premio 2012 continúa su itinerancia por Europa. Después de Toulouse y Paris, la próxima parada es la ciudad de Lyon

entre el 24 de mayo y el 28 de julio

el Archipel - Centre De Culture Urbaine

Mais informação:


from 20 to 23 May 2013



Come gather ’round planners
Wherever you plan
And admit that your plans
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be planning a-new
If your job to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better keep plannin’
Or you'll get in deep water
For the cities they are a-changin’ ...

The relationship between space and time has been formulated in the most diverse planning theories and has fascinated mankind from the beginning. When planning our cities, when defining projects that may improve the conditions of our society, when proposing decision processes that manage the space around us, when implementing techniques to foster development - the relationship between space and time is something we are constantly working with.

In May 2013, REAL CORP will explore the relationship between time and space, and how the planning practise and theory relates itself to this complex synergy.

Time and space work on different scales, dimensions and topics – and confront us with questions such as:
  • How to plan taking into account time, both past history and future development?
  • How to integrate monitoring within the planning decision processes, such as in the case of natural disasters?
  • How to handle time that cannot be planned, such as long decision processes or real time decisions?
REAL CORP 2013 in Rome will be an occasion to discuss about theories and methods but also hands-on experiences from all over to world on how planning deals with space in time in order to plan our cities and regions.

Main Topics of REAL CORP 2013:

1. Environment and Spaces over Time

1.1 Fragile Cities
  • How can planning improve cities’ resilience to natural disasters?
  • In the past years, natural disasters have affected many cities with different cultural and economic situations.
  • How can cities be prepared to tackle this?
1.2 Environmentally Smart Communities and Regions
  • How resources are managed between community planning and new technologies
  • Worldwide the need to better handle our resources has been recognised via the use of policies and guidelines. How are these translated into cities?
  • How do citizens use technologies in their everyday life to improve the urban environment?
1.3 Governing Networks across Borders
  • How to manage natural elements and infrastructures that do not respect boundaries and national borders?
  • From trans-national to municipal scale there seems to be the need to coordinate various actors involved in the management of networks such as natural elements (rivers, natural corridors, etc.) or infrastructures (water, roads, etc.) across borders and boundaries.
  • What structures and what modalities are being developed to do this?
2. Slow or Fast Economy

2.1 Creative Competitive Territories
  • How can Regional and Metropolitan planning improve territorial competitiveness and cohesion?
  • In times of economic-financial crisis, how can green economy, flexible specialisation of regions, creative industries, etc. is combined with de-growth models of development, shrinking cities, etc?
2.2 Discomfort of the Present, Relief of the Future

Cities are the main producers of economic activities, but what are the means to achieve this in the Balkans and the Mediterraneum?
Cities in the 21st century face the challenge of being competitive and maintaining a reasonable state of welfare at the same time. Many cities in EU neighbouring countries (especially in Balkan and Mediterranean areas) have a significant urban development deficit in terms of integrated strategies, capacity and urban implementation tools. Tackling the problem of incoherent urban and regional development is a challenge of present days ... and an opportunity for shaping vision for the future.

2.3 Economy out of the Big Lights
  • How to boost economy in areas outside of the main cities?
  • 50 % of world’s population is now living in cities, yet the other half is not and is distributed on a far larger surface.
  • What new economic trends are occurring in not highly urbanised areas around the globe?
  • What are the strong points they are strengthening and what are their challenges?
3. Timing Society

3.1 Social Housing: Yesterday, Today ... and Tomorrow?
  • The affordable housing demand is becoming an emergency even in cities with a weak demographic growth. What are cities round the globe doing to tackle these issues?
  • What are best and worst practices of urban regeneration around the world that promoted housing and slum upgrading?
3.2 Cities for All
  • How cities can be inclusive?
  • Inclusion of citizens in today’s society means taking into account the variety of people that live in our cities. The diversity of citizens ranges from age, physical disabilities but also foreign background and cultural differences.
  • On the one hand cities need ad hoc strategies for each user group and on the other there is the need for a holistic vision for an inclusive city. How can cities accommodate the society of today and tomorrow?
3.3 Improving Daily Resilience of our Communities

Ensuring consistent standards of quality of life within a continuously changing urban context – Resilience is usually considered in the context of large-scale man-made or natural accidents. However cities are continuously changing ecosystems where small daily events require new smarter mobility concepts. These need to be capable to maximise real-time information coming from the community in order to deliver personalised solutions that can support our communities at large. How technology can support communities improve resilience to unplanned situations?

4. Moving a Tempo

4.1 Real Time Planning
  • Do the right thing when time tends to zero
  • Decision making and planning processes take relatively long time before becoming effective, so what happens when decisions need to be immediate?
  • Are there cases where decisions on cities are taken out of the traditional planning framework?
  • And what are the technologies that enable this?
4.2 Memory and Imagination
  • How cultural heritage can be integrated in today’s city
  • Some cities more than others have a great cultural heritage that also becomes an attractor for tourism, but how can this not become a limit towards contemporary living?
4.3 Changing at Fast Pace
  • Smart platforms to cope with a fast-evolving city
  • While in the past changes required decades or centuries to occur, cities are now very dynamical systems of systems where transportations, energy, communication networks have to fast adapt to ever changing conditions. Smarter energy grids need to react to fast changing production or consumption regimes, communication network need to be able to adapt to varying traffic conditions.
  • Which are the tools that can be used to keep up with such a fast evolution?
5. As Time goes by ... Never-Ending (Under) Development Stories

5.1 Cities have Never been Modern!
  • What are the new combination of factors which lies behind the unending change of present-day “invisible cities”?
  • Modernity does not unfold equally at the core and at the periphery of world systems. Where power and money concentrate, the logic of development seems easier to retrieve. Elsewhere, development and modernity seem to lose some of their features.
5.2 Lost in Spaces ...
  • Does lost space generate processes of social construction and does it shape the urban fabric?
  • Planning tools and policies determine the multidimensional network that regulates the exchange of information flows. The lack of civic aggregation in public space, of construction of collective and participatory spaces opens the doors to “the lost space”.
5.3 As You Change, You Still Remain the Same
  • In the life of buildings and neighbourhoods changes develop a new face of the surroundings. Brownfield development, new functions of buildings and gentrification are processes that occur all over the world, but what are the differences and similarities?
  • How is the experience from best and worse practises being capitalised?
6. Planners' toys – Data, Tools and Gadgets

6.1 Data and Information Infrastructures – the Essential Fuel to Power Planning Processes

6.2 Visioning, Simulation, Decision Support and Scenario Tools

What are the key features of modern or future strategies, concepts, approaches, methods and technologies that are implemented in planning tools and can meet the challenges of managing urban time and space?

