Urban Architecture

P. Kraftl*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Geographers' study of urban architecture has followed a number of theoretical and methodological trends in both urban and cultural geography. It would be difficult to argue that a true subdiscipline of 'urban architectural geography' has ever existed - as geographers who study urban architecture regularly draw on issues as diverse as urban planning and design, iconography, social difference, local historical context, and everyday practice, in the course of their work. Yet certain discrete (but not separate) approaches in urban architectural research can be discerned, which are discussed in this article. These include: the Berkeley School; the built environment tradition, and behavioralism; Marxism and political-economy; textual and iconographic approaches; and critical, material, and nonrepresentational geographies of urban architecture. This article also considers the most significant thematic issues considered by geographers of urban architecture, including machines and modern architecture; the display of power in architecture throughout history; play, leisure, and experimentation in urban architecture; globalization, mega-structures, and the architecture of gentrification; and nostalgia, neotraditional urban design, and 'gated communities'.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of Human Geography
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9780080449104
ISBN (Print)9780080449111
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2019 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Behavioralism
  • Berkeley School
  • Built environment tradition
  • Critical geographies of architecture
  • Globalization
  • Iconography
  • Machines
  • Nostalgia
  • Play
  • Political economy and urban architecture
  • Power
  • Reading landscapes
  • Urban design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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