Peri-Urban Settlement’s Public Spaces: a Tool for their Investigation. A Case Study in Southern Switzerland.

Giulia Buob, Gian Paolo Torricelli, Sara Ponzio, Loris Vallenari


How can we characterize “peri-urban settlement’s public spaces” and how can we measure their quality and potential? This paper offers a methodological tool for their investigation, applied to a case study in southern Switzerland (Rivera sector settlements, part of Monteceneri municipality in the Ticino Canton). The Geographical Information for Public Space Investigation (GIPSI) tool combines a traditional GIS approach to a qualitative examination of public space, with the purpose of classifying, evaluating, and comparing peri-urban public spaces in a simple and systematic way. The dynamic nature of its qualitative components allows adapting this analysis tool to different perspectives and research goals. GIPSI gives a general overview and a clear evaluation of public spaces configuration in peri-urban areas, emphasizing their improvement potential, and their differences and similarities. For our case study, the tool highlighted that traditional settlement spaces have a better quality than recent residential ones, although both have an improvement potential. We believe that this type of analysis is beneficial for other similar peri-urban contexts in Switzerland and abroad. Hence, GIPSI is a starting point for the revaluation and promotion of public space; it is mainly addressed to policy-makers and urban planners, but it could potentially implicate an interdisciplinary participation at different scales involving local authorities and residents.


peri-urban areas; GIS tool; qualitative analysis; public space evaluation; southern Switzerland.

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Copyright (c) 2022 Giulia Buob, Gian Paolo Torricelli, Sara Ponzio, Loris Vallenari

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ISSN: 2239-267X

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