Servizi per la didattica

Urban Allometries: Villages, Cities, Megacities


A.A. 2022/23

Course Language


Degree programme(s)

Doctorate Research in Urban And Regional Development - Torino

Course structure
Teaching Hours
Lezioni 15
Teacher Status SSD h.Les h.Ex h.Lab h.Tut Years teaching
D'Acci Luca Professore Associato ICAR/22 15 0 0 0 1

SSD CFU Activities Area context
*** N/A ***    
This PhD course is part of the thematic path "Spatial Planning and Design, Sustainability Assessment and Urban Management" of the PhD programme in Urban and Regional Development. What are the quantifiable, objective differences among typical small settlements, villages, towns, cities and megacities within countries? Within a same region, does a typical 2 million inhabitant city, related to a typical 1 million, expect to have a double amount of crime, CO2 emissions, GDP, built surface, street areas, patents, infections...? If so (isometric relation), or if not (allometric), why? What also happens to density, housing price, and to aspects such as life satisfaction, subjective wellbeing, physical and mental health? This course shows the state-of-the-art of urban scaling: a relatively recent area of urban science, investigating how measurable characteristics of cities vary (scale) with their sizes. When they scale linearly the relation is isometric (e.g. double population involves double built area); when not (e.g. double population involves more or less than double built area), the relation is allometric involving phenomena such as increasing returns, economies of scale, economies and diseconomies of agglomerations. In biology, allometry, also called biological scaling, represents the change (e.g. metabolism, surface area, life span, heart beating ...) in organisms in relation to proportional changes in their body sizes (i.e. mass). It emerged in the 1920-30th (1932 Huxley J.S.’ book Problems of Relative Growth, and his first paper, 1924, in Nature, “Constant differential growth-ratios and their significance”) for later attracting the attention of urban scholars who, during the last few decades, started to consistently investigate eventual allometries in urban settlements too. This knowledge adds an important theoretical, empirical and policies oriented tool kit which any urban scholar nowadays should, if not dominate, at least be aware of. The impelling need to best accommodate a few billions of new incoming urban dwellers pose us the requirement to well understand what would likely happen to certain factors at different settlement sizes and then, by planning, how to prevent or encourage these factors. It also provides scientific inputs to decision making and policies for the renovation of small settlements (of which the world is full and almost ghost), and offer an intriguing new way to evaluate adjusted performance, costs and benefits associated with urbanicity levels.
Nessun prerequisito
No prerequisites
Una introduzione interdisciplinare della dimensione urbana Introduzione a regressioni lineari, logaritmiche e leggi di potenza Scaling e Urban Scaling Esempi pratici Usi per la pianificazione urbana e regionale Nuove forme di vita “urbana”
A multidisciplinary introduction to city sizes Introduction to linear and logarithmic regressions and to power laws Scaling and Urban Scaling Practical examples Uses for urban and regional planning New forms of “urban” living
In presenza
On site
Presentazione orale
Oral presentation
P.D.2-2 - Maggio
P.D.2-2 - May

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