To content
Department of Spatial Planning
MSc: Seminar

European Housing Typologies

Housing stock makes up the majority of urban fabric in cities across the world. The way we build and organize our residential environment frames our modes of inhabiting cities and constitutes our primary relations with urban space. A house, an apartment block, a tower, an urban villa or suburban cottage are elemental units of urban growth. The different ways by which they aggregate and come together manifest in distinct and recognizable spatial patterns of cities (e.g., Iconic superblocks of Barcelona). Varied housing types across Europe are a product of highly complex relations in many domains, including socio-economic development, public policy and institutional practices, demographics and migration dynamics. Distinct housing types reflect the diversity of geographical and climatic conditions, whereas the way of living is a product of diverse cultures, social practices, and established individual and collective habits. In no lesser way housing is a product of different planning approaches, building practices and construction technologies. In this way, housing constitutes a fundamental topic in planning, as it encompasses all the above complexities of human activities in manifold contexts. Understanding different housing typologies is thus fundamental to comprehensive understanding of cities from a planning perspective. 

This master's seminar tap into shared and specific features of European residential building types from an urban planning perspective. The focus of the seminar is on the physical form of different housing typologies on urban scale. Different residential types such as urban blocks, large housing estates, and private dwellings will be overviewed in terms of their spatial organizations in the broad context of European cities. Students work with case studies from different European countries, analyzing common and specific features of different housing types in specific national and geographical contexts. At the end of the seminar the students will gain a broad overview of European housing types, as well as a comparative outlook on distinct residential types in case study countries.

Course Leader