Regional Networks Annual Report

 Report on ISUF Regional Networks 

17 JUNE 2021 

Giuseppe Strappa, Coordinator of Isuf Regional Networks 

In the time between our meeting in Salt Lake City and the one in Glasgow, the activities of the Isuf Regional networks have been greatly influenced by the conditions imposed by the pandemic both, in exchanges within individual networks and between the networks themselves. However, many activities were carried out. 

Isuf’s regional networks dynamism in this difficult situation, has proved as they can represent an important resource for the future of our association. 

Local networks integrate International Isuf activities filling the gape between main conferences, either by carrying out a communication and educational work, or taking care of the relationships between different local research structures interested in Urban Morphology. 

As will be recalled, the problem of coordinating this important aspect of ISUF was raised in the review of the Constitution, proposed by the Executive Committee and approved by the Council of the Association. 

The amended constitution now provides, as regards the Regional Networks, significant innovations, considering among the priority objectives of the Association “organizing and coordinating regional networks”. For this reason it was considered appropriate to report the presence of local organizations on a dedicated page of the Isuf site and we thank Richard Whithand for his willingness to edit it. 

Among the activities of the regional networks, one of the main ones will be the organization of a Summer School of Urban Morphology. The proposal met with the favourable opinion of the Isuf Executive Committee, which assigned a small sum as a contribution to the activity. As coordinator, I will propose to held first session of the school with the support of, and together with, the Kaebup (Knowledge Alliance for Evidence-Based Urban Practices), European financed investigation group dedicated to research on the relationship between Urban Morphology and profession. 

Some changes have occurred in the organization of the networks, among others Ilaria Geddes has replaced Nadia Charalambous as co-president of the Cyprus Network for Urban Morphology, Javier Monclús has replaced Vicente Colomer as president of the Hispanic Network and Yinsheng Tian will replace Wowo Ding as president of Chinese Network

Currently the following nine networks are active: 

  • CYNUM, Cyprus Network for Urban Morphology – presidents: Ilaria Geddes, Nevter Zafer 
  • Chinese Network of Urban Morphology – pres. Wowo Ding, 
  • ISUF-H , Hispanic Network of Urban Morphology – pres. Javier Monclús 
  • ISUFitaly, Italian Network of Urban Morphology pres. Giuseppe Strappa 
  • Nordic Network of Urban Morphology – pres. Abdellah Abarkan, 
  • PNUM, Portoguese Network of Urban Morphology – pres. Vitor Oliveira 
  • Polish Network of Urban Morphology – pres. Anna Agata Kantarek, 
  • Serbian Network of Urban Morphology – pres. Vladan Djokic, 
  • TNUM, Turkish Network of Urban Morphology – pres. Ayse Sema Kubat 

Below is a brief report of the activities carried out by the various regional associations. 

Cyprus Network of Urban Morphology 

ISUF2019 Proceedings. Paper proofs were sent to the authors in February 2021 and received back in April 2021. The proceedings are now in the final stages of editing and due to be published by TAB Edizioni in August 2021. 

Past Event in 2021. CyNUM participated in the 8th Architecture, Archaeology and Contemporary City Planning Symposium with a panel discussion on the study of urban form in Cyprus, based on the paper of the same title, published in Urban Morphology 23 (1). Panelists were Ilaria GEdes and Nevter Zafer Comert and the Panel was moderated by Sebnem Hoskara and Alessandro Camiz. 

Future Events in 2021. Cynum will be supporting the First International blended conference, on Pandemics and Urban Form, PUF2022, April 28th-30th 2022, Istanbul, Turkey Pandemics and the changing built environment – Learning from history, planning our future 

Organised by: INTBAU, Nanjing University, University of Trento, Özyeğin University, University of Idaho, Kuwait University. 

Cynum will also be organising a webinar series focusing on urban form studies in the Mediterranean region and the Middle East between September-December 2021. 

Cypriot Urban Form – The Journal of the Cyprus Network of Urban Morphology. Issue 0 will be released by the end of 2021; we have received two articles (1 research article, 1 viewpoint article) and one book review. We are expecting to receive two further research articles and one further book review by September 2021. 

