Measuring Urbanity

Urban Design Workshop

City Induction:
Urban design with patterns and rules

May 7th-12th, 2012
FAUTL - Faculty of Architecture, Technical University of Lisbon

Workshop allows for 3 ECTS credits.

Download the Workshop flyer

Download the Workshop presentations


The workshop focuses on a new method for urban design which is based on the use of patterns and design rules. The aim of the method is to facilitate dialogue between the different participants in the design process and enable the development of flexible urban plans, capable of responding to changes in context throughout its implementation. During the workshop we will cover the theories underlying the proposed method and some tools to support urban design decision, specifically the use of parametric design tools to model urban design problems. The workshop will encompass a practical urban design task where participants will apply the learned method and tools.


The workshop is open to 20 to 40 participants: students, researchers and professionals in architecture and urbanism, including professionals from municipal planning and management.

Modules Description
City Induction project
José Pinto Duarte, FAUTL
In this module there will be an introduction to the City induction research project, its goals and its context within this workshop.
Pattern language theory and the development of urban programs
Nuno Montenegro
This module will describe the principles and foundations of the pattern language developed by Christopher Alexander (with S. Ishikawa and M. Silverstein), the mechanics of its application. The main component of this module will focus on the formulation of urban programmes, facilities location and public open space location, describing the methods used in these tasks.
Urban design with patterns and rules / parametric urban design
José Nuno Beirão, FAUTL
Flexibility is proposed as the main concept structuring urban design in response to the complex and unpredictable development of contemporary cities. In this module we present a method for urban design based on patterns and rules. Definition of supporting concepts: type, system, pattern and rules illustrating their applicability in urban design. The theory of shape grammars will be briefly presented as a means to support the design of urban systems. Focus on parametric representations and their role in the urban design process. There will be a brief discussion on the applicability of the algorithmic structure of the pattern language and design patterns. The presentation will end with a look on the role of urban indicators and density based indicators in the urban design process.
Parametric urban design
Pirouz Nourian, TU-Delft
Principles of parametric design and parametric design. Methodological principles and types of problems addressed in parametric design. Application to urban design. Construction of parametric models in Grasshopper. Data manipulation in parametric design and its application in urban design. Optimization models applied to urban design.
Urban design evaluation
Jorge Gil, TU-Delft
This module will present methods and tools for evaluating urban plans focusing on the use of evaluation models for project information during its execution.
Sintra municipality and site
Tiago Trigueiros, C.M. Sintra
This module will present the challenges currently faced by the city of Sintra with particular focus on the site. In this context the intervention site will be presented, as well as key programme objectives that should guide the intervention.
Clarification of doubts
Participants will be divided into working teams of three participants making sure that each team may have a diversity of participants (students, teachers, professionals, civil servants, etc.). These teams will operate until the end of the workshop.
Work and support
Design of alternative urban plans; production of parametric models associating density measures and layouts; evaluation of alternative solutions; preparation of presentations.