Polytechnic of Turin - Department of Architecture and Design

Contact person:  Giuseppe Roccasalva

giuseppe.roccasalva [at] polito.it

Architect, PhD in Architecture and Building Design, and  second degree in Spatial Planning with focus on the built Environment. From 2003 He is research scientist at the School of Architecture and Urban Planning of Polytechnic of Turin. He has got international training and professional experiences in Urban Design and Spatial Planning (C.T.H and K.T.H of Sweden). He has received awards from European educational bodies and has published articles on design decision support systems and scenario making processes. During the last 10 years he has got expert knowledge urban morphological analyses ranging from GIS-based environmental analyses to sustainable community based design. He works as consultant for office of engineering, private Companies and public Authorities. Since 2008 he is president of local landscape and environmental committees in the area of Turin. On 2013 his latest book, 'The Future of City and Regions' (2012) by Springer Geography, has been among the most consistent download of its type (digital version).



Member description


The Department of Architecture and Desing (DAD) is one of 11 departments which compose the Polytechnic of Turin. The Departments are research and teaching oriented, carrying out duties of research promotion, organization and management. DAD is focusing on the art and science of products design, architectural design, urban design and cultural heritage design.

The DAD promotes, coordinates and manages basic and applied research, teaching and training, technology transfer, territorial services related to architectural and urban design including its sustainability, economics and financial aspects, as well as restoration, enhancement and management of architectural, urban and landscape heritage, and industrial, graphic and virtual design. The research Lab LAQ-tip (High Quality Laboratory - Territorial Integrated Project) of Turin Polytechnic develops new technologies for the analysis, simulation, interaction and modeling for urban regional design, leading the innovation in design and decision-making process. The Laboratory (LAQ-TIP) was founded in 2002 by the Department of Industrial and Architectural Design and Department Inter-university Territorial Studies and Planning, co-funded by the Politecnico di Torino. The Laboratory experiments the use of innovative technologies for analysis, simulation, modelling, representation and interaction to support the processes of design and the implementation of the procedures for design and decision relating to the change of the cities and regions. Research initiatives are focused at the building, urban and regional scales. The Laboratory supports the capability to implement technologies of representation, based on advanced information and communication technologies for innovative procedures and practices.
LAQ-TIP’s scientific contribution is twofold: firstly, it aims innovating the practices with research on urban and regional phenomena and secondly to provide a valuable tools for supporting design and decision-making processes. The strategic research target of LAQ-TIP is developing, in a very sensitive epoch, the development and use of ICT technologies for research and innovation inside the design culture.





The research group developed competences about the following research topics:


1. Testing the theories and techniques of space syntax;

2. Analysis of cities and regions by means of GIS

3. Multidimensional modeling of urban and regional scenarios;

4. Three - dimensional simulations ofcities and regions, by means of software agents, cellular automata

5. Interactive and immersive reality to improve the effectiveness and transparency of decision-making and design processes, open to public participation;

6. Simulations of urban and regional scenarios.

The research team has carried on collaboration with relevant educational and professional bodies as: Chicago Metropolis 2020; Environmental Simulation Laboratory, University of California at Berkeley; Institute for Metropolitan and International Development Studies, Amsterdam; MetroQUEST; Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, Team Spatial Analysis, Traffic and Transport; Space Syntax International Network, Space Syntax Limited, London; Urban Planning Unit, Department of Urban Studies, Infrastructure, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm; Norkoping-Linkoping University, NcomVA (Visu-analytic).



Relevant achievements, best practices, products


Recently funded for building living lab of urban public spaces, the research work is often on a cross disciplinary base, from redevelopment of peripheries to former industrial sites, from urban sprawl analyses to infrastructures as landscape tools. During the last ten years the affiliated group worked both with architects and urban planners but also with sociologists, transport planners on the base of educational programs. 

Among the researches commissioned by Pubblic Authorities or Private Practices some experiment are notable for its achievements:

Mapping quality of urbanity for crucial urban transformations in the area of Turin (area of Porta Nuova railway station , area of Spina 2,  link1, link2 )

Scenario making analyses for the exploiting a complex estate (hospital area of Molinette

Integrated multimodal analyses of Turin Metropolitan Area in the last decades 

The aim of all the research outcomes is to build an innovative processes which is able to support decisions at all levels by associating quantitative and qualitative indicators to different assumptions or goals. A further aim is experimenting the simulation as a methodology and tool for managing the uncertainties inherent to the decision, planning and policymaking processes at the metropolitan scale through a diachronic and synchronic points of view. 



