(+39) 06 9067 2202
(+39) 3482426536, (+39) 3666861037
heleni.porfyriou@cnr.it, helpor1@yahoo.it  



European comparative urban conservation legislation and enhancement policies:
- Typo-morphological analysis and enhancement of historic centres
- Tourist impact in historic centres, monitoring criteria and methods,  UNESCO management plans.

Late 19th and early 20th century town planning history with particular regard to:
- English, Italian and Scandinavian developments;
- Urban aesthetics.

Early modern Italian urban history with particular regard to urban morphology and the Greek Diaspora.


Born in Ioannina – Greece, 18-10-1956


Current position

Senior Researcher

Head of the Rome Unit of the Institute for the Conservation and Enhancement of Cultural Heritage –ICVBC, of the National Research Council of Italy – CNR, since 2006

Responsible for the research activity of  the ICVBC related to the project Valorization and sustainable fruition of cultural heritage: the impact of human risks, since 2005



Senior Researcher CNR- ICVBC, since 1999

Professor of Town Planning History, at the 1st Faculty of Architecture of the University of Rome “La Sapienza”, 2000-2006



Post doctoral fellowship, Department of History of Architecture, Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia, 1993-1995

Ph. D. in Planning Studies, Bartlett School of Architecture and Planning, University College London, 1990, on The History of Scandinavian Town Planning 1900-1930 and the contribution of Camillo Sitte

Diploma in Planning, Architectural Association, London, UK, 1981

Diploma in Statistics, London School of Economics, London, UK, 1980 B. Sc in Business Administration/Economics, University of Piraeus- Athens, Greece, 1979


Recent research projects

Bilateral project coordinator (Italy –China) Routes of culture: enhancement and management of large scale heritage sites. Via Appia - Roman Consular street - and Grand Canal of China, financed by the CNR and the Chinese Academy of Cultural Heritage (2016-2019).

Water towns – Hill towns. China –Italy and the application of the UNESCO recommendation on the “Historic Urban Landscape”. Project promoted by CNR-ICVBC and the UNESCO World Heritage Institute of Training and Research for the Asia and the Pacific Region (WHITRAP-Shanghai). Project partners: Lazio Innova S.p.A., Università di Roma Tor Vergata, Comuni di Palestrina e Castel San Pietro Romano, Tongli Old City -Shanghai (2015- 2020). http://www.icvbc.cnr.it/News/Highlights/Paesaggio_storico_urbano.html, http://www.whitr-ap.org/index.php?classid=1461&newsid=2636&t=show

Organisation of the international conference  Water towns – Hill towns. China - Italy and the UNESCO Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape – HUL Rome – Ara Pacis, 30 September 2015

Bilateral project in the context of the UNESCO “Historic Urban Landascape” Programme with World Heritage Institute of Training and Research for the Asia and the Pacific Region (WHITRAP) under the auspices of UNESCO (Shanghai-China) and Tongji University (Shanghai- China) “China and Italy Bilateral Project for the Exchange of Heritage  Conservation Experience” (2014-2016) http://historicurbanlandscape.com/index.php?classid=5357&id=35&t=show

 Coordination of the CNR Unit of the FP7-PEOPLE-2011-IRSES (Marie Curie Actions 2012-2016). Project Planning, Urban Management and Heritage – PUMAH coordinated by Newcastle University (UK). European partners: Groningen University (NL), Middle East Technical University (TU), Milan Polytechnic (IT), Chinese partners: Peking University, Xi'an University of Architecture and Technology, Wuhan University www.pumah.org

Organisation and coordination of the international conference with the Chinese Academy of Cultural Heritage-CACH Archaeology and the City. Preserving, enhancing, interpreting Roma, 7 November 2014

Organisation and coordination of the international conference Waterfronts Revisited. The Transformation of the Port Cities and the UNESCO Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape, Rome, 9 November 2012

Project coordinator Water shapes. Meanings, uses and the architectural works of the most precious gift. Project financed by the European Culture Programme 2010-2012. Partners: Universitat de Girona (SP), Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture de Toulouse (FR), Universidade do Minho (PR), Universitat Rovira i Virgili (SP) www.watershapes.eu

Organisation and coordination of the international conference Water Cultural Heritage: Enhancement Strategies, Rome, 2 March 2012

Projects relative to the sustainable enhancement of historic centres and archaeological sites (2010-2012):
i) financed by the Lazio Region regarding the “Realisation of integrated projects of enhancement and better fruition by introducing new technologies in the archaeological site of Sperlonga and Ulysses’ coast”;
ii) financed by the Tuscan Region regarding “Innovative technologies for  the conservation and enhancement of the Etruscan necropolis of Sovana”.

