Urban Morphology and Change

Keynote Lecture on HERSUS Online Seminar

Urban morphology is the field of knowledge that studies the physical form of cities; their streets and squares, street-blocks and plots, and their buildings – from common residential buildings to special institutional buildings. To effectively describe the ‘form’, morphologists have to explain the different processes (from planned to informal, from individual to collective) and the many agents (from citizens to promoters, from architects to politicians) that continuously transform our cities. Furthermore, urban morphology offers a number of theories, concepts and methods to understand ‘change’ – construction, reconstruction, implementation of new functions, reuse, resistance to change, transformation and resilience. This paper offers an overview of what urban morphology is, and on how it relates to professional practice on the built environment.

Oliveira, V. (2016). Urban morphology: an introduction to the study of the physical form of cities. Springer.

Oliveira, V. (Ed.). (2018). Teaching urban morphology. Cham: Springer.

Oliveira, V. (Ed.). (2019). JWR Whitehand and the historico-geographical approach to urban morphology. Springer International Publishing.

Oliveira, V. (Ed.). (2021). Morphological Research in Planning, Urban Design and Architecture. Springer Nature

Author: Vitor Oliveira

Biography ↗

Vitor Oliveira, President of the International Seminar on Urban Form (ISUF) and the President of the Portuguese-language Network of Urban Morphology (PNUM). He is Principal Researcher at the Research Centre for Territory Transports and Environment (CITTA / FEUP) and Professor Auxiliar of Urban Morphology and Urban Planning at ULP. He is an architect (FAUP), has a MSc in Planning and Design of the Built Environment (FAUP/FEUP), and a PhD in Planning / Civil Engineering (FEUP).

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