Geographical analyses of Covid-19's spreading contagion in the challenge of global health risks

The role of urban and regional planning for risk containment

  • Beniamino Murgante University of Basilicata
  • Ginevra Balletto Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Architecture, University of Cagliari
  • Giuseppe Borruso Department of Economics, Business, Mathematics and Statistics “Bruno de Finetti”, University of Trieste
  • Giuseppe Las Casas School of Engineering University of Basilicata, Potenza
  • Paolo Castiglia Department of Medical, Surgical and Experimental Sciences, University of Sassari, Sassari
  • Marco Dettori Department of Medical, Surgical and Experimental Sciences, University of Sassari
Keywords: Covid-19, Italy, Po-Valley, Pollution, Particulate matter, Land Take, Spatial Diffusion Processes


This research develops from a set of basic geographical questions about the outbreak of Covid-19 out of China in Europe. The questions dealt with why and why with such strength Italy has been seriously hit, one of the most important cases in terms of death toll out of Hubei Province and mainland China, in the world, making the country a worldwide study case for epidemic concentration and diffusion. Questions were also related to geographical similarities among the areas hit, and particularly the Po Valley region and Wuhan metropolitan region in Hubei province, and also related to why such a divide of the virus spreading was identified in Italy between Northern and Central and Southern regions and provinces. In order to try to give an answer these questions, authors realized a vast and articulated database of indicators at provincial level in Italy, performing several geographical analyses - ecological approach - based on Spatial autocorrelation and Geographical Weighted Regression, coming to the conclusion that aspects such as land take, pollution can seriously influence the phenomenon and justify a pattern as that observable in Italy. The analyses and observation of the phenomenon also suggests that policies based on urban regeneration, sustainable mobility, green infrastructures, ecosystem services can create a more sustainable scenario able to support the quality of public health.


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Author Biographies

Ginevra Balletto, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Architecture, University of Cagliari

She is an Associate Professor of urban and territorial planning at the DICAAR, University of Cagliari. She is the scientific coordinator of the Urban and territorial planning sector of the Strategic Plan of the metropolitan city of Cagliari (Sardinia, Italy), also for post Covid-19 actions. Her actual research interests are related to urban planning and environmental sustainability in vulnerable areas (

Giuseppe Borruso, Department of Economics, Business, Mathematics and Statistics “Bruno de Finetti”, University of Trieste

He is an Associate Professor of Economic and Political Geography at the DEAMS -Department of Economics, Business, Mathematics and Statistics "Bruno De Finetti, University of Trieste. His actual research interests are related to economic geography, with particular reference to urban geography, transport and population.

Giuseppe Las Casas, School of Engineering University of Basilicata, Potenza

Full Professor Urban and Regional Planning at the School of Engineering of University of Basilicata, former director of Department of Architecture, Transport and Planning of University of Basilicata and Vice-rector for the higher education of University of Basilicata.

Paolo Castiglia, Department of Medical, Surgical and Experimental Sciences, University of Sassari, Sassari

Full Professor of Hygiene at the Department of Medical, Surgical and Experimental Sciences, University of Sassari. Head of the Unit for Hygiene and Control of Hospital Infections for the University Hospital of Sassari.

Marco Dettori, Department of Medical, Surgical and Experimental Sciences, University of Sassari

Biologist specialist in Microbiology and Virology, assistant professor of General and Applied Hygiene at the Department of Medical, Surgical and Experimental Sciences, University of Sassari.


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How to Cite
Murgante, B., Balletto, G., Borruso, G., Las Casas, G., Castiglia, P., & Dettori, M. (2020). Geographical analyses of Covid-19’s spreading contagion in the challenge of global health risks. TeMA - Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment, 283-304.
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