2. Urban form and structure: organizing territories, guiding growth patterns
The changing territorial morphologies and structures that intertwine or overlap in our cities are the spatial and environmental expressions of contradictory growth trends and processes that are driven by different social actors. Relations among them - whether conflictive or harmonic - shape and connect the urban space, imprint their discontinuities and fragmentations, mark and confer meaning to the places of social encounter or conflict and may lead to isolation or (voluntary or forced) secessions. By means of turbulent processes and modes of occupation, appropriation and signification of urban territories, many social movements' demands are not satisfactorily addressed in the public agenda or met by State policies or formal markets. These unsolved contradictions suggest the convenience to analyse (to plan, to regulate) the environmental and political implications of urban form, structure and connectivity patterns, as well as those of the modes of territorial expansion and the definition of (new) urban borders.
Scientific papers presented in relation to this theme and the analysis of local and regional experiences may address the following topics:
- What criteria and what strategies should guide urban growth considering scenarios of climatic, economic and social uncertainties?
- How should be balanced - in both social and environmental terms - the meanings, costs and implications of several socio-territorial structuring alternatives (compactness /sprawl; metropolises / (networks of) mid-sized cities; others)?
- Socio-territorial and environmental trends, speeds and tensions involved in the production of urban space. What are the spatial faces of social diversity, difference, inequality and conflict? Which are the territorial and environmental expressions of income divide, spatial displacements, migrations, environmental and habitat precariousness? When it comes to fragmentation, segregation and marginalization: what physical spaces do they occupy and how are they produced?
- In what ways do space's form, structure and social distribution express different economic, technological and environmental divides and distances?
- City and Nature as use values and as exchange values in land markets. In what ways do real estate dynamics, the self-constructed city and the State management of habitat prioritize and/ or combine one value or the other in their modes of producing urban space?Re-urbanization and renovation of cities: which are the predominant social and environmental profiles of these types of processes? How do these renovation strategies combine centralities, distances, social diversity and public spaces?
- Which new conceptions about environment, land uses, mobility and energy are being incorporated in most recent legislations, urban plans and social practices?
- Which public management instruments orient and guide urban and environmental transformations and developments? How are they related to regulation and interventions upon land markets?