WIT Press

An analysis between spatial relationships and Short Sea Shipping impacts on Messina’s waterfront


Free (open access)


Volume 4 (2020), Issue 3



Page Range

199 - 217

Paper DOI



WIT Press


A. Pratelli, A. Rosselli, A. Farina & M. Lupi


This study aims to investigate how the port waterfront structure of the city of Messina can be resilient against the stresses induced by road freight transport, and generated by the port, because of Short Sea Shipping activities. For this study, the configurational approach of the Space Syntax Analysis was used, in order to consider the relationship between the spaces of the urban grid. This urban grid has considered, on one hand as the primary matrix of the settlement processes, and on the other hand as an ordering factor for the formation of social relations between the individuals. The case study is significant due to the presence of a strong historical matrix linking the spaces of the port infrastructure with the urban structure, and such a condition appears to be common to most medium-sized Mediterranean port cities. The present work is divided into three analytical phases: (a) Structuring: geometric definition of the urban grid considering various historical periods; (b) Characterization: configurational analysis of the urban grid in the various historical periods; (c) Interaction: analysis of the relational effects of heavy freight traffic generated by the port on the configuration of the urban grid as defined above.


port waterfront, Short Sea Shipping, space syntax analysis, urban grid.