Global projects and specialized tools for playing with models and virtual reality are cornerstones inside a computer’s work space of planners. IGIS technologies, data fusion, modelling, simulation and scenario tools; 2D, 3D, 4D visualization and visioning solutions for augmented and mixed realities are essential components for planners. Examples of applied tools versus design, architecture and implementation aspects will be discussed.

Monitoring and decision making support systems for urban planning intended for local, regional and global scales form basic capabilities for solving many practical problems.

6.3 Real Time, Real Space, Real Life?

“For if there are times past and future, I desire to know where they are.” (Augustine, Confessions XI.18)

Mais informação:
http://www.corp.at/index.php?id=2 http://programm.corp.at/cdrom2013/en/programme.html https://www.facebook.com/pages/REAL-CORP-Conference/255747484506524

11 de julho de 2013

RTPI Planning Convention - Planning for growth

Thursday 11th July 2013

London - Home of the Royal Society of Medicine - One Wimpole Street

The RTPI Planning Convention is one of the key events in the planning calendar and offers the opportunity to:

  • update your knowledge on the UK planning system,
  • extend your networks and
  • hear from expert speakers on the big issues for planners in the UK.

Current programme
The Convention begins with big picture themes around our economic, social and environmental future that set the scene for the day.
09:30 – 10:45
Growth: Planning beyond recession
11:15 – 12:15
Flagship growth projects Role of core cities and major towns in delivering growth.
12:15 – 13:15
Choice of hosted workshops
14:15 – 15:30
Role of local places in delivering growth The green economy
16:00 – 17:00
The Big Debate: 'This House believes that planning generates growth.'

Mais informação:

Conferência Internacional "Cidades Sustentáveis 2020"

11 de julho de 2013

Lisboa - Instituto Francês em Portugal - Avenida Luís Bívar, 91

No âmbito da preparação do novo quadro de referência para o desenvolvimento urbano sustentável em Portugal no próximo período de programação comunitária 2014-2020, o Ministério da Agricultura, do Mar, do Ambiente e do Ordenamento do Território promove, em Lisboa, no dia 11 de julho de 2013, uma Conferência Internacional, subordinada ao tema "Cidades Sustentáveis 2020".
Pretende-se, com esta iniciativa, organizada pela DGT e pela CCDRLVT,  promover um debate alargado sobre as várias vertentes desta temática.
Nessa perspetiva, a Conferência conta com os contributos e a experiência de peritos nacionais e internacionais.

Técnicos da Administração Central e Local, comunidade científica, associações profissionais, organizações não-governamentais, personalidades e representantes de entidades que desenvolvam a sua atividade em áreas que se enquadrem no tema da conferência.

A participação é gratuita, mas sujeita a inscrição prévia.

PROGRAMA (Parcial)

Painel I - Cidades 2020: Políticas e Perspetivas
Wladyslav Piscorz - “Cities Challenges and Visions – Europe 2020”
Robert Donkers
Joaquim Oliveira Martins
José Oliveira - “Tornar as Cidades Resilientes”

Painel II - Desenvolvimento Urbano Sustentável
Paulo Correia
José Alberto Rio Fernandes - “Urbanismo, sustentabilidade e urbanismo para cidades sustentáveis”
Frederico Rauter - "Project A Perfect City"
Eduarda Marques da Costa

Painel III – Cidades ecológicas
Eduardo Brito Henriques
Javier Maroto - "Benefits of being an European Green Capital"
António Lamas
Ana Lopes - "Hortas urbanas"

Painel IV – Cidades Inteligentes
Paulo de Carvalho
Catarina Selada - "Índice de Cidades Inteligentes"
António Aires Messias - "Caso de Évora"
Miguel Silvestre - “Óbidos Creative SPIN”

Ver mais:

10 de julho de 2013

"A nova vida do velho centro, nas cidades portuguesas e brasileiras"


10 de Julho | 18h00m

Casa independente | Largo do Intendente 45, Lisboa

A obra "A nova vida do velho centro, nas cidades portuguesas e brasileiras", será pretexto para intervenções de José Alberto Rio Fernandes (coorganizador do livro), Teresa Barata Salgueiro (autora de um dos textos de abertura), João Seixas, Andreia Magalhães e Pedro Costa (autores do texto sobre Lisboa) e António Costa (Presidente da Câmara Municipal de Lisboa).

Segue-se debate.

A entrada é livre.

9 de julho de 2013

“A Cidade na Encruzilhada – Repensar a Cidade e a sua Política”

Lançamento do livro de
João Seixas

Terça-feira dia 9 de Julho, às 18h30

Na livraria Ler Devagar, na Lx-Factory em Alcântara, Lisboa


8 de julho de 2013

A revolução urbana

domingo, 30 Junho 2013

Sucedem-se as análises em torno do que se passa na Turquia e nas principais cidades do Brasil. Aqui vai mais uma. Quase todas dizem que as revoltas são sustentadas por classes médias insatisfeitas, transmitidas por redes sociais, e que começaram com "motivos menores". Um pequeno parque em Istambul e 20 cêntimos de aumento nas tarifas dos ônibus urbanos brasileiros. Coisas pequenas, rastilhos enormes. Estes motivos são, porém, tudo menos menores. São elementos fortemente urbanos, e de vida urbana por excelência, pelo que compreendem e significam. Um parque verde central e muito popular face a um centro comercial banalizador e imposto por cima; tarifas de mobilidade urbana de um país imenso face a milionários estádios de futebol e outras derivas imobiliárias "emergentes" e efémeras; não são, de forma alguma, conflitos "locais". São extraordinariamente globais. São conflitos entre oligarquias e democracias; entre vidas artificiais e vidas reais. E são o prenúncio de uma revolução urbana, que se sucederá por todo o planeta. E que conviria que fosse acompanhada pela política, de preferência humanista, ecológica e democrática.

