Roberto De Lotto
Susanna Sturla


The authors of this paper refer specifically to public space as that of the town square.
According to Italian tradition town squares have been clearly recognised since the Renaissance period.
There are several studies about meaning, perception, and the shape of public spaces such as squares but there is no research about their actual measures, proportions, and about the presence of some recurrent numbers.
This study develop a thematic synthesis about meaning, definitions and proportions before seeking similarity about spatial dimension using simple statistical instruments.
The study comes from a pedagogical exercise, undertaken in the last three years in the Course of Urban Design at University of Pavia, where students developed 80 data sheets based on free web information measures of Italian and European squares.


How to Cite
De Lotto, R. and Sturla, S. (2017) “Measure and proportion as keyword for qualitative town squares”, The Journal of Public Space, 2(1), pp. 69–80. doi: 10.5204/jps.v2i1.51.
Author Biographies

Roberto De Lotto, University of Pavia

Roberto De lotto is Associate Professor of Urban Planning and Design at University of Pavia (Italy), PhD in Urban Planning, 2001 (Polytechnic of Milan). He holds 140 scientific publications.
He is Director of UPLab (Urban Project Laboratory of DICAr) and Director of MS Double Degree “Pavia - Tongji University of Shanghai” in Building Engineering and Architecture. In 2015 he was the recipient, together with Prof. Tiziano Cattaneo, of the Judges’ Choice for the Climate CoLab - Session Rural Resilience at MIT - Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston. Project: "China’s rural-urban intensification. Envisioning the habitat of the future”.
He is partner of RIALTO srl (University spin-off).
He is member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Urban Planning and Development of the American Society of Civil Engineers and was Associate Editor from 2011 and 2015.
He has been visiting professor in many foreign universities serving as instructor for research and International workshops. His fields of interest in research and teaching are related to urban planning for flexible city, rural-urban settlements, strategic environmental assessment.
Since 2015 he is Municipality Council Member for City Planning at the Municipality of Segrate (Milan, Italy).

Susanna Sturla, University of Pavia

Engineer, PhD candidate. She graduated in Building Engineering and Architecture in 2008 at University of Pavia with the thesis “Green planning for ecological continuity and permeability”, supervisor prof. Roberto De Lotto.
She is teaching assitant to academic courses of Urban Planning (4th year, master degree course Building Engineering) and Environmental Planning and Assessment (5th year, master degree course Building Engineering). Since 2013 she started to collaborate with UPLAB_Urban Project Laboratory as researcher about different thematics, related to planning and environmental quality.


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