Thesis Info

Thesis Title
Organic Urbanism and the Implicate Order: Understanding Urban Patterns Through the Geometries of Nature
Maria Rosália Guerrerio
2nd Author
3rd Author
Number of Pages
ISCTE - University Institute of Lisbon
Thesis Supervisor
Maria José Roxo
Supervisor e-mail
Other Supervisor(s)
Language(s) of Thesis
Department / Discipline
Urban Design
Languages Familiar to Author
Portuguese, English, French, Spanish and Italian
URL where full thesis can be found
Systemic thinking, Complexity, Emergence, Self-organization, Fractality
Abstract: 200-500 words
This research is about the scientific understanding of the concept of "life" in urban space and its main purpose is to explain the underlying order that is present in organic cities. It was found that this order is emergent (bottom-up), a product of a self-organization, a fractal geometry that characterizes the geometries of Nature which is substantially different from the visual order (top-down) we are used to look at our cities. The biological metaphor in city planning has been used since the sixteenth century. However, this analogy has been made mainly because of its shape and appearance rather than by the investigation of their geometric properties and laws of formation. Checking the parallel between the geometries of Nature and the geometries of the organic city, through the recognition of a set of patterns and emergent properties I conclude with this work that these forms and these structures emerge for the same reason: the constraints of physical space and the laws of nature are the same everywhere. That’s why a city and a tree so strangely resemble. One of the most immediate consequences for the design cities as a result of that way of thinking, which is holistic and systemic, is that the urban form (at various scales), is not only the product of our models, wishes and inspirations as well as the result of the spatial context it is inserted. The artifact and context form an indivisible whole in a web of relationships and therefore the expression is the result of adaptation to the surrounding environment.