Elisa Ravazzoli
Gian Paolo Torricelli


Public space and mobility are two challenging topics in many contemporary cities. These topics give rise to important questions such as how does the element of public space affect the sustainability of urban mobility in contemporary cities? And how does facilitating mobility contribute to the livability of the public realm? The purpose of this paper is to attempt to answer these questions. On one hand, the paper explores the relationship between public space and urban mobility in the contemporary city, specifically by addressing the extent to which urban mobility can create better public spaces and even assist in producing a more sustainable model of mobility. Although ignored for a long time in the discourse on urban planning, the relationship between public space and urban mobility has the potential to create livable cities. Indeed, the use of public space by walking and cycling contributes to economic, environmental and social sustainability. Hence, together with economic, ecological and social indicators, public space and urban mobility also constitute relevant city components, when measuring a city’s sustainability performance. On the other hand, this paper seeks to suggest a set of measures related to public space and soft mobility that can be integrated into an already existing set of indicators commonly used to measure urban sustainability. In this regard, the paper contributes to the debate surrounding the need to invest more in public spaces and at the same time suggests to planners and policy makers that it is necessary to develop international measures for the evaluation of urban mobility and the sustainability of public space.


How to Cite
Ravazzoli, E. and Torricelli, G. P. (2017) “Urban mobility and public space. A challenge for the sustainable liveable city of the future”, The Journal of Public Space, 2(2), pp. 37–50. doi: 10.5204/jps.v2i2.91.
Author Biographies

Elisa Ravazzoli, EURAC Research

Elisa Ravazzoli is a human geographer, working as a senior researcher at the Institute for Regional Development at the European Academy of Bozen/Bolzen (eurac research). She is also contract professor at the University of Verona and University of Bergamo, where she teaches undergraduate courses. She has a PhD in Economics - Policy and Culture of the Territory from the University of Bologna and a MA in Geography and Territorial Processes from the same university. Her research focuseson different topics related to human, urban and regional geography (e.g. regional spatial disparities; population patterns; urban-rural divide; public spaces; spatial humanities) and she uses the GIS as a main instrument of investigation and data visualization.

Gian Paolo Torricelli, Università della Svizzera italana, Accademia di Architettura

Geographer, PhD in Economics and Social Sciences (University of Geneva), enabled as university professor (Univ. of Grenoble, France, 2002). He is currently responsible, since 2007, for the courses of Urban Geography and Spatial development (Master) and for the Observatory of Spatial Development, a laboratory for the monitoring and controlling of territorial policies of the Ticino Canton, at the Accademia di architettura (Università della svizzera italiana - USI). He has taught at the Universities of Geneva (1993-2000), University of Buenos Aires (visiting professor 1998 and 2015), University of Grenoble (visiting professor 2000/01) and Milan (contracted professor: 2002-2009). He is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Alpine Research / Revue de Géographie Alpine (Grenoble, France); is science correspondent of the Revista Transporte y Territorio (University of Buenos Aires, Argentina) and of Perspectiva Geográfica (Instituto Geográfico Agustín Codazzi), Bogotá, Colombia. His research and publications cover in particular on issues of urbanization and mobility of mountain areas, history and epistemology of cartography, mapping and geographic information systems, and more recently on urban public space in European, South-American and African cities.


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