Time and Urban Morphology: Dispersed and Compact City Time Use in the Metropolitan Region of Barcelona

  • Gemma VilàEmail author
Part of the Urban and Landscape Perspectives book series (URBANLAND, volume 15)


Time use and management highly depend on personal and social factors such as the way each individual relates to labour activities, the type of family in which they live, the person’s age, gender and their socioeconomic status, etc. All of these factors determine important differences. However, another basic element to be added to this list of factors differentiating people’s time use and management is the city’s spatial configuration. Offering possibilities while setting limits, this element determines people’s life space and can therefore lead to social inequalities. Analysing time-space relationships has subsequently become a crucial element in exploring a city’s possibilities, detecting problems and offering guidance in relation to town planning. This chapter analyses the relation between urban morphology and its interactions with people’s life space, time use and management by focusing on dispersed urbanism and its impact on the metropolitan region of Barcelona. More specifically, the chapter focuses on the recently consolidated dispersed city morphology by comparing it with that of the compact city so that differences between their specific time and space uses can be determined. Challenges possibly set by the former to the development of a public, accessible city, that is to say, to the construction of a socially sustainable city, are also evaluated.


Compact city Dispersed city Space-time use Everyday life practices 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociological Theory, Philosophy of Law and Methodology for Social Sciences, Research Group Territory, Population and CitizenshipUniversity of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

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