The Clustering Effect of Industrial Sites: Turning Morphology into Guidelines for Future Developments within the Turin Metropolitan Area

  • Giuseppe Roccasalva Politecnico di Torino, SiTI /Laq-TIP (High Quality Lab-Territorial Integration Project), Faculty of Architecture
  • Amanda Pluviano The Bartlett School of Graduate Studies, UCL, UK
Keywords: Urban morphology, Configuration analyses, Industrial development, Econometric analyses


As urban societies seek to redefine themselves following the decline of manufacturing, they are left with physical and social transformations supported by successive stages of industrial growth and shrinking. At the same time, new paradigms are developed in urban planning to address the challenge of cities that are declining and cities whose population is rapidly rising. As such, these attempts raise the need to understand the impact of the street network on how cities thrive or shrink, additionally to social, cultural and economic changes. This paper uses space syntax methodology and a comprehensive mapping of industrial distribution to analyse the evolution of Turin (capital of car manufacturing in Italy) and its relationship to industry from 1920 to the present.

The paper focuses on the morphological clustering of industrial sites and how alternative concepts for planning development may be generated. The analysis showed that industry began within the urban core along the primary routes of global-scale movement. However, as a new era of economic production took place at the end of the 20th century, the street network and industry followed a different spatial logic. Industrial activities spread along the periphery in island clusters in close proximity to global arteries of movement. Turin’s centre, on the other hand retained a backbone of integrated streets that enabled its reinforcement when industry relocated. The analysis of their historic development shows that new concepts should be informed by quantitative analysis of the evolution of the urban street network and its effects on economic activity, such that the configurational logical described may provide the basis for future guideline policies.



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Author Biographies

Giuseppe Roccasalva, Politecnico di Torino, SiTI /Laq-TIP (High Quality Lab-Territorial Integration Project), Faculty of Architecture
Architect and Research Assistant in the School of Architecture at the Polytechnic of Turin from 2003, professor in sustainable design and planning. He has got international learning and professional experiences in urban design and spatial planning (C.T.H and K.T.H of Sweden). He has received award from European educational bodies and has published articles on design decision support systems and scenario making process. He is an expert in urban morphological analyses ranging from GIS-based analysis to sustainable community based design. He is consultant for architectural offices, private companies and public authorities. He is president of local landscape and environmental committees in the area of Turin.
Amanda Pluviano, The Bartlett School of Graduate Studies, UCL, UK

Amanda Pluviano (b.1978) trained in architecture at the University of Sydney, and The Bartlett, University College London. With a wide range of architectural experience in Australia and Europe she adopts an evidence-based approach to design and research. Research includes a survey of architectural competitions in China, Italy and Australia and has recently completed her Master’s thesis on the spatial dynamics of industrial and post-industrial cities. Working on large-scale projects, she is interested in the public dimension of architecture. She currently resides between Annecy, France and London.


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How to Cite
RoccasalvaG., & PluvianoA. (2012). The Clustering Effect of Industrial Sites: Turning Morphology into Guidelines for Future Developments within the Turin Metropolitan Area. TeMA - Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment, 5(3), 7-20.