É assim vital não ser arrogante para com a cidade e os seus cidadãos. Agir ecológica e equitativamente, construindo os suportes para a materialização dos direitos urbanos, e assim actuar sobre as dimensões e os espaços mais pertinentes, como é o caso da mobilidade e da inclusão social; da escala da metrópole à escala de cada bairro. Em diversidade, em pluralidade, em convivência. A revolução urbana é inevitável. Temos tudo a ganhar se a compreendermos e acompanharmos. Aproximando a Polis da cidade; e vice-versa.

Link para o artigo completo:

7 de julho de 2013

“A evolução das formas urbanas de Lisboa e do Porto nos séculos XIX e XX”

da autoria de:
Vitor Oliveira


Este livro analisa a evolução das formas urbanas de Lisboa e do Porto ao longo dos séculos XIX e XX. A primeira parte fornece um enquadramento teórico e metodológico da morfologia urbana, identificando as origens, desenvolvimento e características fundamentais das abordagens dominantes nesta área do conhecimento. Este enquadramento suporta a construção de uma matriz de análise que será aplicada no estudo das duas maiores cidades portuguesas. Na segunda parte do livro caracterizam-se os processos de expansão de Lisboa e Porto, identificando diferentes padrões em diferentes tempos e espaços destas cidades, e evidenciando os impactos dos grandes documentos de planeamento, desde os Planos Gerais de Melhoramento até aos atuais Planos Diretores Municipais. Conclui-se demonstrando que o estudo da forma urbana será enriquecido pela inclusão de novas atitudes metodológicas, nomeadamente o Redesenho Cartográfico suportado por Sistemas de Informação Geográfica.


... primeira parte de enquadramento teórico sobre o estudo da forma urbana, passando das abordagens qualitativas tradicionais das Escolas Inglesa, Italiana e Francesa, às abordagens quantitativas mais recentes, com destaque para a Sintaxe Espacial. A introdução teórica inclui ainda uma interessante e útil referência ao estudo da forma urbana em Portugal, destacando os contributos mais importantes dos investigadores que, entre nós, têm procurado dinamizar e enriquecer a área científica da morfologia urbana.
O trabalho de investigação incidiu sobre o estudo da evolução das formas urbanas de Lisboa e do Porto, identificando os períodos morfológicos mais representativos destas duas cidades, em contraponto com a revisão crítica dos principais planos que, desde finais do século xix, têm vindo a guiar o seu crescimento e transformação.
O leitor mais sensível aos aspetos metodológicos notará, certamente, as enormes potencialidades da técnica do Redesenho Cartográfico sobre um Sistema de Informação Geográfica, no tratamento, retificação e análise da cartografia histórica. Por outro lado, o leitor mais interessado na morfologia urbana encontrará neste livro as bases para uma sólida análise comparativa da evolução das cidades de Lisboa e do Porto ao longo dos últimos dois séculos.
A este respeito, a confrontação da cartografia “redesenhada” não podia ser mais elucidativa. A partir do núcleo medieval, e após a intervenção pombalina que se sucede ao terramoto de 1755, Lisboa não mais perde o padrão de crescimento de uma verdadeira capital europeia, assente sobre malhas urbanas estruturadas, que se vão desenhando e convertendo em cidade, em ondas sucessivas e justapostas de desenvolvimento urbano, que tanto marcaram e marcam a qualidade e a notável legibilidade da cidade atual.
Pelo contrário, o Porto mais intimista e conservador, e certamente com menos recursos e ambição, cresce a partir do núcleo medieval à custa da abertura de grandes arruamentos que, em fase posterior, vão dando origem a sucessivas ramificações que acabam por se interpenetrar, vindo a constituir tecidos urbanos, necessariamente mais despadronizados e geometricamente irregulares, questionando a conhecida tese de Christopher Alexander que “a cidade não é uma árvore”. Mas no Porto quase parece.
Atualmente, as estruturas urbanas destas cidades apresentam-se consolidadas, os saldos demográficos registam sucessivos défices, acompanhando e alimentando uma oferta largamente excedentária de espaço edificado.
Nestas circunstâncias, dificilmente iremos assistir, pelo menos no curto e médio prazos, a períodos morfológicos tão dinâmicos e ricos em realizações e transformações nas cidades de Lisboa e do Porto, e em outras cidades portuguesas, como os períodos morfológicos identificados e revelados neste trabalho, cobrindo os séculos xix e xx. Mas isto não quer dizer que as cidades não continuem a evoluir.
Certamente que ao longo deste século, pelo menos nas décadas mais próximas, iremos continuar a assistir a alterações profundas nas nossas cidades, mas de natureza muito distinta das passadas alterações morfológicas. As cidades serão palco, e um palco sempre ativo e comprometido, de transformações mais subtis, assentes sobre novas geografias funcionais e novos modos e estilos de vida, e não tanto sobre alterações físicas, que tenderão a ser mais cirúrgicas, contidas e espaçadas no tempo. Até por isto, este trabalho tem particular atualidade e oportunidade, enquanto registo interpretativo de um passado que, influenciando decisivamente o presente e o futuro, certamente se distinguirá destes, em especial no que concerne à evolução das formas urbanas.
Porto, 2012-12-02
Paulo Pinho


6 de julho de 2013

The impossible project of public space

La Biblioteca Urbana ofrece textos de referencia sobre ciudad y espacio público, fruto de conferencias, debates y exposiciones organizadas por el CCCB.

