2023-2024 / ARCH2223-1

Region 2: regional analysis


20h Th, 20h Pr

Number of credits

 Master in urban planning and territorial development (120 ECTS)3 crédits 
 Bachelor in architecture5 crédits 


Michele Hougardy, Marijke Maes, Cédric Wehrle, Karel Wuytack


Marijke Maes

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the second semester


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents


The course focuses on the analysis and description of the landscape, the city, and the territory through three spatial approaches:

  • Global space
  • Local space
  • The specific space

The global space approach is based on the observation of open spaces, the site, the landscape, and their natural and ecological dynamics.

This approach allows us to understand what is essential and present in a place before and after human intervention (water systems, topography, nature of soils, etc.).

With the shape of the natural territory, the development and evolution of the cities are explained (notice the evolution of mobility infrastructures,..). To intervene, it is necessary to study this urban development and evolution, resulting from a very long and very slow stratification.

"André Corboz" The territory as a palimpsest "


The local space approach focuses on the city and the urban frameworks, the built and non-built space, the network of public spaces, the road network, the division of plots, constructions ... superimposed or overlapping.

Theoretical approaches illustrate different types of analyzes (morphological, typological, historical, socio-spatial, and systemic ...).

History makes it possible to understand the dynamics and transformations of the urban fabric, to understand the current urban form in what it expresses of its historical heritage. Morphological analysis studies the city in its development from the elements composing it.

"She studies the physical form of urban space, its evolution in relation to social, economic and demographic changes, the actors and processes at work in this evolution." Bernard Gauthiez

The analytical method consists in breaking down the studied object into different elementary components, in identifying and studying their relationships within the whole.

The specific space approach is based on a direct reading of non-built space in situ by observing landscapes, spaces, people, and practices.

The analysis of perceived and lived space emphasizes the perception of urban space by restoring a socio-spatial dimension of the place.

Theoretical approaches illustrate this type of visual analysis (Kevin Lynch The Image of the City - Gordon Cullen The Concise Townscape.)

These 3 complementary approaches provide the student with the tools to represent (built and non-built) territories.

But the territorial analysis and description cannot be a goal in itself, the course aiming to forge links with architectural project workshops, study trips, or even projects already realized.

The course synthesis demonstrates modes of spatial interventions in the city.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

The course aims to provide the students with the necessary tools to analyze mainly graphically and descriptively the landscape, the non-built space, the city and the territory.


Provide elements of method of analysis of urban space preliminary to any architectural project. (Morphological, typological, visual, historical, socio-spatial, and systemic analysis ...)

  • Identify and study the urban forms in their complexities (the site, the city, a district, islet, a plot, the built environment, the non-built space,) understand their interactions crossing the different scales.
  • Enlighten the process of formation and transformation of urban space.

  • Understand the contradictions and challenges of urban space

To shed light on the relationship between the work of analyzing a territory and the process of designing an architectural project.

Exploring the sustainable issues of the city

With the tools in his possession, the student will be able to draw, interpret and reconstruct the territory studied.


Prerequisite knowledge and skills

  • Q1 : module « Communication et construction graphique » - basic principles 
  • Q1 : module « Habiter »

  • Q2 : module « Territoire 1 »
  • Q2 : module « Communication et construction graphique » advanced principles 
  • Q2 : module « Culture Architecturale 1 »

  • Q3 : module «« Communication et construction graphique » - Image et numérique »
  • Q3 : module « philosophie et esthétique de l'architecture »

  • Q1-Q3 : architectural projects studio

Planned learning activities and teaching methods


The attendance in the 40h course is organized for 4h durent 10 weeks and offers in total:

16 hours of theory lesson:

  • There are 5 theory courses of 4hours,  explaining the excercises for the studios

24 hours of practical work in the studios:

  • The assignments of the exercises in the studios are submitted via the theory courses 
  • Students - alone and in groups of max 9 students - are guided in the studios or in situ as part of the work of territorial analysis and its graphic reproductions.
  • Flipped classroom learning: Students are introduced to a theme of sustainability using home reading to undertake an inquiry with an external professional interlocutor.
  • Gamification: through the "city skylines" game, learn how to design a city in all its complexity
The course includes 110h of additional work for the student, including assessment;

  • 1 day (8h) free for independant work for 10 weeks 
  • 30h for evalutions (the written exam and the final evaluation of the logbook) 

Document expected at the end of the course:

  • Realization by student (or by group) of a graphic or digital logbook (MIRO) testifying to research, analyzes, digital exchanges with professional actors, interview of local actors in situ, work around the theme and studies of concrete territories.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Blended learning

Additional information:

The course is presented in French. Attendance at practical studios is mandatory.

Feedback will be given during the session by the supervisory team.

The theoretical and practical course materials (syllabus, video capsules, statements of exercises to be carried out, etc.) are published on MIRO, ecampus and blackboard.

Recommended or required readings

The Morphology of Urban Landscapes: History, Analysis, Design - by Andre Bideau (Author), Catherine Blain (Author), Marlene Ghorayeb (Author), Susanne Komossa (Author), & 13 more - sept 24, 2021
Apprendre à voir la ville - Bruno Zevi - 2011
Analyse urbaine - Ph Panerai, J. CH. Depaule, M. Demorgon Marseille, Editions Paranthèses, 1999
Formes urbaines - de lîlot à la barre - Ph Panerai, J.Casex, J. CH. Depaule, Marseille, Editions Paranthèses, 1997 
Première leçon d'urbanimse (Francais) Broché - Bernardo Secchi, 2006 
Histoire des villes- Etude carthographique de l'urbanisme de la Renaissance à la moitié du XXe siècle, 2019 - Kevin J.Brown, Spencer D.Hunt 

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam ( multiple-choice questionnaire )

Written work / report

Continuous assessment

Out-of-session test(s)

Additional information:


20% - The theoretical course is evaluated after a few sessions (via the platform evalens - QCM) within a period of time

80% - Practical work:

  • Ex1: Analysis of the city at 3 scales (global, local, specific)
  • Ex2: In situ sketches on the 3 scales (global, local, specific)
  • Ex3: Explore the issues of the city from surveys and critical reading of a bibliography of your choice (optional: Reinvent the city in the game city skylines (serious gaming))
Final evaluation based on a book of analyzes (part carried out individually and partly carried out in groups) 

Continuous evaluation of practical work,  on MIRO taking in account:

  • the student's regular contribution to team and individual work
  • the quality of the exercise: consistency between the descriptive and critical reading of the context
  • the quality of manual and digital graphic expressions, written and oral
  • the ability to make the link between scales

Procedures in the event of absence or delay during an intermediate or final presentation (the book).

The presence in class is mandatory

  • An unjustified delay or absence of filing is penalized by the inadmissibility of the work and the score of "0".
  • In the event of a justified impossibility for the student to be present on the day and at the time of a handover, the protocol to be followed is as follows:
    * Notify the course coordinator by email before the date and time of the handover;
    * Submission of the work (as it is) by a third party, on the day, at the time and in the place, scheduled. In addition, the documents must be transmitted in digital version (including scan and / or photos) via the MIRO platform or ecampus;
    * Delivery of proof for the day of absence, instead, to the secretariat and a copy to the coordinator;
    * The coordinator will deliberate on the admissibility or otherwise of the documents, as well as any arrangements it deems necessary for their examination;
    * If admissible and at the scheduled date of the examination, the work will be assessed on the basis of the documents as they stand.

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course


Ir. MAES Marijke (coordinator) 





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