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The Study of Urban Form: Different Approaches

  • Vítor OliveiraEmail author
Chapter
Part of the The Urban Book Series book series (UBS)

Abstract

While the previous chapters focused on the urban forms (and on the agents and processes) the sixth chapter focuses on those studying these urban forms. It is divided into three parts. The first part addresses a number of works that are classics in urban morphology and in urban studies. The first of these books was written in the late 1950s, five books were prepared in the 1960s, one was written in the late 1970s and the last of these books was prepared in the early 1980s. The eight books are: Studi per una operante storia urbana di Venezia by Saverio Muratori; ‘Alnwick Northumberland. A study in town plan analysis’ by MRG Conzen; ‘The image of the city’ by Kevin Lynch; ‘Townscape’ by Gordon Cullen; ‘The death and life of great American cities’ by Jane Jacobs; L’architettura della cittá by Aldo Rossi; Formes urbaines: de l’îlot à la barre by Jean Castex, Jean Charles Depaule and Philippe Panerai; and, finally, ‘The social logic of space’ by Bill Hillier and Julienne Hanson. The second part of this chapter presents the main morphological approaches that have been developed over the last decades, from the historico-geographical approach (promoted by the Conzenian School) to the process typological approach (promoted by the Muratorian School); from space syntax to the various forms of spatial analysis (including cellular automata, agent-based models and fractals). Finally, the last part of this chapter introduces a key topic—against a background of different theories, concepts and methods—the need to develop comparative studies. The knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of each approach will certainly enable those who want to develop a morphological study, to select the most appropriate options given the specific nature of the object under analysis.

Keywords

Approaches to the study of urban form Classics in urban morphology Comparative studies Historico-geographical approach Process typological approach Space syntax Spatial analysis 

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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculdade de EngenhariaUniversidade do PortoPortoPortugal
  2. 2.Departamento de ArquitecturaUniversidade Lusófona do PortoPortoPortugal

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