CyNUM2022 Regional Conference. CyNUM’s second regional conference will take place on 7th – 9th April 2022 in person (or hybrid if needed). The conference theme is Transformation and Conservation of Urban Form in South-Eastern Mediterranean Cities, and the Call for Papers will be released on 22nd June 2021. 

Nevter Zafer Cömert, Ilaria Geddes 

Chinese Network of Urban Morphology 

With the efforts of all members, our work is progressing smoothly. 

1, Urban morphology research: 

Based on the Chinese urbanization stage, our urban morphology research mainly focuses on the close combination with urban design. The urban morphologic practice has played an important role in the urban design field (published a series of related papers). 

2, Urban morphology teaching: 

Our members’ schools offer urban morphology courses or courses related to urban morphology. 

3, Urban morphology propagate: 

Urban design has been listed as a required course for undergraduates of architecture and urban planning so that we incorporated urban morphology as the base for urban design in new textbook. Therefore, with the promotion and application of teaching materials, more and more students of architecture and urban planning will begin to understand urban morphology from their undergraduate courses, to lay a foundation for them to engage in urban morphology research in the future. 

In the end, I will report to you that I finished my work as organizer and convener of ISUF-CN, and I would like to thank you and all network members to support in past years. Professor Yinsheng Tian will place this position and I will work for ISUF-CN as a member. Professor Tian is one of the members and worked in the urban morphology field for many years. He will attend the ISUF network meeting this year. 

Wowo Ding 

Hispanic Network of Urban Morphology 

Despite the pandemic crisis the third congress of the Hispanic International Seminar on Urban Form (ISUF-H), took place (online) at the Barcelona School of Architecture (ETSAB) on September 28-30 2020. Under the theme “FORMA URBIS y territorios metropolitanos. Metrópolis en recomposición. Prospectivas proyectuales en el siglo XXI” (Forma urbis and metropolitan territories. Urban design prospects in 21st Century), the conference directed by Carles Llop (Polytechnic University of Catalonia), explored new fields with transversal approaches, from territories and landscapes in transformation to new urban dynamics. Under the conference scope ‘Urban design prospects’ the will to connect theories and practices was remarkable, with many contributions to the debate on foundation of urban planning and urban projects. With more than 400 participants coming from 145 Spanish and Latin American universities or public bodies. 206 papers out of 338 proposals were finally presented. The proceedings have been published and are available at the ISUF-H website in 12 volumes ( together with those from previous congresses in Toledo (ISUF-H 2016), Zaragoza (ISUF-H 2018) and Guadalajara-México (ISUF-H 2019). 

On the other hand, at the last General Assembly of ISUF-H, celebrated in January 28th this year, Vicente Colomer, the former president of ISUF-H finished his duty after 5 years and the councillor Javier Monclús, Professor of Urban Planning from the University of Zaragoza, was elected as the new president. 

Javier Monclús 

Italian Network of Urban Morphology 

Isufitaly, an association made up almost exclusively of architects, is continuing its research, teaching and communication activities regarding the relationship between morphological analysis and architectural design. 

In addition to the teaching activity of its members and the organization of series of conferences in the faculties of architecture, Isufitaly is taking care, in 2020/21, of some important activities. 

– A study day was organized to take stock of the situation of urban morphology research in Italy. Virtually all the faculties of architecture in which urban morphology courses are active have been involved. The study day was attended by 42 teachers of urban design. 

– On the basis of the discussion during the study day, two issues of the association’s journal have been planned, one being published soon, and another scheduled for next December. In this regard, it is worth noting the increasing role of the journal in the national context, with the recent transition to class A (“of relevant scientific character” for the Ministry of University and Scientific Research) and the collaboration of influential authors. 

– Isufitaly is organizing a conference scheduled for 8/10 June 2022 on the theme of the relationship between urban morphology studies and the urban project. 

The conference will be held in Bologna and the plenary sessions will take place in the prestigious Aula Absidale Santa Lucia, in the historic center. 