Project coordinator Preserving Places. Managing mass tourism, urban conservation and quality of life in historic centres. Project financed by the European Culture Programme 2008-2010. Partners: Université Libre de Bruxelles (BE), Universidad Autonoma de Madrid (SP), Etudes Supérieures d’Hôtellerie et de Tourisme de l’Université d’Angers (FR), Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (GR), Università di Roma “La Sapienza” (IT), Middle East Technical University (TR), London Metropolitan University (UK) www.preservingplaces.co.uk

Organisation and coordination of the international conference Preserving Places. Tourism and conservation for a sustainable enhancement of historic centres, Rome, 13-14 November 2009

“The Greek communities in early modern Europe” part of the project Cities and cosmopolitan metropolis in Europe and the Mediterranean, financed by the Italian Ministry of Education (MIUR-FIRB – 2003-2006).


Member of:

- Editorial board of Planning Perspectives

- International Planning History Society – IPHS

- European Association of Urban History - EAUH

- Standing Committee of the  Associazione Italiana di Storia Urbana - AISU

- Hellenic Association for Urban and Planning History

- Editorial board of Planning Perspectives

- Centro Internazionale per la Conservazione del Patrimonio Architettonico – CICOP Italia e CICOP  Greece

- International Council on Monuments and Sites – ICOMOS Italia

- Expert member of the International Committee on Historic Towns and Villages – CIVVIH, of ICOMOS

  1. with M. Sepe (eds), Waterfronts Revisited. European ports in a historic and global perspective, (London: Routledge, 2016) ISBN 978-13-1563-781-5

  2. with B. Lu, H. Yu, Regeneration Vs Re-qualification. Beijing and Rome trapped between conservation and tourism, in "Journal of Urban Design", (submitted)

  3. with H. Meller (eds), Planting New Towns in Europe in the interwar years: economics, politics and people, (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016) ISBN 978-1-4438-9078-6

  4. Historic Urban Landscape. Its Roots and Impact Today, in Acta of the International Conference Archaeology and Environment: Understanding the past to design the future – A multidisciplinary approach, (Aswan – Egypt 2016)

  5. Book review, J. Chio, A Landscape of Travel. The Work of Tourism in Rural Ethnic China, (Seattle & London: University of Washington Press, 2014) 294 pp., in “Journal of Cultural Heritage” 16 (2015) 126 -  Heritage values and urban conservation in Italy: the legacy of Gustavo Giovannoni, in Proceedings "Understanding Heritage Values", Eindhoven University of Technology, Department of Built Environment, 2015 pp.86-91

  6. Integrating conservation and valorisation. The Etruscan archaeological site of Sovana in Italy,  invited lecture to the 80th Anniversary Conference of the Chinese Academy of Cultural Heritage - CACH, Beijing, 10 July 2015

  7. with L. Genovese, Historic water towns: conservation and sustainable development invited paper contribution to the International Conference organized by the Chinese Academy of Cultural Heritage and Dazu Academy of Rock Carving (Chongqing - China, 13-14 June, 2015)

  8. with A. Re, Monitoring the management of World Heritage Sites: the Italian contribution invited paper contribution to the International Conference organized by the Chinese Academy of Cultural Heritage and Dazu Academy of Rock Carving (Chongqing - China, 13-14 June, 2015)

  9. Camillo Sitte. Optically constructed space and artistic city building, in J.Cepl and K. Wagner (eds), Images of the Body in Architecture. Anthropology and Built Space (Berlin: Wasmuth, 2014) pp.166-188

  10. with C. Pallini (a cura di), Il passato conteso. Metamorfosi di alcune ‘città di confine’ nel Mediterraneo orientale tra Ottocento e Novecento, in “Città e Storia”, 02/2014

  11. Architecture in context. Conservation and enhancement of the Italian settlements and architecture of the Thirties in Libya, in International Conference “Managing and Conserving Historic Cities in Libya”, 18-19 January 2014

  12. with E. Gigliarelli, A. Corcella, Integrated analysis for the conservation and energy retrofitting of historic social housing, in S. Davoudi, P.Zhao (eds) “DiSP, Special Issue: Retrofitting historical cities for low-carbon urban futures in Europe and China” 2014, pp.90-100

  13. with M. Sepe, The concept of limit and place in modernity, in Proceedings of Xi’an International Conference of Modern Architecture Heritage Conservation “Other MoMo, Other Heritage”, Xi’an 8-10 October 2013, pp.80-84

  14. Book review The Historic Urban Landscape. Managing Heritage in an Urban Century”, by Francesco Bandarin and Ron van Oers (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012) in “Planning Perspectives”, 2013

