Analysis of urban forms


A city can be interpreted as the occupation in space of multiple urban forms resulting from diverse historical, social, and cultural situations. These conditions shape, model, assemble, confront, and sometimes superimpose the components of a constantly evolving "urban matter". The aim of the class is to introduce students to the discovery of the city through the interpretation of its forms and the analysis of some of the factors that condition its transformation. Examining the forms of a city, reading, and analyzing them in their diversity makes it possible to understand that they are the intelligible, tangible result of a complex transformation involving historical, social, cultural, and political dynamics. A city and, more broadly, a territory, considered here as the physical expression of societies, are ideal media for the study of the contemporary world and its challenges. The class, therefore, invites students to explore the concrete, almost sensual reality of a city, and then sheds light on the subject through analytical insights combining history and geography.


  • Panerai P., Analyse urbaine. Parenthèses Éditions, Marseille, 1999.
  • Panerai P., Castex J., Depaule J.C., Formes urbaines de l’îlot à la barre. Parenthèses Éditions, Marseille, 1997.
  • Lucan J., Où va la ville aujourd’hui ? : Formes urbaines et mixités. Éditions de La Villette, Paris, 2012.
  • Secchi B., Première leçon d’urbanisme, Parenthèses Éditions, Marseille, 2006.
  • Magnaghi A., La biorégion urbaine, Éditions Eterotopia, Paris, 2014.

In brief

Year Fourth year

Teaching languageFrench

Teaching term Six-monthly

ECTS credits 2.0

Number of hours 18.0

Teaching activitySeminar

ValidationFinal written examination

Mandatory teaching



Educational manager :
Hirschberger Stéphane [+]