2013 - Volume 1


Urban Morphology


Regular = planned versus irregular = spontaneous
S. M. G. Pinto

{+}Abstract [PDF] This paper analyses one important theoretical relationship on the historical studies of urban form. This relationship establishes the connection between regular urban forms and planned urban development and, by contrast, between irregular urban forms and unplanned urban development. Starting from the initial formulation established in the inaugural texts of the history of urbanism, the impact of this dichotomous relationship on morphological research will be examined, as well as the transformations of the last decades, which led to its refute, using for this purpose the methodological, theoretical and conceptual inputs of some studies developed after the second half of the twentieth century.

Learning with the urban form of (in)formal Maputo
D. L. Viana, J. Sanz e A. Natálio

{+}Abstract [PDF]This paper focuses on the urban form of Maputo. It draws not only on physical results, but also on the description of the process of structuring and transformation of the urban form. The main purpose of the paper is to understand a set of complex morphological relations that have been developed based on the dichotomy between the ‘concrete city’ and the so-called cidade caniço. The methodolody, supported on a case study, involved field survey, graphic representation, photographic survey, exploratory interviews and different data collection. Data processing, redesign and comparative analysis of multiple morphological elements of the city of Maputo were developed to obtain a spatially and chronologically ordered set of data. Morphological methods were applied to describe and explain the main characteristics of the urban transformation of the capital of Mozambique. This paper rejects the dual perspectives on the urban form of Maputo. On the contrary, it sustains that informal processes should be part of a number of principles for inclusive intervention on the city. The purpose is not to obtain a synthesis between the ‘concrete city’ and the cidade caniço, expressing the intricate contrasts of the urban form of Maputo, but to recognize the need for a wider morphological framework..

Morpho: urban morphological research and planning practice
V. Oliveira e M. Silva

{+}Abstract [PDF]The Morpho methodology was recently introduced in the debate on urban morphology. After the publication of a first paper describing Morpho, both theoretically and methodologically, illustrated with a number of applications at the street level, this second paper describes the first application of the methodology at the city level, taking Porto as the case study. The morphological analysis supported by Morpho focuses on the main elements of urban form of a city – its streets, plots and buildings. This application of Morpho to Porto enables an appraisal of the morphological basis of the city, identifying the main aspects that, in each part of the municipal territory, are promoting urbanity. In addition to the description and explanation of the morphological basis of Porto, this paper includes an exploration of the potential for applying Morpho in professional practice, developed in close collaboration with the planning department of Porto local authority.

British urban morphology: the Conzenian tradition
J. W. R. Whitehand

{+}Abstract [PDF]This paper describes the origins, development and characteristics of the school of urban morphological thought that is grounded in the work of M. R. G. Conzen. After considering the early influences of Schlüter and Geisler, attention is given to the concepts Conzen developed, such as the burgage cycle, the fringe belt, the morphological frame and the morphological region. In the second half of the paper three examples of current research that builds on foundations laid by Conzen are illustrated: namely, micromorphology, the relationship between morphological periods and the typological process, and the link between decision-taking and urban form.


Visual dominance
A. Perdicoulis

The global supply of housing and urbanized land as a subversion of planning
J. Mourão

Cellular automata models as tools for urban form analysis
N. N. Pinto


Portuguese Network of Urban Morphology (PNUM): 2012-13
V. Oliveira


A. Campos et al. (2012) Quadro dos sistemas de espaços livres nas cidades brasileiras
R. L. Rego

A. V. Milheiro (2012) Nos trópicos sem Le Corbusier
P. T. Pinto


Urban Morphology
Urban Morphology Research Group (UMRG)
ISUF 2014: Our common future in urban morphology
ISUF 2013: Urban form at the edgem