The Historical Urban Form of Latin American Cities
Ana Maria C. Whitaker
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

 

Defining the Concept of "Historical Urban Form"


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The concept of"historical urban form"to be used in this study follows the definition presented by A.E.J. Morris in History of Urban Form (1994).

This approach was selected because it defines the physical form of cities within a larger environmental, political, social, economic, political and religious context.

Morris starts by defining whether a city is "organic", "planned" or a "combination of both" (page 8) and then lists key urban form determinants (pages 10-18) which address the complexity of the development of an urban settlement.

Some categories have been expanded for this study to respond to specific characteristics of the Latin American city or to provide a more comprehensive historical perspective (those categories are indicated in italics).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Updated: 6/22/06

The urban form determinants are identified as follows:

(for a definition of each term please click each highlighted term):

Urban Form

organic
planned

Natural Determinants

topography
climate
construction materials
Man made Determinants

political
economic
religious
grid

 plazas

streets
defense
urban mobility
infrastructure
 aggrandizement
aesthetics

leisure
social, religious, and ethnic groups

  age and gender