Our research involves working jointly with a number of academics throughout the UK, Europe, and North America and engages with collaborators across the boundaries of academia including public and private sectors. Please refer to our record of publications and research grants for further details.

Key publications by research area

Science of Urban Form & Evolution

Our work on urban science is an evidence-based investigation of urban form and how it changes in time. We seek to understand the contribution of urban form to the larger evolution of cities in their social, economic, institutional and environmental aspects.

Urban Design & Masterplanning for Change

Work in this area focuses on how we as urban designers can help generate a sustainable and resilient urban form. We study how to link building density, street centrality, transport, service and retail nodes and ecological networks in an innovative process of masterplanning that we call Plot-Based Urbanism. This research is strongly linked to our work in spatial analysis and modelling.

  • 2017 (in print) Feliciotti, A.  Romice, O. Porta, S. (in print), Urban regeneration, masterplans and resilience: the case of Gorbals, Glasgow, Urban Morphology
  • 2017 (in print) Romice, O. Feliciotti, A. Porta, S. (in print), The road to masterplanning for change and the design of resilient places, in: Archi+Tectonics: architecture, communities and cities under change, Proceedings of the 7th Annual Symposium of Architectural Research in Finland, 22–24 October 2015, Aalto University, Espoo Helsinki
  • 2017 (in print) Romice, O.  Porta S.  Feliciotti, A. Barbour, G. (in print), Masterplanning for Change: Design as a way to create the conditions for time sensitive place-making, in:  AlWaer, H. Illsley, B. eds., Placemaking: rethinking the masterplanning process, ICE Publisher, formerly Thomas Telford
  • 2015 Mehaffy, M. Porta, S. Romice, O. The ‘neighbourhood unit’ on trial: A case study in the impacts of urban morphology, Journal of Urbanism, International Research on Placemaking and Urban Design
  • 2014 Porta, S. Romice, O. Plot-based urbanism: towards time-consciousness in place-making, In; Mäckler, C., & Sonne, W. (Eds.), “Dortmund Lectures on Civic Art/Dortmunder Vorträge zur Stadtbaukunst”, Sulgen, DE: Niggli, p.82-111

Environmental Psychology, Wellness & Community Engagement

Whilst strongly encouraged by the UK government and now a compulsory feature of planning, user engagement in design is still not fully understood or effectively performed. Our expertise in the area of public engagement ranges from design to environmental psychology.

  • 2016 Romice, O. Thwaites, K, Porta, S. Greaves, M. Barbour, G. Pasino, P. Urban design and quality of life, in: Fleury-Bahi, G. Pol, E. Navarro, O. (eds.) “The Handbook of Environmental Psychology and Quality of Life Research”, Springer, ISSN: 2468-7227, p.242-273
  • 2014 Edgerton, E. Romice, O. Thwaites, K. (eds.), Bridging the Boundaries: Human Experience in the Natural and Built Environment and Implicaitons for Research, Policy and Practice. Hogrefe Publishing, Cambridge, MA

Radical Architecture Construction & Teaching Practice

This line of research is about processes of community-based housing production that puts human feelings first. Here community participation is brought to the next level combining direct end-users construction and person-centered interaction into one single process of community building that ‘heals the people and heals the land’, building on the foundations of Christopher Alexander’s legacy.

  • 2017 (in print) Moore Alexander, M. Zecchi, E. Russell, P. Vidoli, M Caperna, A. Romice, O. Porta, S. The Timeless Way of Educating Architects: A New Master in ‘Building Beauty’ in Naples, Italy, in: ‘Proceedings of the PUARL 2016 Conference’, San Francisco, 2016
  • 2016 Porta, S. Rofè, Y. Vidoli, M. The production of cities: Christopher Alexander and the problem of ‘System A’ at large scale, in: ‘Proceedings of the Pursuit of Pattern Language for Societal Change – PURPLSOC’, Krems, Austria, 2015
  • 2016 Porta, S., Rofè, Y. Vidoli, M. (2016). The city and the grid: building beauty at large scale, in: Mehaffy M. (ed.), ‘A city is not a tree, 50th anniversary edition’, Sustasis Press: Sustasis Press
  • 2014. Porta, S., Russell, P., Romice, O., Vidoli, M. Construction and Therapy: an Integrated Approach to Design Build, in: Cavanagh, T. Hartig, U. Palleroni, S. (eds.), ‘Working Out: Thinking While Building’, pp. 98-108, Halifax, NS: ACSA Press