Linking Research and Education
Academic and Educational profile Roberto Rocco, PhD Document prepared by Roberto Rocco, firstname.lastname@example.org Chair Spatial Planning and Strategy, Department of Urbanism TU Delft
Introduction In the department of Urbanism, we are concerned with the connections between research and education. In order to facilitate this connection for students seeking supervision with me, I prepared this document with a description of my research interests. Students and staff may consult this document in order to get familiarised with my work and research profile, and thus make an informed decision about possible supervision. If you think my research interests and specialism may help your project, please send an email to email@example.com and make an appointment to chat informally. Please write to Roberto Rocco: firstname.lastname@example.org
Context There are two large research programmes in the department of Urbanism: the U-Lab and the Randstad Centre for Strategic Spatial Planning and Design. I participate in the latter. According to the Department of Urbanism Research and Education Brochure (2010), the Randstad Centre â€˜investigates the changing spatial structure of complex urban regions and intervention in that process through strategic spatial planning and design. The aim is to develop theoretical and practical insights through the study of the Randstad and other urban regions, and to communicate this effectively to policy makers and designers so as to inform practiceâ€™ (Urbanism, 2010: 5). The Randstad Centre â€Ś is concerned with the spatial development and planning of complex urban regions like the Randstad-Holland. The increasing significance of the regional scale and changing relations between the state, market and civil society demand evaluation of planning and regional design (Urbanism, 2010: 3)
This description coincides with my main areas of interest and research: the changing spatial structure of emerging city regions and the tools, instruments and practices we have at our disposal to deal with the challenges they present, specially concerning governance, development and implementation. In my doctoral research, I have expensively investigated these issues in two important examples of complex urban regions: the Randstad and São Paulo Metropolitan Region. This is the link to the full text: http://repository.tudelft.nl/view/ir/uuid%3Ac2925a9c-f34d-4019-8f021b1d9485e5d9/
Summary of specialisms − Spatial Planning and spatial strategy development − Strategic planning for development, urban management tools and strategies, regional development tools and strategies, − Regional theory − Globalisation studies applied to spatial planning − New Economic Geography (Spatial Economics) applied to planning − Research methodology, philosophy of science, theory of knowledge applied to education in urbanism Keywords: Spatial planning, strategy, design, research and design, urban studies, complex city regions, regional planning, strategies for development, methodology, economic geography, regional studies, regional theory
Summary of academic life − Doctoral studies at TU Delft. Title: Dr. Title: An Urban geography of globalisation: new urban structures in the age of hyperconnectivity. Abstract and integral text for download: http://repository.tudelft.nl/view/ir/uuid%3Ac2925a9c-f34d-4019-8f021b1d9485e5d9/ − Post-graduate Masters in Urban Planning (Environmental Urban Structures) Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil (1999 – 2002) − Post-graduate specialization in urban management, Institut Français d'Urbanisme, Marne-la-Vallée, France, Urban management (1997)
− Diploma in Architecture and Urbanism (5-year education equivalent to the Bologna model Masters), Universidade de São Paulo de São Paulo, emphasis in Urban Planning (1990 – 1996) − Graduate specialisation in Canadian studies, Concordia University, Montreal (1991) − High-school at Ecole Secondaire Jeanne Mance, Montréal, Canada (1983 – 1984)
Please visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/robertoroccodelft for a complete overview of my academic and professional activity. A complete CV is available at http://issuu.com/robertorocco/docs/roberto_rocco_cv_2011 A List of graduation projects supervised by http://issuu.com/robertorocco/docs/supervision-rocco
A collection of presentations prepared by Roberto Rocco on various subjects is available on http://www.slideshare.net/robrocco A collection of photographs taken http://www.flickr.com/photos/robertorocco/
A collection of maps and infographics made by Roberto Rocco is available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/robertorocco/sets/72157626206202405/
Summary of current research interests I currently work on two separate research projects. I list both here, but I think the second is the most relevant one for your graduation project:
1. Research Project ‘Research into Practice’ The Research into Practice Cluster is a centre of excellence investigating the fundamental nature of research in the creative and performing arts, including urban design. It is an international collaboration between the Universities of Lund (Sweden), Tartu (Estonia), Mackenzie (Brazil) and the Technical University Delft (Netherlands), coordinated by the University of Hertfordshire (UK) and funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council. The cluster philosophy is that research in practice and design-oriented activities forms part of the larger context of academic research as a whole, both in the Universities and elsewhere when supported by research funding agencies. Having this starting point facilitates research into practice (research by design at TU Delft), and research into research, because it enables comparisons with other subjects. It does not prohibit the conclusion that research in design oriented disciplines is quite different, but it does enable the construction of arguments as to the nature of that difference, if found. Further information can be obtained at http://r2p.herts.ac.uk/
