The Port-City Portrayed in its Public Spaces: Introducing Micro Biographies of Places

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

185 Downloads (Pure)


This article aims to extent the notion of port-cities and counter the mainstream narrative that port and city, in cases like Rotterdam, have become disunited by reviewing its public spaces in their unique port-city characteristics. These characteristics can be found by systematic approaching and describing public spaces as biographies of place, along the lines of geosemiotical methods, including topological and typological dimensions. The article underlines that port-cities have unique spatial networks of public spaces, including unique kinds of public spaces, each having unique properties, and physical settings and attributes, activities and concepts or meanings affirming differences in the experienced. Following the multi-scalar approach and by introducing micro-narratives, this article introduces an integrated perspective on port-cities, thus stipulating the union of port and city. The emphasis lies at the observation that the port-city is one in everyday space, which is omnipresent.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Public space
  • public space
  • Public Space
  • Port-cities
  • Rotterdam
  • architecture
  • urban design
  • public art
  • morphology
  • typology
  • topography
  • semiology
  • semiotics
  • ornaments
  • symbolic meaning

Cite this