Peter Hall

Regno Unito

Premio Balzan 2005 per la storia sociale e culturale delle città dall'inizio del XVI secolo

Progetto di ricerca 

New Patterns of Urban Activity

Peter Hall was Professor of Planning and Regeneration at the Bartlett School of Planning, University College London, and Senior Research Fellow at the Young Foundation.

With the second part of his Balzan Prize, Sir Peter Hall financed and supervised three interconnected research projects at the Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at the University College of London. The first, Labour Markets and Housing Markets in England, was proposed by Sir Peter Hall and carried out by Dr. Basak Demires Ozkul, who examined the simultaneous operation of labour markets and housing markets within England and Wales as part of her doctoral research. This research aimed at capturing the effects of the knowledge economy on the settlement structure of home and work by bringing together and expanding current spatial analysis techniques. This has unravelled some of the complex settlement patterns that have been observed between 1981 and 2001. These representations have also demonstrated their effectiveness in linking different strands of socio-economic theory through spatial analysis, providing a bridge between these fields.

The second project, Geographical and Temporal Patterns of Information Flows in European Cities, was carried out by Dr. Jonathan Reades, whose doctoral research made use of phone company calling data to analyse the geographical and temporal patterns of information flows in Britain, and led to a highly productive working relationship with MIT’s SENSEable City Laboratory, the world’s leading research group in the field of mapping and analysing urban activity patterns. Here he contributed to proposals that culminated in SENSEable’s installation at the MoMA in New York and in a disaster-planning research project with the Dutch telecommunications company Koninklijke KPN N.V.

Dr. Francesca Recchia worked on the third project, European Identity and Recent Immigrants into European Cities. Her focus, stemming from her postdoctoral work on European identity with Sir Peter Hall, analysed this through then recent European literature, concentrating on writers with multiple ethnic and cultural identities. About a tenth of the research sum was allocated to the Young Foundation (formerly the Institute of Community Studies) to finalize and pay for two studies in book form. London Voices, London Lives was published in 2007 by Policy Press. It consists of edited transcripts of more than one hundred interviews with Londoners in eight different sample areas in and around the city. The Polycentric Metropolis: Learning from Mega-City Regions in Europe was published in 2006 by Earthscan Publications. Fifty copies of this book were donated to the young researchers who participated in the POLYNET project, analyzing and describing flows of information and their geographical patterns in eight regions of Northwest Europe.

Selected Publications
Reades, J. “Chapter 3: Location and Innovation.” In Sir Peter Hall – Pioneer in Re- gional Planning, Transport and Urban Geography, edited by R. Knowles and C. Rozenblat, pp. 21-36. Heidelberg et al.; Springer, 2016.
Ozkul, B. D. “Von Thünen Revisited.” Built Environment, 41, 1 (2015): 99-111. Ozkul, B. D. “Changing home-to-work travel in England and Wales.” Regional Studies, Regional Science, 1, 1 (2014): 32-39.
Reades, J. and D.A. Smith. “Mapping the Space of Flows: Business Telecommunications and Employment Specialisation in the London Mega-City Region.” Regional Studies, 48, 1 (2014): 105-126.
Claxton, R., J. Reades and B. Anderson. “On the value of Digital Traces for commercial strategy and public policy: Telecommunications data as a case study.” Global IT Report 2012. Chapter 1.9, World Economic Forum. 105-112.  Available online at
Ratti, C., S. Sobolevsky, F. Calabrese, C. Andris, J. Reades, M. Martino, S. Martino.”Redrawing the map of Great Britain from a network of human interactions.” PLoS One 5, 12 (2012).
Reades, J. “People, Places & Privacy: Using Finite State Machines to Preserve User Privacy in Spatial Data Mining.” Journal of Urban Technology 17, 1(2010): 29-40. Calabrese, F., J. Reades, C. Ratti. “Eigenplaces: segmenting space through digital signatures.” Pervasive Computing 9, 1 (2010): 78-84.
Reades, J., F. Calabrese, C. Ratti. “Eigenplaces: Analysing cities using the space- time structure of the mobile phone network.” Environment & Planning B 36, 5 (2009): 824-836.
Reades, J., F. Calabrese, A. Sevtsuk, C. Ratti. “Cellular Census: Explorations in Urban Data Collection.” Pervasive Computing 6, 3 (2007): 30-38.
Recchia, F. “Immigration, Politics and Violence in Urban France: Between Fiction and Facts.” Information, Society and Justice ISSN 1756-1078 (Online) Vol. No. 1 (December 2008).
Hall, P. London Voices, London Lives: Tales from a Working Capital. London: Policy Press, 2007.
Hall, P. The Polycentric Metropolis: Learning from Mega-City Regions in Europe. London: Earthscan Publications, 2006.

Excerpt from the: The Balzan Prizewinners’ Research Projects: An Overview 2018