Mais informação:

The impossible project of public space

Manuel de Solà-Morales

... A deliberation such as this is confronted with a terminological problem: the semantic debasement of the term “public space”, which is indiscriminately used for any exercise in land-filling, transforming or prettifying vacant land. All too often, the category of “public space” is used without taking into account the requirement of real urban quality that the term entails. This urbanity is the quality of significant places of collective and political content in their very material form. “Material urbanity”, the ability of urban material to express civic, aesthetic, functional and social meanings, is a basic concept when it comes to defining public space and, hence, intrinsic to the aims of this Prize.

Otherwise, a cramming of forms and planimetric geometries, the unease of frustrated architectural projects at zero elevation, or an arbitrary compositional interplay of surfaces can come to occupy public terrains with apparently infinite freedom. Mannerism is conspicuous, while the vocabulary of alignments, lamp posts, pavements, high ground and low ground, pergolas, ramps and green patches burgeons ad nauseum.

The pervasive magnitude of such practices, the growing number of projects (whether in squares and streets, parks, service installations and facilities or other places) would seem to make it necessary to re-propose a strict notion of public space as a material condition (locus) of political space.

Civic space is very difficult. Some projects merely reform outmoded spaces which are, on occasion, of great urban significance, to give them innovative or surprising, subjectively affirmative forms. Others confront new spheres of urban growth in order to procure therein some expression of public dignity. Still others understand the site as an available empty area, making the most of the occasion to invent new artifices, installations of a new urban symbology.

Yet, whatever the case and for all these limitations, there appears the indisputable fact of the high average quality attained in different municipalities by the methodological effort and technological training of the professionals concerned, the growing attention of public authorities and the great degree of satisfaction among the citizens with these projects. This is an extraordinary process of the invention, over twenty years, of a socially and culturally recognised quasi-discipline.

Speaking of public space can be a rhetorical convention that covers up the confusion that stands out over and above the values pertaining to the city as a political place, place of subjective intervention, place of the “polis”. If we accept the hypothesis (advanced since 1992) that it is the collective condition that defines urbanity and that, therefore, the collectivisation of spaces and homes, people and institutions, economic movements and activities, is the supreme effect entailed by urbanity, then we would have to think that all the places of the city, public and private, individual or corporative, are partly public spaces since they share the way in which they are appropriate for the citizens. The buildings and streets of a city, the squares and monuments, factories and schools are, in good part, felt as belonging to the residents and, to the extent that they are affected by their functional and aesthetic characteristics, they are the object of citizens’ opinions and claims. In contrast, a rural cultivation or construction is free of this collective dependence: it is an autonomous fact, isolated in its internal logic and does not form part of any formal integrated collective but, rather, belongs to the collective that is simply referred to in neighbourhood relations (or the superstructural notion of “landscape” as an environmental value, without express political content).

Hence, if all urban space is more or less public (and all public space is more or less of or for private interests), what would be the specificity of what we conventionally call “public spaces”? What would a Prize (European or otherwise) for “public space” projects be about? Can we determine which projects count and which ones don’t as such spaces? And once they are singled out, should the projects be evaluated for the intensity in which they are “public” (the more “public” a project, the higher the grade), or according to how good the spaces are (more attractive, more functional, more impressive), or for the degree to which they incorporate certain critical questions that the contemporary city has not yet managed to collectivise (traffic, segregation, largeness of scale, sustainability)?

These are questions that are interesting not only for jury members since they also rebound on the definition itself, questioning the specific nature of public space and maximally so when the deliberation is not so much about real public spaces but about “projects” of would-be real spaces. Does this, then, belong to the jurisdiction of inventiveness, design or innovation? Is it formal surprise or thematic modernity that has greater value? Is it difficulty overcome or is it effectiveness of transformation?

To go still further, what is it that constitutes public space as real experience? Over and above sociological, political and functional reflections, what has just made public space recognisable is a material fact. A fact where aesthetics is frequently distorted and distorting, yet where expression and communication pass through a particular material configuration.

The great amount of work carried out in recent years on public spaces, the mushrooming of assignments and projects, the tireless energy of architects and engineers, designers and artists, landscapers and botanists – all of them set on enhancing scraps of non-built-up urban land – the ideological discussion and the intellectual strivings towards bestowing a theoretical status and/or disciplinary entity to these matters, have extraordinarily enriched professional practices and heightened the attention of public administrators. Interest in public space seems to be self-justifying. And this, if exaggerated, can lead to unintended results. Not only words can lose their sense but the works themselves can too. The number of interventions, the arbitrariness of the projects, the frequency in space and time, the copying of cliché models and figures, the fashions and squandering of economic resources can pervert the original nature of public space as collective space par excellence: space that is not appropriated for any fad, or author or actor, or any currently prominent politician, a place that is available for open interpretation and an intersection of interests.

Public space or show room? The very valuable collection of projects that the CCCB has been putting together over the years, as with the European Archive for Urban Public Space, can simultaneously give rise to contradictory feelings of admiration and misgiving. This is a catalogue of excellence that permits one to discover what terms – old and new – have captured the attention of administrators and project designers, and what examples have been giving rise to prototypes and sequences. It is an incontrovertible demonstration of the enormous surge in attention to matters pertaining to the city’s public affairs and the public cost-effectiveness of giving them material form in different corners of the city or in available bits of land. Again, however, the sight of so many, many projects all together also lays bare the repetition of a lot of gratuitous gesturing and a great deal of gymnastics in forms striving for originality and surprise, as if public land were a blank page for the personal pleasure of the project designer. Undulations, ruptures, continuities and rows, screens and splodges, are combined – always out of the blue – as pieces of a closed and self-referencing composition.

It would appear that the proliferation of these sorts of jobs is tending to bring about a new form of autonomous professional practice which sees the precinct where the work is to be done as a free range in which zero-elevation architecture might be invented, an unconstrained exercise in which – relatively – low-cost forms and images can be explored in freedom that could not exist in construction that is constantly submitted to the much stricter requirements of the programme, costs, functions, structure and client.