2. ‘The Culture of Polycentric Complex Urban Regions’ As a general rule, theories on global cities are based on analyses of functional relationships between ‘nodes of command’ in the global economic arena. The very characterisation of global cities relies on measures of functional relationships based on the presence of headquarters of transnational companies, advanced services and other command activities, which are seen as the main articulators of a global economy (Sassen, 1991, Sassen, 2002, Taylor, 2004). In plain terms, functional relationships refer to ‘cause and effect’ relationships between at least two entities, where the modes of interaction are planned for a function or use. Functional relationships are evidently based on function, as opposed to structure. The study of functional relationships tends to overlook the structural elements that make functional relationships possible. This is the gap I have explored in my doctoral studies, where I have concentrated on the location patterns of Advanced Producer Services (APS) and their relationships with spatial metropolitan structures. Cities are not only defined by functions, but also by social and spatial structures and networks where functions take place and through which they can operate. It is the specific task of urban planners to investigate spatial structures in order to understand how functions can be organised in space, and how they can be enhanced or facilitated through spatial adjustments in order to help or facilitate growth (and, with some luck, promote sustainable and wealth-distributive growth). In my doctoral research I have emphasized the analysis of the layer of production, following the Dupuy+Rocco layer analysis model (Rocco, 2008). In this new research I would like to concentrate on the consumption layer. In the new phase of my research, I would like to focus on culture and polycentricity. This is because I want to explore social networks and culture in relation to spatial structures, having already explored functional relations in my previous research. As Silver et al. (2006) remind us ‘jobs and distance explain less, and amenities and lifestyle are critical elements driving economic development and migration’ (p.1). I suspect that the relationship between the location and agglomeration of different lifestyles and subcultures may help us understand the drivers for the development of polycentric networked city regions, as well as give us insight on the real meaning of polycentric arrangements for our daily lives.
In order words, I would like to explore how the location of (sub) cultures helps understand, characterize and explain polycentric urban regions. Naturally, understanding culture in relation to the built environment is as crucial as it is tricky. What is culture? What exactly are subcultures and cultural tribes or subcultures? Are religious people a subculture? Are rappers and hip-hoppers cultural tribes, which inhabit specific urban milieus? Because of the complexity of the theme, I would like to focus on the location patterns of selected subcultures and “urban tribes” as well as the location patterns of certain “cultural scenes”. The Randstad is an example of complex polycentric urban region. This condition is defined by the specific geographical, functional and infrastructural make-up of the region. But the polycentric “condition” must also be defined by a specific way in which cultures and life styles inhabit spatial structures and infrastructures. In other words, the Ransdtad is obviously polycentric when one looks at its spatial components. Is it polycentric when one looks at how specific subcultures and cultural scenes inhabit these spaces? Can we find subcultures, cultural “scenes” or cultural “tribes” in different urban nodes and places, spatially localized in a polycentric arrangement? What does polycentricity mean for the very constitution of diverse cultural scenes and tribes? Can the location and agglomeration of subcultures give us insight on polycentric urban arrangements? Finally, how does the constitution of specific subcultures and cultural scenes on a polycentric urban region affect development? Is there a tendency for dispersal or for concentration? These and other aspects are relevant for spatial planning and urban design, because they are part of the factors that condition urban development. Understanding those aspects will help spatial planners and designers to act more effectively in order to create vibrant and productive urban environments, where creativity and invention can flourish. Students willing to pursue design and research projects in this area are not requested to follow this line of research exclusively, but it would be useful if the students in question would be able to establish relevant connections with research in polycentricity, regional theory, the relationship between cultures and spatial structures and connected issues. Students might use the Randstad as a meaningful case study. However, other complex city regions elsewhere are also welcome.
Possible graduation themes: 1. Development of a metropolitan or regional vision and plan 2. Transport infrastructures and planning: elaboration of visions and plans at the metropolitan or regional scale 3. Life-styles, design and planning: mapping and modelling for networked city regions 4. Emerging networked city regions 5. Regional planning and regional design 6. Culture and infrastructures 7. Urban milieus and subcultures 8. Culture, identity and urban structure 9. The knowledge economy and city and regional development
List of most relevant publications (past 5 years): ROCCO, R. 2011. An urban geography of knowledge-intensive service firms: the case of S達o Paulo In: GEENHUIZEN, M. V. & NIJKAMP, P. (Eds.), The Knowledge City, Social and Policy Perspectives. Delft. TBM ROCCO, R. 2010. Spatial Structural Change and Socio-Spatial Duality under Globalisation: the case of Sao Paulo. In: KLAUFUS, C. & ZOMMERS, A., (Eds.) Latin American Studies Association: From Crisis to recovery, 2010 Chicago. LASA. ROCCO, R. 2010. New Spaces for the New Economy: New patters for the location of advanced services in postFordism. 24th AESOP Annual Conference. Helsinki: AESOP. BIGGS, M., BUCHLER, D. & ROCCO, R. 2009. Design Practice and Research: Interconnections and the criterion-based approach. In: MALINS, J., (Ed.) European Academy of Design: Design Connexity, 2009 Aberdeen. EAD & Robert Gordon University, 375-380. ROCCO, R., BIGGS, M. & BUCHLER, D. 2009. A Pedagogical Proposal in an Area of Epistemological Uncertainty. In: PROJETAR, 13-16 Oct. 2009 Sao Paulo. FAU Mackenzie. ROCCO, R. 2008c. An Urban Geography of Globalisation: New Urban Structures in the Age of Hyper-Connectivity, Delft, IFoU. ROCCO, R. 2008b. A New Role for Comprehensive Spatial Planning. IN PUTTE, H. V., JONGE, H. D., DECLERCK, J., FRAUSTO, S., NADIN, V., ROCCO, R., PROVOOST, J. & ZWART, J. V. D. (Eds.) Corporations and Cities Colloquium. Brussels, TU Delft & Berlage Institute. ROCCO, R. 2008a. The Location of Large Advanced Service Firms in the Network City Region: Evidence from the Randstad-Holland. IN PUTTE, H. V. D. (Ed.) Corporations and Cities Colloquium. Brussels, TU Delft & Berlage Institute. ROCCO, R. 2006h. An Urban Geography of Globalisation: New Corporate Centralities in the Age of Hyper Connectivity. IN VAGGIONE, P. (Ed. ISOCARP Cities between integration and disintegration: opportunities and challenges. Istanbul, IsoCarp. ROCCO, R. 2006g. Post-Fordism and the Emergence of New Corporate Centralities. IN SCHRIJNEN, P. M. (Ed.) Plandag 2006 : NieuweRuimte Nieuwe Economie; Nieuwe Economie Nieuwe Ruimte. Amsterdam, Plandag Org. ROCCO, R. 2006f. Modernisation Challenged: Looking for a New Epistemological Framework on Modernity and Globalisation. IN PELLEGRINI, P. (Ed). III International PhD Seminar: A new modernity: approaches, theories and designs. Venice, IUAV. ROCCO, R. 2006e. The Geography of Advanced Producer Services: New Corporate Centralities in Polycentric Urban Structures. IN COSTA, P., PIRES, I., TEIXEIRA, J. A. & PIRES, P. (Eds.) VVI International Conference of RESER. Lisbon, ISCTE/ RESER. ROCCO, R. 2006d. Foreign Direct Investment and Regional Growth: The Role of FDI in the Tertiary Sector in Triggering Development. IN HOEVEN, F. V. D. & ROSEMANN, J. (Eds.) Urban Transformations and Sustainability: Progress of Research Issues in Urbanism 2005. Delft, DUP/ IOS Press.
ROCCO, R. 2006c. Economic Flexibilization and Denationalisation in Brazil During the 1990s. IN HOGENBOOM, B. & JILBERTO, A. F. (Eds.) Big Business on the Rise: Conglomerates and Economic Groups in Developing Countries and Transition Economies under Globalisation. London, Routledge. ROCCO, R. 2006b. Building a South American Macrometropolis. IN WIT, T. D. & STANIC, I. (Eds.) Salzburg Congress on Urban Planning and Development: Rapidly Expanding Cities in an Urbanising World. Salzburg, SCUPAD. ROCCO, R. 2006a. Avoiding the Generic City: Contradictions between Globalisation and Modernity on Urban Identity. IN WANG, C., SHENG, Q. & SEZER, C. (Eds.) IFOU 2006: Modernisation and Regionalism, Re-inventing Urban Identity. Beijing, International Forum of Urbanism.