The inner geography of hill-top towns A discussion on the effects of altimetry on configuration

Valerio Cutini


The present research concerns the role of altimetry in the inner geography of urban settlements, and the way a configurational approach can help in pinpointing such role. In the last decades, space syntax was widely applied and appreciated for its capability of extracting relevant cognitive data and information of generative processes out of the spatial layout of urban settlements. Nonetheless, most of the different operational techniques so far introduced share the exclusive interest towards the planimetric consistency of the urban settlements, taking for granted the irrelevance of orography, as implicitly assumed as not effective and hence negligible. Here altimetry is taken into play, and its role on configuration as well as on the distribution of centrality will be discussed. The thesis supported by the findings from several case studies - is that also the altimetric features of a settlement are implicitly enclosed within the grid configuration, internalized in its variables. Even more, space syntax is recognized suitable for describing the way an urban settlement fits the specific orographic condition of the site, thats to say the way its use is actually made possible in the local geographic context.


altimetry; slope; urban centrality; grid configuration

Full Text: PDF


  • There are currently no refbacks.

International journal of urban and territorial morphological studies © 2012; Grünberg Verlag, Weimar-Rostock, GREEN OPEN ACCESS: J123-2020-FC; Print ISSN: 2748–2812; Online ISSN: 2748-3134