In dealing with public space, one finds that it may be the leading issue of urban form or it can be mere anecdote. It depends on the scale (not the measure) in which we look at it. Public space as a combined structure of different streets and squares is the essence, the substance of coexistence, interaction and the redundancy that shared life brings. Designing the structure of spaces for the mobility, leisure and representation that link spaces of activity is what traditional urban planning is all about. In a certain sense, thinking that the quality and form of shared spaces is prior to and more important than pinpointing particular functions is now a methodological option that is rarely taken.

Yet it is not the scale of the urban whole that we usually have in mind when we speak of “public spaces”. To the extent that we keep circumscribing the idea of public space to a precise, delimited place, we are losing our perspective on it as a basic urban structure and giving priority instead to the singularity – morphological or environmental – of each site as an autonomous urban lot, as an occasion for independent formalisation. Hence, the many commissions for designing large or small public spaces viewed as specific objects turn into drawings of a closed lot, self-referencing designs frequently with an arbitrary perimeter. The site is thus converted into a platform of experimentation, a show room in which to play with paving and lamp posts, slopes and corners, with the utmost independence.

Again, the extension of this plethora of project-designing activity covers a considerable range of countries and cities. The interest in breathing modernity into public land is expressed in the demand everywhere and each project, each civic example, can be understood, from a certain standpoint, as part of an extensive process that, over the past twenty years, is bringing about a wide-ranging renovation of the whole urban epidermis of Europe. As in the periodical cellular replacement of human skin, the connective surface of European cities, its interstitial tissue of roads and paths, of gardens and squares, of what is most common or substantial and also most structural and most necessary of urban space, is being replaced, extended and manifested. What, thanks to its basic condition, was once taken as being obvious – paving, offering stable physical support for the contact of urban things and the mobility of citizens – is now an optional and symbolic matter, a question of design.

The construction of public land, hitherto the immediate result of technical needs and means, is nowadays the object of alternative offers and questionable taste. An aerial view of the map of Europe with coloured lights illuminating the progressive work over the paved surface of Europe would impress us with its extension and variety. And it is difficult to overstate the importance of this vision. This is a historic step in the concept of the city, as space held in common, in the idea of public space as a material place.

Perhaps it will only be after this careful, overall urban planning momentum, this process of expansive culturalisation of the European ground-plan, that the merits of the different projects might be judged, for what they manage to establish as a general idea of urban space and not only as attractive planimetric gestuality.

After all, at bottom, almost all the projects are works of repaving, more or less initiatives of replacing the urban skin, a surface that is in itself a deep structure. Paving, with ground as support and link, has an extensive and not a singular condition and proclaims the central role of interdependence. Public spaces will be just that when they construct the combined system of urban space and not merely a closed work. When they are defining elements of a model of the city without perimeters, rather than zero elevation architecture. When they become the representation of mobility, coexistence and conflict rather than stylised, neatly resolved landscape.

Scrutiny of the projects present in the European Archive for Urban Public Space suggested to me that they should be sorted according to their stance as proposals, their methodological pretensions. It is not easy, I believe, to produce the usual typological, thematic or scale-oriented classifications. The precise intention behind the project, which is not easy to divine either, can help us, however, to advance in critical knowledge of public space practice. Four types may be distinguished here:

1. Tidying-up projects: there are many projects (the greater part) that re-order spaces on top of themselves, making them more useful, more attractive and more novel. They respond to political intentions of visible investment, which are specific to more difficult or more representative spaces. They set out to bring them up to date and spruce them up.

Rarely do these projects convey any content other than a good makeup job.

The evaluation to be made in this case is primarily functional.

2. Projects that expand the previous sphere of public space and that, even while sticking to known typological guidelines, set about designing new areas, different in scale and location, either because of topographical difficulties or thematic complexity. This is basic urban planning activity.

These works have a technical value.

3. Projects that collectivise. These projects, the most incisive, accept the strategic goal of creating public space with private ingredients, on the basis of an understanding of collective space (public+private) as a defining substance of what is urban. Explicitly or otherwise, such projects take the view that urbanising means collectivising, and they may have a lot or a little in terms of form, but they do not shape. Rather, they are actions of mental strategy.

In their intimate sense, they have a political value.

4. Projects that invent. These are the few initiatives that are born of an ill-defined occasion, without any specific programme, without purpose and without clear limits. They propose uncommon images on the basis of inventing a type of public space for which, precisely, there is no type. It is the invention of form and programme at the same time and means accepting the risk – of error, or failure – as a premise of planning.

The value here is artistic.

However, it is also necessary to stipulate that not all public space entails urban quality just because it has been successfully organised. A project can value the characteristics of the place and can express landscaping or utilitarian qualities without managing to give material form to any notion of urbanity. The rehabilitation of the Gavà beaches, for example, has produced an excellent, sensitive and intelligent public leisure space but it does not express the urban quality that, in contrast, is to be found in the Mar Bella shoreline project, which is perhaps less attractive. The aims and contact with urban complexity are so different in these two cases that, whatever their intrinsic merits, we cannot consider the former as urban space while the latter can come under that heading. We might say much the same if we compare the Plaça Europa and the Plaça Lesseps. The infrastructural density and formalist vocation of the former cannot contribute urban quality to the site because of the devastating effect of the design materials, the measurements, forms and elements while, in contrast, the chaotic solutions in the Plaça Lesseps are surpassed as a whole by the active and heterogeneous centrality of the place and the permissive tolerance of all the lateral manifestations (of facades, movements, angles of vision and uneven surfaces) that have appeared.

Neither can the ring routes, as intrinsically circulatory spaces, be regarded as urban space. The evident absence of any relationship with the adjoining city and the highly homogeneous character of their support materials, reduce any urban quality to mere mechanical channels. This is the case despite the “urbanising” efforts that have so meritoriously been attempted. In fact, this is an act of oversimplifying urban complexity, reducing it to monographic landscape. The Metro, on the other hand, is usually a “hyper-urban” space: the parts we see and understand (entrances and stations) are made up of people, signs, connections and train carriages, all of them different materials that suggest a high degree of urban quality. What we do not see – the tunnels – are black and make of the mechanical part of transport an absent, irrelevant fact.

