City/Sea Searching for a New Connection. Regeneration Proposal for Naples Waterfront Like an Harbourscape: Comparing Three Case Studies

  • Michelangelo Russo DIARC Università degli Studi Di Napoli Federico II
  • Enrico Formato DIARC Università degli Studi Di Napoli Federico II
Keywords: Harbourscape, Waterfront, Regeneration


The port is a strategic area of transition, where it is possible to perceive the territory-landscape and the urban front. However it lost its urban character, gradually becoming an high specialized independent machines, a sectorial infrastructure divided from the city: this phenomenon has created increasingly socio-economical marginalization.  Within a double view, lengthwise and transverse, we can describe the port as a space closed to the city and as an unfathomable barrier for the transverse flows that previously connected the waterfront to the city. The paper examines the case study of Naples, where the port expansion continues to grow without any integration with other parts of the city, distorting its “urban area” role, establishing its independence and making urban system compatibility conditions even weaker. The functional and physical division increases the perception of the port as a barrier rather than a filter. Turning the sense of these conditions aims at rethinking waterfront as a public space, a place where integration and specialization spaces become new open and accessible spatial devices. In some contemporary European and American cities (Aalborg, Oslo and Toronto) we could see the port as multifunctional system, an interdisciplinary project that creates urban spaces integrated to the city and that allows the coexistence of different uses. The project of a new public space between the sea and the hinterland could involve all these conflicting functions creating, with different strategies, a potential multifunctional landscape. In Naples as well, where the waterfront is still waiting to be re-connected with the story of the city itself.


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Author Biographies

Michelangelo Russo, DIARC Università degli Studi Di Napoli Federico II

He is a Professor of Urban Planning and is the head of the Laboratory of Urban Design at the Department of Architecture, University of Naples Federico II, where he is currently the Coordinator of the PhD Program in Architecture. He was a member of several national and international research groups, currently in the unit of Naples Programma Prin 2012 “Re-cycle Italy. Nuovi cicli di vita per architetture e infrastrutture di città e paesaggio” and Programma Faro “Cilento Labscape”. He is member of the national executive of the SIU - Società Italiana degli Urbanisti, and in 2013 hewas in the scientific coordination of the XVI Conferenza Nazionale Siu, “Urbanistica per una diversa crescita”. His research deals with the themes, the knowledge and the phenomena of contemporary urban design in relation to the mutations of the city, urbanized areas, landscapes, interaction space / country. Among his recent publications: The Metro in Naples, Urban Planning International, special issue "Planning in Italy" , Klaus Kunzman (editor), Beijing / China 2010; Città-Mosaico. Il progetto contemporaneo oltre la settorialità, Clean Editions, Naples, 2011; R. Lucci, Napoli verso oriente, Clean, Naples 2012

Enrico Formato, DIARC Università degli Studi Di Napoli Federico II

Architect, PhD in Urban Design and Planning at Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II. He is a temporary Research Fellow in Landscape Design at Department of Architecture of Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II and qualified as associated professor in Urban and Landscape design and Planning (since Feb 2014). The core of his studies pertains: open public spaces (shapes and structure) of contemporary city; theoretical relationships between present conurbation and propositions by Modern Movement and American Landscape Movement. Its activities include urban and landscape plans and projects,  some of which in collaboration with Leonardo Benevolo and his office. Among his publications: “Landscape and urbanism: tentativi di avvicinamento”, in Angrilli M. (ed.), L’urbanistica che cambia, FrancoAngeli, Milan, 2013; Americans. Città e territorio ai tempi dell’impero, Cronopio, Naples, 2012; Terre comuni. Il progetto dello spazio aperto nella città contemporanea, CLEAN, Naples, 2012.


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How to Cite
RussoM., & FormatoE. (2014). City/Sea Searching for a New Connection. Regeneration Proposal for Naples Waterfront Like an Harbourscape: Comparing Three Case Studies. TeMA - Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment.