Beyond Port City picture 04

Beyond Port City picture 06

Beyond Port City 8

Beyond Port City 7

Beyond the Port City. The Condition of Portuality and the Threshold Concept (2020)
Beatrice Moretti

The port city is the result of a relationship – that of the port and the city – so that its very definition is derived from the degree of intimacy or conflict that the two entities have established over the years. Since ancient times, ports have been both peculiar and generic places: made of the same constitutive elements, they combine their language with the urban one, making port cities universal categories, mirrors of each other. Over the twentieth century, the city-port relationship has evolved, making it ever more contentious when it comes to defining its nature and metabolism. As a doctoral research and publication, Beyond the Port City introduces the concept of ‘portuality’, a symbolic and strategic dimension which denotes a territorial quality specific to those cities and developed through strong relationships with their own port. Beyond the Port City recognizes portuality as a specific condition and suggests that the city-port threshold could emerge as one major symbolic field of exploration. This unique threshold materializes along the border between the two authorities, in that space where the city and the port are side by side. It is marked by an administrative boundary that becomes an accumulator of transit: a fragmented space where the juxtapositions take sufficient shape to acquire a dimension and to be recognizable. This book updates the old city-port dichotomy and outlines a new vision in which the port city is a 'forma urbis' affected by changing processes and influenced by the factors that are embodied in its territorial palimpsest.


Bio Beatrice Moretti is a PhD architect, researcher and adjunct professor from Department of Architecture and Design - dAD of the Polytechnic School of Genoa (Italy). In 2018 she co-found caarpa, a collective that combines architecture and landscape design. From 2020, she is teaching assistant at Politecnico in Milan and professor for the dAD in the International Seminar of Architectural Design Villard. In addition to the book “Beyond the Port City. The Condition of Portuality and the Threshold Concept” (JOVIS, 2020), she is also author of the monograph “Un colle, un transatlantico, un nome. Tre storie sul porto di Genova” (Sagep, 2018).


Title Beyond the Port City. The Condition of Portuality and the Threshold Concept
Author Beatrice Moretti
Publisher JOVIS Verlag (Berlin)