All public space projects are precisely that in the sense of public conception and administration. But not all of them constitute spaces of urbanity in the civic, political and figurative senses that go with the good city. Some are spaces for the public and others are urban public spaces. Public space combines “urban things”, physical materials that are able to make perceptible an idea of the city. Hegel said that beauty is the perceptible expression of an idea. And this is the grandeur and difficulty of public spaces. Ground and mud, cobblestones and slabs, asphalt and concrete, wood and leaves on the trees shift here from being generic to components for making urban quality a material thing. Walls, land, lamp posts, doorways, ramps, vehicles, corners and crannies establish the sensations of the mind that bring people into relation.

The city, macle of conflict and solidarity, stability and dynamism, connection and distance, appears in the material condition of public space. Over and above sociological, political and functional considerations, public space imposes itself as a material fact, a substratum joining matter and idea, trying to ensure that it turns out to be beautiful. Walter Benjamin, Richard Sennett, Paul Virilio and Fredric Jameson have given much thought to all this.

Physical urban quality is in the measure, the proper understanding of the limits of a space. As soon as we define it, we segregate it. Good public space has no limits, or the ones it has are undefined, multiple, oscillating. As a relative place, its references to the urban whole are more important than its own identity and yet this is enhanced thanks to them. Watch those perimeters! They are both main theme and baptism of fire of urban quality.

The urban nature of urban materials also lies in the sense of touch. Even more than in sight, perhaps. In public space, personal experience, the route and comfort are fundamental. Walking on a hard or soft surface, stone or sand, on corrugated or slippery ground brings about very different sorts of contact between body and brain. The idea is transmitted through the different sensations of the material used. And the proximity of the hands to railings, walls and benches makes us experience, more than in any other sense, the character of space. If by means of sight we understand shaping, size and setting, by touch we experience identity, treatment and character.

In the contemporary city, we can no longer see public spaces with reference to a notion of urban, functional or semantic structure, as we did in the years of structuralism but, like the Greeks, we need to read civilised space as a topological, tactical order. We must go beyond landscaping decorativeness and recognise the warp and weft of materials, which is what the proto-modern Gottfried Semper studied and called for.

In the thinking of the 1970s and the following years, little was said about public space except, perhaps, the notion of centrality as the symbolic locus of life in common. Henri Lefebvre, who showed great foresight at the time, criticised the city of the Modern Movement, saying that “la ville est du trans-fonctionnel durable”, already seeking rupture in the paradigm of structure as the idea of a city. Today, perhaps, leaving aside all the many tricky metaphors used as an excuse for a project, one must seek instead an idea (of public space, of a bit of city, of urban quality, of a political place) in the absence, precisely, of symbolic images, or picturesque novelty (all, alas, globalised) and a possibility of civic identity in the dissolution of the individual place in the collective milieu, in pure citizenship.

The individual is attenuated when public space is offered as a readied room. Napoleon, when he reached the Piazza San Marco on invading Venice, said that it is “the most beautiful salon in Europe”, seeing in it a space to be used in keeping with norms and customs; the exact opposite of Barcelona residents freely enjoying Mar Bella. Desacralised public space is the condition for the city’s existence and without public space the only things left are the rural setting and castles.

Manuel de Solà-Morales

Link para o artigo:

5 de julho de 2013


5 e 6 de Julho de 2013

DCSPT - Universidade de Aveiro


T1- As lições do QREN (balanço, dificuldades do presente, efeitos territorializados, etc.);
T2- Desafios da Agenda Europa 2020: Políticas Públicas / Instrumentos de Apoio à Decisão
T3- Desafios da Agenda Europa 2020: Desenvolvimento Rural / Ambiente e Recursos Naturais
T4- Desafios da Agenda Europa 2020: Desenvolvimento Económico / Inovação, Ciência e Tecnologia / TICE
T5- Desafios da Agenda Europa 2020: Demografia / Saúde / Educação
T6- Desafios da Agenda Europa 2020: Regeneração Urbana / Habitação / Mobilidade / Urbanização extensiva

Mais informação:

A emergência da dimensão existencial nas cidades - Uma proposta a partir do Centro Histórico de Évora

Susana Mourão
Infohabitar, Ano IX, n.º 446


O Centro Histórico de Évora é Património Mundial desde 1986, pelo seu conjunto de valor patrimonial que é um elemento primordial de estruturação, caracterização, e identificação da cidade de Évora. Para a Salvaguarda e Valorização Patrimonial do Centro Histórico de Évora foi desenvolvida uma política de preservação do seu carácter patrimonial e dos elementos que constituem a sua imagem adaptando-os à vida contemporânea, e todas as intervenções são condicionadas ao seu valor patrimonial e ao seu espaço envolvente. Neste sentido, com a Classificação de Património Mundial e a sua respectiva política de Salvaguarda e Valorização Patrimonial, podemos afirmar, que o Centro Histórico de Évora de um lugar de vocação Patrimonial.

Mas, o carácter do Centro Histórico de Évora vai além da sua “imagem” patrimonial ou dos elementos patrimoniais que o constituem, ele é um lugar do dia-a-dia da vida humana, sendo o seu espaço preenchido pelo sentido humano de habitar. Por isso, o carácter deste lugar é significativo e não apenas uma imagem para quem o habita. Assim, sendo o Centro Histórico de Évora um lugar habitado, a sua política de Salvaguarda e Valorização Patrimonial está distante de quem o habita, sendo emergente a sua dimensão existencial.


Após a análise, da política de Salvaguarda e Valorização do Centro Histórico de Évora, e a sua implementação através do rigor de um projecto de reabilitação de um edifício, condicionado às questões patrimoniais, podemos afirmar, que esta competência de reabilitação apoia-se num planeamento prospectivo que parte do seu património físico e projecta a preservação da sua imagem para o futuro, e esquece a sua dimensão existencial, isto é, o modo como se vive e como se sente no Centro Histórico de Évora.

