The Importance of Urban Form as an Object of Study

Michael Barke

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The importance of urban morphology is argued from three perspectives—philosophical, cultural and practical. Urban morphology makes sense of the world around us and this chapter will demonstrate the importance of ‘ways of seeing’, arguing for a philosophical approach that integrates physical, social and cultural dimensions of cities. Culturally, understanding urban morphology is a prerequisite to an awareness of urban aesthetics and the layers of meaning attached to townscapes. Through such appreciation, its study adds to the quality of life. Practically, the study of urban morphology performs a vital educational function. Through the detailed study of urban form, we learn both what not to do and how to do things better, a vital objective in achieving successful and holistic urban management. Urban morphology provides an appreciation and unique training for integrating closely related fields of practical application such as urban design, planning, architecture and conservation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTeaching Urban Morphology
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-76126-8
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-76125-1
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2018

Publication series

NameTeaching Urban Morphology
ISSN (Print)2365-757X
ISSN (Electronic)2365-7588


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