On going challenges


We are developing experiments of urban regeneration with communities and Public authorities focusing on urban public space renewal and community-led environmental design/assessment. The project called 'DinAmiCittà' has involved hundreds of students and gathered the interest of thousand of citizens in more than 5 different municipality in Piedmont. A serious of workshop/seminars have shown how to face the complexity of analyzing and managing urban and environmental transformations with co-desing and phigital strategies. Nearly 55.000 visits where registered on line during our 3 months intensive workshops of the last 3 years.

Candidate your town!

In particular we are developing:

processes and tools for co-design and social innovation initiatives

innovative project for pubblic space, green area and city park social renewal

crowd mapping and funding strategies for cultural heritage and innovative policies of tourism  (see GeoMA project)

design resilient solutions for smart city which include new approaches to the multidisciplinary analytic field



Relevant publications


• G. Roccasalva, F. Corsico

“The relevance of Engaging the Future in Planning Practices”

in L. Bazzanella et al. (eds), “The Future of Cities and Regions”, Springer Geography, 2012, pag. 13-18

DOI 10.1007/978-94-007-2518-8_2


• Jim La Belle, Paul O’Connor, Giuseppe Roccasalva

“Chicago Metropolis Plans 2020”

in L. Bazzanella et al. (eds), “The Future of Cities and Regions”, Springer Geography, 2012, pag. 13-18

DOI 10.1007/978-94-007-2518-8_3


• L. Bazzanella, L. Caneparo, F. Corsico, G. Roccasalva

“Simulation, Scenario and Visioning, Governament and Governance”, and Scale

in L. Bazzanella et al. (eds), “The Future of Cities and Regions”, Springer Geography, 2012, pag. 1-12

DOI 10.1007/978-94-007-2518-8_1


• L. Bazzanella, G. Roccasalva, S. Valenti

Phygital public space approach: a case study in Volpiano

 IxD&A, N. 20, pp. 23 - 32, 2014

ISSN: 1826-9745; e-ISSN: 2283-2998


• G. Roccasalva, A. Pluviano

“Clustering effect of industrial site: turning morphology into guide lines for future developments of Turin Metropolitan Area”. In: TEMA Journal of Land Use Mobility and Transport 2012

ISSN 1970-9889


• G. Roccasalva, F. Corsico

“Visu-an-alyse indicators of Urban quality. The crucial role of forecasting Scenarios in Sustainable decision making processes”

pubblicato alla conferenza International Conference for Integrating Urban Knowledge and Practice, Göteborg 29 Maggio 3 Giugno, pp. 133, 2005

ISBN: 91-5405-946-1


• G. Roccasalva, P. Lombardi, I. Lami

“A Spatial Decision Support System for Strategic Urban Re development. The Case Study of Turin central station”

pubblicato alla conferenza SUEMoT International Conference on Whole Life Sustainability and its assessment, Glasgow Caledonian University Scotland 27-29 Giugno 2007

ISBN: 13-978-1-9058


• G. Roccasalva, A. Valente

“How to turn an available datawarehouse into an interactive tools for stakeholder’s empowerment”

nei proceeding e su repository online di Springer per la conferenza “European Conference on Complex Systems (ECCS)”, Brussels (BE). 3-7 Settembre 2012

ISBN 9782960125009


• G. Roccasalva, A. Spinelli

“Responsive parametric infrastructure. From self conciusness to civi(l)c awareness: Turin renewal work in progress”

in Michele Campagna et al., “Planning Support Tools: Policy Analysis Implementation and Evaluation” FrancoAngeli /Urbanistica 2012. pag. 1305-1317



• Pedraza, E.T. Kunze, A.  Roccasalva, G.

'Best Practices for Urban Densification: A decision-making support process using microclimate analysis methods and parametric models for optimizing urban climate comfort in eCAADe 2013: Computation and Performance'

Proceedings of the 31st International Conference on Education and research in Computer Aided Architectural Design in Europe, Delft, The Netherlands, September 18-20, 2013

ISBN 978-94-91207-04-4 (vol. 1)


• G. Roccasalva, 'Space Syntax: un metodo di lettura degli spazi urbani', 2013, Tesi di Dottorato DAPE Politecnico di Torino.