Assim, é necessário que esta política de salvaguarda e valorização patrimonial ultrapasse este impasse de “culto patrimonial” que está distante do fenómeno do dia a dia da vida humana: o Centro Histórico de Évora é um lugar habitado.

Enquanto lugar habitado, o Centro Histórico de Évora não é um espaço “vazio” e com um carácter meramente visual, mas sim um espaço preenchido pelo sentido humano e revela um carácter significativo por quem o habita. Para tentar sair deste “culto”, temos que tentar olhar o corpo patrimonial do Centro Histórico de Évora como equivalente simbólico ao corpo humano, e reabilitar este corpo patrimonial é sinónimo de reabilitar o corpo de quem o habita. Assim, a partir desta experiência no Centro Histórico de Évora propõe-se a emergência da dimensão existencial nas cidades, porque “as cidades actuais vivem em função de um passado, presente e futuro através do seu planeamento prospectivo. Este planeamento prospectivo é fruto de uma cultura tecnológica, que valoriza o tempo futuro e operatório das mudanças nas cidades, e esquece o tempo existencial de como as cidades vivem e sentem o seu tempo.”

Link para o artigo completo:

4 de julho de 2013

Conferência Horizontes: AML 2020 uma área metropolitana de Lisboa inteligente, sustentável e inclusiva

4 e 5 de Julho de 2013

Auditório Alto do Moinhos | Lisboa

Programa e mais informação: http://www.apgeo.pt/files/docs/Newsletter/ProgramaProvisorioconferencia_4_5_julho.pdf

Post-Crash City: Environments & Ecologies

The Post-Crash City
A high-profile conference series, spanning 2012 through 2013, which covers the contemporary crisis and changes in urban systems.

The global financial crisis has provoked re-analysis of the limits and social harms associated with our economic systems and its relationship to urban life. The move to conditions of an economic reverse, a crash of arguably unprecedented scale, has been met with wavering commitments to expand and draw-back from the public financing of both private and state institutions. Proposals in many western and other countries globally for massive public cuts raise the prospect of economic stagnation and indeed social pain generated by the withdrawal of state supports for the most marginal members of society. This context presents important challenges to critical social analysis.

What will this crisis, and its unwinding in different social spheres and spatial contexts, mean for cities globally and nationally? How can we effectively monitor, critique and add to public debates, community action and institutional ways of thinking that might encourage more genuinely progressive and incisive diagnoses of the collapse of urban conditions? This conference series has been created to address these issues by creating a space for dialogue and the dis- semination of research and ideas around how urban life has and will continue to be transformed by this most recent and dramatic set of transformations in economic systems globally.

Post-Crash City: Environments & Ecologies

Março de 2012 a julho de 2013

University of York’s new Heslington East Campus

Quem organiza:
Centre for Urban Research at York (CURB)

The argument that environmental issues are deprioritised by policymakers and the public during times of economic decline has once again emerged. There is evidence to support these claims, some argue that urban green spaces are being neglected as a result of budget cuts, equally, others highlight challenges to urban regeneration, with funding sources more limited and projects harder to negotiate, especially with less desirable spaces such as polluted brownfield sites. Ironically some argue that environmental problems may have actually lessened during the recession, for example, Castellanos and Boersma (2012) attribute a 20 per cent drop in NO2 levels in 2010 in Europe at least in part to the global recession. However, despite the cuts, in the UK some environmental agendas clearly remain in place and are becoming a more standard part of policy rhetoric, especially those relating to low carbon initiatives. It is also becoming increasingly more unusual to find low carbon strategies that do not take into consideration (at least on the surface) broader social concerns such as poverty and social inclusion.

These issues raise a number of questions: how are urban environments changing as a result of this altering terrain? Are new networks forming in order to continue environmental or social goals that were previously supported through the public purse? Are social and environmental goals being balanced differently since the recession?

Ver também:

Enviado por:
Dan Donoghue

3 de julho de 2013

Tempos de mudança nos territórios de baixa densidade: as dinâmicas em Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro

Nuno Azevedo

Esta tese reflecte os processos territoriais, sociais e económicos que atravessam as áreas de baixa densidade, procurando percepcionar a diversidade dos territórios rurais e os processos de transformação e recomposição territorial. A abordagem empírica é efectuada sobre Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro. O trabalho encontra-se em três capítulos: "Tipologias e Dinâmicas nos Territórios de Baixa Densidade"; "Dinâmicas e Tipologias Territoriais em Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro"; "Memórias, reinvenções e instituições em Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro"

Ver mais:

Methods for Multilevel Analysis and Visualisation of Geographical Networks

Céline Rozenblat (Editor),
Guy Melancon (Editor)

This leading-edge study focuses on the latest techniques in analysing and representing the complex, multi-layered data now available to geographers studying urban zones and their populations. The volume tracks the successful results of the SPANGEO Project, which was set up in 2005 to standardize, and share, the syncretic, multinational mapping techniques already developed by geographers and computer scientists. SPANGEO sought new and responsive ways of visualising urban geographical and social data that reflected the fine-grained detail of the inputs. It allowed for visual representation of the large and complex networks and flows which are such an integral feature of the dynamism of urban geography. SPANGEO developed through the ‘visual analytics loop’ in which geographers collaborated with computer scientists by feeding data into the design of visualisations that in turn spawned the urge to incorporate more varied data into the visualisation. This volume covers all the relevant aspects, from conceptual principles to the tools of network analysis and the actual results flowing from their deployment. Detailed case studies set out in this volume include spatial multi-level analyses of flows in airports and sea ports, as well as the fascinating scientific networks in European cities. The volume shows how the primary concern of geography—the interaction of society with physical space—has been revivified by the complexities of new cartographical and statistical methodologies, which allow for highly detailed mapping and far more powerful computer analysis of spatial relationships.


