Extension of Space Syntax Methods to Generic Urban Variables

Spada, M. with D’Autilia, R.


We studied generalization of a method for extending configurational studies to variables that are not exclusively geographical, in order to allow investigation of generic relationships in the built environment. We observed a number of limitations of the classical approach of configurational studies and we considered how a complex analytical method could be implemented in the study of non-topological variables, such as land use, noise pollution and financial or property rents.  The case study concerns the pedestrianization of the Colosseum area in Rome.

Further Informations: In “Urban Science”, MDPI 2018 – 2(3), 82. DOI: 10.3390/urbansci2030082 –


In Between the Arts: Peter Greenaway and Sergei Eisenstein

Molinari, C.


Peter Greenaway is one of the most controversial and widely debated directors of our time. Born in 1942 in Newport, Wales, and now settled in Amsterdam, he realized several films, video art installations, and paintings. Greenaway started his career as an artist, and then worked for 15 years in the Central Office of Information (COI) in London as a film editor, beginning in the same years to direct his own short films. He found in cinema a “total art,” a medium composed by multiple communicative aspects.

Further Informations: In “Quarterly Review of Film and Video”, Routledge 2018 – 1:16. DOI: 10.1080/10509208.2018.1434753 –


Peri-urban agriculture and cultural heritage. The public potential of the in-between areas

Spada, M. with Bigiotti, S.


In this paper we examine the effects of urban farming in a worldwide system of dismissed areas affected by the phenomena of large-scale industrial dismissing and shrinking cities. We study the features of urban decay and subsequent spill overs of land and soil use in private and public conduct in agri-urbanism. The connection between the city and its farmland could represent an opportunity to improve the welfare of the whole area near the city, made possible by establishing a close relationship between the development of sustainable agriculture and the city. This renewed interest in agricultural production not only depends on urban and – or economic interest, but on a new conception of city that can improve the use of agricultural gardening to overcompensate for the empty spaces between industrial and rural areas, as well as those peri-urban spaces which are included between buildings and sub-urban voids.

Further Informations: In “Journal of Public Space”, Vol.2-2, 2017, pp. 51 – 62 ISSN 2206-9658. DOI: 10.5204/jps.v2i2.92


Shaping ideal cities: The graph representation of the urban utopia

Spada, M. with D’Autilia, R.


The Ideal Renaissance city is designed as a star-shaped fortress, where the streets and squares are organized to speed the movement of people and soldiers. Symmetry and accessibility represent the key features for the organization of the urban space. The resulting city is hierarchized and does not always guarantee an optimal degree of connectivity. Starting from the space syntax definition, we suggest a method to compute urban graphs from the Euclidean representation, the corresponding line graph and the contraction of nodes with the same urban function. We analyze the urban graphs of five historic cities and compare the analysis with the corresponding results from space syntax. Analysis of the spectral gap and the relative asymmetry distribution show a similar structure for these cities. The irregular or reticular housing structure seems to ensure connectivity and accessibility more than the regular grids. However, connectivity is ensured by the most peripheral streets, which in the space syntax representation play a marginal role.

Further Informations: In “Environment and Planning B”, 2017. DOI: 10.1177/2399808317716163