Sunday, December 19, 2010

German geographical urban morphology in an international and interdisciplinary framework

Heinz Heineberg
Institut für Geographie, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster

 This paper reviews the development and main aspects of research in German geographical urban morphology in an international and interdisciplinary framework. German urban morphology has a long history. It was a progenitor of the Conzenian tradition in Britain. During recent decades, however, it has lost the prominent position it held within German human geography in the early years of the twentieth century. It has nevertheless continued to yield a sizeable amount of research, including on cultural-genetic city types at continental and sub-continental scales and on urban change and conservation. Within the framework of geographical urban morphology a number of applied and theoretical topics merit particular attention: among these are the reuse of derelict land, the revitalization of harbour areas, interdisciplinary approaches to redevelopment, holistic perspectives on the built environment, transformation and reconstruction in eastern Germany and urban shrinkage. Fundamental aspects of urban morphology as a field of knowledge include increased participation in the international community of urban morphologists, a renewed impetus to the revitalization of theory, and more contributions on ecological aspects of urban form.

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