– As provided in the association’s statute, Isufitaly is making considerable efforts to undertake research within its structure. In the next few years it will participate in a European funded research (Kaebup) dedicated to the relationship between urban morphology research and profession. 

Giuseppe Strappa 

Nordic Network of Urban Morphology 

Most of activities of the network is to promote urban morphology in teaching at the Blekinge Institute of Technology, the department of Spatial Planning. In the bachelor program a set of 3 courses distributed along the program’s three years are offered to students, starting from a basic/introductory course on the concepts and convention of urban planning and urban design, followed by a course on the composition of the ground plan (urban typologies, urban fabric and urban morphology), and finally a course on the complexity of urban form, in which students test with different urban complexities related to planning, mobility, environment, climate change and urban form. 

In the master’s “urban planning” students deepen their knowledge and experience in urban morphology in a course called “Structures” and which gives a training in a holistic understanding of urban structures and how they interact and/or integrate the parts to the whole. The course intends to deepen and strengthen the student’s knowledge and experience of the urban morphology. 

There is also ongoing research which focuses on the interpretation and design of sustainable mobility and urban urban form, and this in both international and local perspective. Within an ongoing cooperation with UN Habitat, a doctoral project is investigating the relationship between urban form and mobility in East Africa, with a specific focus on the city of Kisumu, Kenya. Another research project aims at preparing a research and doctorate program on planning, sustainable mobility and urban form in Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania. The project is coordinated by researchers at the Blekinge Institute of Technology, the department of Spatial planning. 

The specific condition of planning in Sweden, which are based in the detail planning or planning at very local and fragmented scale is the background to a research program involving researchers from five Swedish universities, with the objective of promoting a holistic urban form based approach to planning. 

Abdellah Abarkan 

Portuguese-language Network of Urban Morphology 

The activities of PNUM in 2020-21 have been mainly structured by three elements. The first is the annual conference ( After an exceptional break in our sequence of conferences since 2011, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, PNUM annual conference will take place in Lisbon (in a virtual mode), on July 16 and 17. ‘Identities and dynamics of urban reconfiguration in the digital era’ is organized into four main themes, exploring the links between urban form and ideology, collective services, time, and peripheral areas. The organizing team is coordinated by António Ricardo Costa. 

The second is the ‘Revista de Morfologia Urbana’ ( The last number of the Revista, published in the end of 2020, is in two parts. The first is a thematic part on the new science of cities and data revolution, including three papers. The second is an ‘open’ part, comprising four articles. The Revista is edited by Júlio Vargas, Renato Saboya and Vinicius Netto. 

The final element is an online set of presentations, taking place between April and December. After ‘Morphological research in architectural projects and urban plans’ by Vítor Oliveira, and ‘Urban morphology for peripheral regions and disappearing territories’ by Ana Claudia Cardoso, the June session (by Eugenio 

Queiroga and Francine Sakata) is devoted to the work and legacy of Silvio Soares Macedo, a key figure for PNUM and Brazilian urban morphology, who died early this year. 

Vítor Oliveira 

Polish Network of Urban Morphology 

1.ISUF POLSKA – a silent partner in CEEPUS Network CROSS/HOUSE: Sustainable Housing – Cross‐Cultural Society, 2021-2022 

2.ISUF POLSKA – a co-organizer of XVI International Scientific Conference: Urban Composition of Resilient City (on-line, 25-26.03.2021, Chair of Urbanism and City Structure Architecture, Faculty of Architecture, Cracow University of Technology) 

3.Cooperation with Section of Urbanism of Committee of Architecture and Urbanism of Polish Academy of Sciences 

4.International cooperation: 

– The guest lecture of prof. Giuseppe Strappa “Redesign as a method for reading built landscape” was held via the online conference system on the 17th December 2020. 

