Bioclimatic Urbanism And Regional Design In Portugal: The Atlantic And Mediterranean Contexts

Maria Rosália Guerreiro, Israel Guarda

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The subject of the present work is the study of the relationship between the city shape and its geographical and climatic context. This is a very important feature of the Portuguese city. The Iberian Peninsula comprised by Spain and Portugal belongs to very different environments: the Atlantic and Mediterranean sea. This position is responsible for a series of highly contrasted regions. The external forces presented in each region, influence the shape, location and orientation, not only of individual buildings but of whole villages in such a way that we can identify patterns of construction in different natural regions. There is in fact, a remarkable correspondence between climate and urban type which is useful to identify for planning the different regions. The legacy of industrial city, as in other parts of the world, has changed this close connection between geography and architecture, with consequences not only in environment but especially for the identity of urban spaces. Bioclimatic urbanism is not just a question of sustainability or survival. It is also a question of local identity and variety. There is in fact a relationship between cultural process and environment responsive which we can learn from the structures of the past — the pre-industrial city. We believe that the reinterpretation of the traditional city patterns forms a language which can be used as a design process for recovering urban landscape.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)963-973
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Civil Engineering and Architecture
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • Urban nature regional design
  • bioclimatic urbanism
  • environmental response
  • local identity


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