Twin-cities over the Messina Strait : a discussion on Reggio Calabria and Messina road-networks linkage

Altafini, Diego and da Costa Braga, Andrea and Cutini, Valerio; (2022) Twin-cities over the Messina Strait : a discussion on Reggio Calabria and Messina road-networks linkage. In: Annual Conference Proceedings of the XXVIII International Seminar on Urban Form. University of Strathclyde Publishing, Glasgow, pp. 821-828. ISBN 9781914241161

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The idea of permanent connection and territorial integration between mainland Italy and Sicily across the Messina Strait dates to the 19th century. However, it was not until 1970’s that the area received the first planning regulations. Since then, proposed linkage projects remained limited to economic-based cost analysis and engineering-design feasibility evaluation. Due to the ever-unstable Italian political scenario, public interest on matter decreased in 1990’s and, by then, associated to incipient configurational models and data processing tools, it hindered any further analyses regarding urban agglomerates’ morphological changes deriving from this connection. Strait debates resurfaced in 2020-2021, as territorial integration is on the agenda of Italian economic recovery plans, an ideal scenario to revisit and study existent proposals, drawing from exploratory evaluations on urban morphology and twin-cities dynamics. This paper contributes to this discussion, through the analysis of different proposals for the Messina Strait linkage, using Space Syntax' Integration measures to assess configurational changes connections between the urban agglomerates of Messina and Reggio-Calabria; depicting tendencies for their urban dynamics transformation. Results and discussion contribute towards planning policies, while appointing the potentials to enhance a shared functional centrality for twin-cities.

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