– Prof. Teresa Marat-Mendes – visiting professor in Faculty of Architecture, Cracow University of Technology, (online) May, June 2021 

5.Teaching (examples): 

-A. A. Kantarek Urban form and Urban Morphology Seminar for PhD students (in Polish) Doctoral School, Cracow University of Technology 

-M. Hanzl Lectures on City Architecture and Morphology – 5th semester of the BArch (in Polish) course in Institute of Architecture and Town Planning Lodz University of Technology 

6.Scientific works (examples): 

-Musiaka Ł., Sudra P., Spórna T., 2021, Spatial Chaos as a Result of War Damage and Post-War Transformations. Example of the Small Town of Węgorzewo, Land 10 (541):1-34 

-Musiaka Ł., Figlus T., Szmytkie R., 2021, Models of morphological transformations of centres of the largest Polish cities after World War II, European Planning Studies, 29:3 

-Figlus T., Musiaka Ł., 2020, Analysis of morfological changes of rural settlement patterns after World War II in the metropolitan area of Łódź using a graph theory based method, Environmental & Socio-economic Studies, 8 (4): 57-72 

Serbian Network of Urban Morphology 

In previous year, activities of Serbian Network of Urban Morphology (SNUM) can be elaborated on three levels: 

(1) Research: Presenting research on Origin, genesis and tendencies of UM education in Serbia at 2020 ISUF Italy URBAN SUBSTRATA and city regeneration; on Plot-by-plot project at ISUF 2020 Conference-Cities in the 21st Century, on Urban design competitions at ECTP Young Planners Workshop, holding a keynote lecture on Relationship between the architect-theorist and the architect-creator on STRAND Conference, and preparing presentations for ISUF 2021, writing and publishing research articles on Plot-by-Plot project in Urban Morphology (blind review in process), on Housing Development on the City Peripheries in FOCUS journal, on Belgrade Department stores in U+D Urban Form and Design journal, viewpoint in Urban Morphology, and two book reviews edited by V.Oliveira in SAJ – Serbian Architectural Journal

(2) Professional engagement and networking: Taking part in ISUF 2020 Scientific Committee, and establishing initial contact with PNUM – sending invitation to V.Oliveira to hold a lecture at UBFA (due to Covid-19, V.Oliveira held a keynote lecture about Urban Morphology and Change at HERSUS Webinar), and 

(3) Design and development: Expressing initial interest to ISUF Secretary general and preparing the proposal for organizing ISUF 2024 conference. 

Vladan Djokic 

Turkish Network of Urban Morphology 

Local Symposium on Urban Morphology, 3-4-5 May 2021, METU Faculty of Architecture, Ankara 

The 3rd Symposium of Urban Morphology was organised by METU Faculty of Architecture on behalf of the Turkish Network of Urban Morphology (TNUM) on 3-5 May 2021. With the participation of 135 researchers from different disciplinary backgrounds, 69 conference papers have been presented in 19 sessions. The theme of the symposium, ‘Urban Morphologies: Multi-Dimensional Perspectives to the Studies of Urban Form’ basically suggests a comprehensive overview of the current state-of-the-art in Turkish School of Urban Morphology. The symposium aimed to open up a collective discussion on the multiplicity of the emerging and settled approaches to the theoretical, methodological, disciplinary and pedagogical characteristics of urban morphology. With the keynote lectures given by Peter Larkham, Giuseppe Strappa, Ayşe Sema Kubat and Tolga Ünlü the overall theme has been elaborated with regards to the changing conceptions reflecting on different typological and problematic urban contexts. Within this framework, the major themes that have been discussed in-depth include morphological change in historical urban and rural settlements, image and perception in urban form, re-formation of urban fringe, urban form in relation to planning and design, emerging quantitative techniques in urban form studies, urban landscape and form, sustainable urban form and formation. As the previous symposiums by TNUM, the papers to be presented in the proceedings book aim to improve the Turkish literature of the field. 

ICONARP-SPECIAL ISSUE on Urban Morphology, (Dec 2019) 

The journal that is based on ten articles, addresses significant architectural, urban, historico-geographical, quantitative topics, not only the state-of-art in the field, but also the most recent methods and implementation tools. 

Ayşe Sema Kubat 

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