1   Introduction ... Céline Rozenblat and Guy Melançon

Part I   Concepts and Visualizations of Multilevel Spatial Networks
2   A Small World Perspective on Urban Systems ... Céline Rozenblat and Guy Melançon
3   Topological Clustering for Geographical Networks ... Jean-François Gleyze
4   Theoretical Models of Time-Space: The Role of Transport Networks in the Shrinking and Shrivelling of Geographical Space ... Alain L’Hostis

Part II   Tools for Networks Analysis
5   Structural Analysis of Networks ... Guy Melançon and Céline Rozenblat
6   Graph Visualization For Geography ... Antoine Lambert, Romain Bourqui, and David Auber
7   Exploring Hierarchies Using the DAGMap ... Pierre-Yves Koenig

Part III   Empirical Studies of Spatial Multilevel Networks
8   Ports in a World Maritime System: A Multilevel Analysis ... César Ducruet
9   Comparing Multilevel Clustering Methods on Weighted Graphs: The Case of Worldwide Air Passenger Traffic 2000–2004 ... Céline Rozenblat, Guy Melançon, Romain Bourqui, and David Auber
10  Multilevel Analysis of Corporations Networks: A Comparison Between Agro-Food and Automobile Strategies for Urban Development ... Charles Bohan and Bérengère Gautier
11  The Capture and Diffusion of Knowledge Spillovers: The Influence of the Position of Cities in a Network ... Marie-Noëlle Comin
12  Defining Polycentric Urban Areas Through Commuting Cohesion in France ... Patrice Tissandier, Trung Tien Phan Quang, and Daniel Archambault

Conclusion ... Céline Rozenblat and Guy Melançon


During the last decade, research on networks has developed rapidly in most scientific disciplines. Several factors explain this sudden interest, which has led to an exponential growth in the dedicated literature from the natural to the social sciences. Technical advancements have certainly facilitated this exceptional development. Although graph theory and analytic concepts about graph structure and dynamics did exist before the 1960s (Berge, 1958), the processing of large connectivity matrices remained limited for a long time by the insufficient power of computers. On the empirical side, relational data were scarce or were very expensive to construct. Indeed, the significant increase in the speed of computing that has occurred recently as well as the proliferation of new types of empirical relational data that have been made viable because of the Internet have boosted the creation of powerful tools for network analysis. In parallel, many important modern societal trends have emphasized the need for developing adapted concepts and theories to help understanding these trends, which include the globalization processes that mainly operate through networking relationships; the trend toward decentralized management, the trend toward more participative or cooperative organization than the classical hierarchies; and the unfolding of individual connections through increasing mobility and educational level of population accompanied by various communication tools, to the extent that social networks are now considered to be a major source of “big data”.
Among all of the social sciences, geography is well advanced in analyzing and modeling networks. Physical networks, such as the hydrographic, transportation or infrastructure networks, are part of the structuring of the geographical space. The descriptions of these networks were formalized decades ago, for instance, by models such as Horton’s laws or accessibility and connectivity indices (Garrison, Berry, Marble, Nystuen, & Morrill, 1959). Thereafter, exchanges of goods, people and information between places were considered to be a possible fundamental explanation of geographical diversity leading to a conception of geography as a science of “spatial interaction” (Ullmann, 1954). Theoretical and operational models of spatial interaction were already well established in the 1970s (Wilson, 1970). The gravity model representing trip distribution was even considered to be “the first law of geography” (Tobler, 1970).
However, until recently, there were few methods for fully exploiting the vision of geographical space as a relational space, defined according to the many possible configurations by the interactions between georeferenced entities. Introducing that vision is the most salient aspect of this book. This book develops an integrated set of theoretical interpretations and adapted methods for exploring a variety of networks. These original and reproducible methods were elaborate, due to a long and involved interdisciplinary collaboration, between a laboratory of data processing and a network of geography researchers. A geographer, Céline Rozenblat, and a computer scientist, Guy Melançon, together developed a theoretical conception of geographical networks produced by dynamic processes in complex systems. They also conceived and adapted methods and software for visualizing the specific configurations of relational spaces that are operating at different scales of analysis within these networks. These scholars both succeeded at stimulating interest and animating a group of scientists from Canada, France and Switzerland, who worked together since 2005 when the SPANGEO program was initiated.
A major achievement of this project is the continuous development of the TULIP software, which is dedicated to the visualization of large networks according to the measurements of centralities and proximities in a variety of ways. As the networks analyzed by the geographers connect located objects, they are often rather strongly structured by the constraints that the distance exerts on the practices of communication or displacement. Explaining their structure implies combining the identification of topological organization (for example, small world configuration) and measurement of metrics on weighted interaction flows (representing, for instance, group cohesion). Moreover, as urban centers are the places where social interaction organizes in networks on many scales, from daily commuting patterns to worldwide air transportation system, there was a specific need for integrating within the measurement procedure—the hierarchical structure of urban systems that guides the many patterns of socio-spatial interaction. In addition to the usual methods for detecting communities within the network through various clustering methods, the TULIP software allows for a multi-level analysis of connections that are considered both at the intra-urban and the inter-urban level. This component is especially useful, for instance, in applications to urban economy when exploring the diversity of linkages among firms or among scientific researchers inside—as well as between—cities. This type of tool opens the door to a more specific appraisal of the so-called agglomeration economies, which may in fact represent “network effects”.
Thanks to the efforts of the SPANGEO interdisciplinary group, we warmly welcome the novel feasibility of approaching the geographical space as a relational space. In the contemporary expansion of methods for network analysis, too many workers are satisfied with implementing standard algorithms or measurements on data files that are collected quickly, which yields results that are trivial or are difficult to interpret. This type of data appraisal was not followed in this work. Instead, this work proposes a method that fully integrates geographical theory with topological analysis, providing relevant measurements of centralities and proximities inside a method of visualization. Historically, geographers have used the integrative power of eyesight to envision the peculiarities of landscapes and places, constructing maps for encoding the accumulated knowledge from this process. It is now time to integrate sophisticated visualization tools in the cognitive elaboration of models and theories of spatial interaction that are occurring within the complex geographical systems and, in the process, continuously reshaping them.

Paris, France
Denise Pumain
December 2012

See more: