Urban Remote Sensing


Hannes Taubenböck





The objectives of the course are to: 1) Give a general knowledge on the main theories on the city’s forms; 2) Give a succinct description of the varieties of intra-urban forms; 3) Provide theoretical tools to understand resulting forms as interactions of more elementary patterns; 4) Teach how to, practically, use geodata to search for-, and interpret, intra-urban patterns.



Built environment is the backbone, the support of our direct sensitive experience of the city. As such, it has a direct impact on individuals roaming the urban fabric and the communities it hosts. This physicalist approach of the influence of the built environment on the society can be traced back to Antiquity. The subsequent theories of ideal design for cities populate all History and emerged in most of cultures. In turn, these theories had major influences on the shapes of the real cities, when designed in compliance with their principles. Many of these principles resulted in patterns that are, up to now, observable in the physical face of cities. Alternatively, cities, or part of cities were not designed, seemingly not even planned. The city, therefore shaped by the designed and unplanned paradigms, presents a wide range of appearances. The purpose of this class is to study the patterns of the intra-urban morphology in this perspective to understand the underlaying social processes embedded in the physical forms of the city.