Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, 24th ISUF 2017 - City and Territory in the Globalization Age

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The dual nature of land parcels: exploring the morphological and juridical definition of the term.
Evgeniya Bobkova, Lars Marcus, Meta Berghauser Pont

Last modified: 11-05-2018


The importance of the parcel (also referred to as ‘plot’ or ‘lot’) as one of the fundamental elements of urban form is well recognized within the field of urban morphology. It has been described as a basic element in the pattern of land divisions that works as an organizational grid for urban form. One of the distinctive features of the parcel is its dual character: it means both a legal unit defining property rights and a physical entity. In urban fabrics, these dimensions act together to drive the evolution of built space.

In this paper, we will investigate the entanglements of the morphological and the legislative definitions of the term, with the aim to resolve these, we better can address and compare the vital layer of parcels in different urban contexts, by both identifying common properties of the notion parcels, and dealing with variations in its legal framework in different countries.

What we aim to capture with such a comprehensive definition is the relation between urban form and generic functions, which mainly concerns the functions of occupation and movement, where the system of parcels can be identified as spaces that embed an affordance for occupancy in cities of most kinds.

The intended outcome of the paper is to unveil the power of the dual nature of the parcel, bridging between spatial and non-spatial dimensions of cities, that is, more precisely, a potential to establish a stronger interface between urban design and planning practice.



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