R&D Institutions

Resultado da avaliação 2007 na área de Engenharia Civil

Unidade de I&D

Centro de Investigação do Território, Transportes e Ambiente - CITTA [CIVE-Norte-Porto-699] visitada em 29/11/2007

Classificação: Fair

Comentários do painel de avaliação
Sobre a unidade
CITTA consists of three research groups focusing on Planning & Environmental Assessment, Urban Planning & Housing, and Transport Planning. A significant and active area of research development has been in transport modelling and network design.
The total number of staff associated with the unit is relatively small (six) and there is clear evidence of the work of the unit being spread too thinly across too many topics.
The work of the centre during the assessment period was organised around the theme of urban sustainability, but it might be questioned whether this is too broad a theme for a relatively small unit. It was recognised by the unit that some changes in this respect may be desirable and the proposed theme going forward was suggested as “low carbon cities”.
The unit seemed relatively unprepared for our visit. It was the only one we visited that prepared no special materials or presentation for the panel. Instead it relied on a real-time tour of the unit’s web-site with commentary offered on the various pages. Unfortunately, too, many of the international publications listed in the unit’s submission to FCT quite clearly fell outside the assessment period of 2003 – 06 and so, in fairness to other units, could not be taken into account. It is right to observe, however, that the 2007 publications are indicative of an acceleration in publication in journals of international standing.
The Advisory Council is genuinely international and contains, for example in the persons of Professors Button and Healey, researchers of genuinely international stature. It was not altogether clear, however, the extent to which the Council was effective in influencing the unit’s strategic direction.
The level of internationalisation achieved in terms of publications and research projects is acceptable. Similarly, across the unit, there are adequate levels of conference organisation and obtaining of project funding. Hosting the NECTAR conference was a high-profile event which would have raised awareness of the unit at a European level.
There is some interesting, essentially industrial, work on networks being undertaken, but it was not clear the extent to which this work was being undertaken through a related company rather than the unit, It also seemed to depend heavily on the hard work and commitment of just one individual. There has been a strong link with the city of Porto and with other external clients.
Articulation of strategy was weak and, as above, a small unit is split into too many groups trying to work on too many topics. Research focus appeared to be determined by the (not inconsiderable) energies of some key individual staff, rather than as a result of a considered decision. As a result, there is little hope of establishing the critical mass to develop a profile of international excellence.
Sobre os grupos de investigação
Planning and Environmental Assessment [RG-CIVE-Norte-Porto-699-1698]
Transport Planning and Logistics [RG-CIVE-Norte-Porto-699-1700]
Urban Planning and Housing [RG-CIVE-Norte-Porto-699-1699]