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Architectural Theory 4

Code: 500505     Acronym: 500505

Classification Keyword
CNAEF Architecture and Urbanism

Instance: 2014/2015 - 1S

Active? Yes
Responsible unit: Arquitectura (A)
Course/CS Responsible: Master Degree in Architecture

Cycles of Study/Courses

Acronym No. of Students Study Plan Curricular Years Credits UCN Credits ECTS Contact hours Total Time
MIARQ 100 MIARQ 5 - 6 - 162

Teaching Staff - Responsibilities

Teacher Responsibility
Álvaro António Gomes Domingues

Teaching - Hours

Theoretical classes: 3,00
Type Teacher Classes Hour
Theoretical classes Totals 1 3,00
Álvaro António Gomes Domingues 3,00

Teaching language

Suitable for English-speaking students



- To identify dominant patterns of urbanization, advancing with explanatory hypotheses of the processes that gave rise to them;


- To identify drivers of change and structuring actors considered for the understanding of the processes of urbanization and to design intervention strategies and urban design/planning.


Learning outcomes and competences


The metamorphosis of the "city to city" dragged along a dual crisis of urbanism and urban policies:

- We know very badly the social processes that explain the forms and emerging processes of urbanization, which are very different depending on one's cultural and economic world,

- We use up regulation strategies typical of urban welfare state policies in a context of globalization, reducing the regulatory power of the State and the growing importance of economic and political liberalism.


The knowing of the diversity of the contexts of urbanization - in Portugal, Europe, USA and BRICs - wants to open the horizons of knowledge and controversy.

Moreover, while exercising the reading of the urban territory micro-territorial level (Project V), opens up an opportunity to relate global processes with recognition and interpretation at the local level.

Finally, the presentation of the diversity of political and social frameworks in which we practice various strategies and urban modes of regulation, allows us to enable students with other knowledge tools for:

- Discuss urban issues,

- Build intervention strategies,

- Identify the resources and strategies  that the State and Public Policies may use and strategies for partnership with the private sector,

- Understand urbanism as politics.

Working method




A. From city to extensive urbanization


. The "city," polis and civitas: the legacy of the history of urban planning and urban geography; spatial urban forms and social organization; the city as “center, shape and boundaries”.


. Urbanization, urbis: contemporary processes of urbanization, the extensive urbanization.


  This first block of contents intended to familiarize students with the broad conceptual ruptures of Urban Geography. The extensive urbanization match corresponds to the territorial dilution of the “city” and at the same time, the large geographic scale of urbanization.


B-Examples of recent developments of the processes and forms of urbanization in Portugal and around the world


 . The "archipelago" Portuguese urban field.


. Urbanization in the BRICs - Brazil's example (from the urbanization of poverty, to enclaves of wealth)


. Metropolization: large urban artifacts along the world.


In this second block is given special importance to the context of urbanization processes, comparing the case of Portugal with Europe, the U.S.A., and countries in the developing world. Also developed are issues related to urbanization and globalization


C - Urbanization, technology and society


. The techno-human condition; urbanization as a process of building and infrastructuring.

. Urbanization as a social construction: the diversity of socio-political and economic contexts of urbanization


. Urbanization and urban policies

The last block develops the approaches for understanding urbanization beyond the diversity of patterns of urbanization. The last point - urban policies - emphasizes the diversity of political and social contexts that frame urban policies, with particular emphasis in the case of Portugal and the European Union.

Mandatory literature

Ascher François; Metapolis. ISBN: 972-8027-88-3
Graham Stephen; Splintering urbanism. ISBN: 0-415-18965-9
Braden ALLENBY; Daniel SAREWITZ; The Techno-human condition, MIT Press, 2011
Domingues Álvaro; A rua da estrada. ISBN: 978-989-8217-06-6
David MANGIN; La Ville Franchisèe, Editions de la Villette, 2004
Davis Mike; Planet of slums. ISBN: 978-1-84467-160-1

Teaching methods and learning activities


Lectures with a strong theoretical and conceptual content and, at the same time, with presentation and discussion of case studies that allow students to confront the theoretical analysis with commonsense knowledge.


Evaluation Type

Evaluation with final exam

Assessment Components

designation Weight (%)
Exame 100,00
Total: 100,00

Calculation formula of final grade

Results of final exam - 0 to 20 points.

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