  15. From Ambiente to Historic Urban Landscape. A conceptual history and its effects in today’s landscape planning and conservation, in International Seminar “Managing Rural Landscapes in China”, Department of Urban Planning and Design Xi’an Jiaotong – Liverpool University, Suzhou, 19-21 October 2013

  16. with M. Sepe, Conservation of urban heritage and monitoring tourist impact: an integrated approach,  in S.M. Zancheti e K. Similä (eds), Measuring heritage conservation performance  (Rome: ICCROM, 2012) pp. 155-164

  17. with E. GigliarelliD. CarleaA. Corcella, Historical Social Housing: Smart Analysis and Design for Conservation and Energy Regeneration in Proceedings of EuroMed, Limassol, Oct. 29- Nov. 3, 2012, pp. 139-148

  18. with L. Genovese, Interventi integrati per la valorizzazione del paesaggio archeologico di Sovana, in “Arkos. Scienza e restauro”, vol.28, 2012, pp. 79-85.

  19.  I Greci nei porti della penisola italica: la confraternita e la sua impronta sul quartiere, in T. Colletta (a cura di), Città portuali del Mediterraneo. Luoghi dello scambio commerciale e colonie di mercanti stranieri tra Medioevo ed età moderna (Milano: Franco Angeli 2012) pp. 220-235

  20.  with L. Genovese (a cura di), Water shapes. Strategie di valorizzazione del patrimonio culturale legato all’acqua (Roma: Palombi 2012)

  21. Fruizione del patrimonio culturale e turismo sostenibile, in L. Cessari, A.L. D’Agata (a cura di), Città, siti, musei (Roma: Gangemi 2011) pp. 33-35

  22. Greci ortodossi a Venezia e nella Penisola, in D. Calabi, E.Svalduz (a cura di), Il Rinascimento italiano e l’Europa. VIII. Luoghi, spazi, architetture (Vicenza: Angelo Colla ed. 2010) pp. 567- 585

  23. Urban policies and monitoring tourist impact. The case study of Trevi-Pantheon itinerary in Rome, in Preserving Places. Managing mass tourism, urban conservation and quality of life in historic centres, special issue of the “Rivista di Scienze del Turismo”, n.2, 2010, pp.331-352  http://www.ledonline.it/rivista-scienze-turismo/

  24. Strada, in :  C. Topalov, L. Coudroy de Lille, J.C. Depaule, B. Marin (eds) L’Aventure des Mots de la Ville (Paris : Robert Laffont  2010) pp. 1162-1166

  25. Spazio urbano come luogo. Camillo Sitte e il ruolo della visione nella Modernità, in M. Di Monte e M. Rotili (a cura di), Spazio fisico- Spazio vissuto, Sensibilia 3/ 2010, (Milano 2010) pp.261-278

  26. La Diaspora greca fra cosmopolitismo e coscienza nazionale nell’impero asburgico del XVIII secolo, in “Città e Storia”, 01/07, pp.235-252

  27. with  M. Boone, Markets, squares, streets: urban space, a tool for cultural exchange, in D. Calabi, S. Turk Christensen (eds), The sites of exchange. Cities, foreigners and cultural transfers in Europe, 1400-1700 (Cambridge: CUP 2007) pp.227-253

  28. with J. Harris, The Greek Diaspora: Italian port-cities and London, 1400-1700, in D. Calabi, S. Turk Christensen (eds), The sites of exchange. Cities, foreigners and cultural transfers in Europe, 1400-1700 (Cambridge: CUP 2007) pp. 65-86

  29. When the han meets the Passage: Issues of continuity or disruption in the use of public space in the Levant, in M. Davie (ed), Fonction, pratiques et figures des espaces publics au Liban. Perspectives comparatives dans l’aire Méditerranéenne, (Beyrouth et Tours: ALBA 2007) pp. 103-119

  30. with A.Retto Junior, D. Calabi, (eds), Camillo Sitte e a circulacao de idéias em estética urbana. Europa e América Latina: 1880-1930 (Bauru S. Paolo: UNESP, 2006)

  31. Camillo Sitte und das Primat des Blicks, in K. Semsroth, K. Jormakka, B. Langer (eds), Kunst des Stadtebaus. Neue Perspektiven auf Camillo Sitte (Wien: Bohlau Verlag, 2005) pp.239-256

  32. The projects for the area next to St Paul’s cathedral: conservation and planning, in Proceedings of 11th Conference of the International Planning History Society: Planning Models and the Culture of Cities (Barcelona 2004)

  33. The Cartography of Crete in the First Half of the 17th Century: a collective Work of a Generation of Engineers, in “Tetradia Ergasias: Eastern Mediterranean Cartographies”, 25/26, 2004, pp.65-92