Ana Luísa Brandão
Pedro Brandão


Spatial growth of cities corresponded to new theoretical and practical knowledge capacities with new kinds of urban infrastructures, new services organisation and new construction methods, of XIX and most of XX century’s industrial space production. The decline of those capacities and a “crisis” of modern models, followed by the still on-going post-industrial transition process of the past 50 years are translated in many different forms of spatial, social, economic and cultural organisation and diversity of emerging urban contexts. Contemporary processes seem to carry difficulties in understanding and conducting urban transformation in such diverse and changing context. What strategic elements can be used to interpret and act in such contexts?
In this paper we intend to show an interdisciplinary perspective of public space as part of strategic and theoretical principles recognised by several fields of urban knowledge and practice: we include the spatial continuity of the Commons in those structuring principles, as a notion of urban “publicness”. These new perspectives require a perception of public space that goes beyond traditional city references, to other peripheral or scattered urban areas, but maintaining its fundamental structuring role, as systemic and interactive reference for complex urban environments. Through a study on the specific case of the South Bank of Lisbon Metropolitan Area, we present a conceptual operative matrix, based on the hypothesis of strategic interaction between urban systems, aiming for its structuring potential for spatial continuity – public space, infrastructure and landscape.
Outputs of this study aim at a contribution to a more flexible and interactive structuring approach to urban design and planning, focused on interdisciplinary perspectives of public space production.


How to Cite
Brandão, A. L. and Brandão, P. (2017) “Public Space, Infrastructure, Landscape: an interdisciplinary matrix for urban spatial continuity”, The Journal of Public Space, 2(1), pp. 123–134. doi: 10.5204/jps.v2i1.55.
Author Biographies

Ana Luísa Brandão, Universidade de Lisboa

Ana Luísa Brandão is an Architect (Technical Institute of Lisbon, 2008) and PhD in Public Space and Urban Regeneration (Universitat de Barcelona, 2015). She has worked as an architect, in CCG Arquitectos developing housing and education projects, and lectured at Instituto Superior Técnico of Universidade de Lisboa, in Civil Engineer graduation. At the present she is a post-doctoral researcher at CERIS (Lisbon University), developing new tools to assess public space systems and she is a member of Polis Research Centre, Barcelona University. Her research is focused on urban production processes and their impacts on urban design and public space.

Pedro Brandão, Universidade de Lisboa

Pedro Brandão is an Architect graduated at Lisbon Fine Arts Faculty (1977) and Doctor in Public Space and Urban Regeneration by Barcelona University (2005); Visiting teacher at Barcelona University (Urban Design Master and Doctoral program) and Associate Professor at Instituto Superior Técnico of Universidade de Lisboa. He is currently coordinating the line of research in Public space and Urban design in the PhD Architecture program and General Secretary of Europan Portugal. He was President of Portuguese Architects Association (1989-1995) and President of Portuguese Design Center (2001-2004). He published several books on Urban Design and Interdisciplinarity.


Antrop, M. (2005). Why landscapes of the past are important for the future. Landscape and Urban Planning, 70(1–2), pp. 21–34, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2003.10.002

Ascher, F. (1995). Métapolis ou l’avenir des villes. Paris: Editions Odile Jacob.

Bell, D. (1973). The Coming Of Post-industrial Society. New York: Basic Books.

Borja, J., & Muxí, Z. (2003). El espacio público: ciudad y ciudadanía. Barcelona: Electa.

Brandão, A. (2013). The Adaptable City – Urban transformation as a process. Retrieved from http://www.europan-europe.eu/media/default/0001/09/e13_themecontr_36_abrandao_pdf.pdf

Brandão, A., & Brandão, P. (2013). Por uma cidade produtiva: a diversidade urbana na transição pós-industrial. Scripta Nova: revista electrónica de geografía y ciencias sociales, 17(446). Retrieved from http://www.ub.edu/geocrit/sn/sn-446.htm

Brandão, P. (2008). O software, o espaço público. Em AAVV (Ed.), Manual de Metodologia e Boas Práticas para a Elaboração de um Plano de Mobilidade Sustentável. Moita. Retrieved from http://issuu.com/dirp.cmmoita/docs/manual_tramo

Cancela d’Abreu, A., Correia, T. P., & Oliveira, R. (2004). Contributos para a identificação e caracterização da paisagem em Portugal Continental. Lisboa: DGOTDU-Direcção Geral do Ordenamento do Território e Desenvolvimento Urbano.

Carmona, M. (2010a). Contemporary Public Space: Critique and Classification, Part One: Critique. Journal of Urban Design, 15(1), pp. 123–148, https://doi.org/10.1080/13574800903435651

Carmona, M. (2010b). Contemporary Public Space, Part Two: Classification. Journal of Urban Design, 15(2), pp. 157–173, https://doi.org/10.1080/13574801003638111

Carmona, M., Heath, T., Oc, T., & Tiesdell, S. (2003). Public Places - Urban Spaces: A Guide to Urban Design. Oxford; Boston: Architectural Press.

Cerdà, I. (1867). Teoría General de la Urbanización Y aplicación de sus principios y doctrinas a la Reforma y Ensanche de Barcelona (Edición facsímil a cargo del Instituto de Estudios Fiscales, Madrid, 1968). Madrid: Imprenta Española.

Choay, F. (1965). L’urbanisme, utopies et réalités. Paris: Éditions du Seuil.

Choay, F. (1994). Le règne de l’urbain et la mort de la ville. Em J. Dethier (ed.), La Ville. Art et architecture en Europe. 1870-1993, Paris: Centre Pompidou, pp. 26–35.

Lefebvre, H. (1974). La Production de L’espace. Paris: Anthropos.

Lukez, P. (2007). Suburban transformations. New York, NY: Princeton Architectural Press.

Monderman, H. (2007). Designing Shared Space [Mov] (Vol. 7). London: Urban Design London. Retrieved from http://www.urbannous.org.uk/udlhm1.htm

Pinto, A. J., & Brandão, A. L. (2015). A multi-scale approach of public space networks in the scattered city. Urban Design International, 20(3), pp. 175–194, https://doi.org/10.1057/udi.2015.4

Pinto, A. J., & Remesar, A. (2012). Public Space Networks as a Support for Urban Diversity. Open House International, 37(2), pp. 15–23.

Portas, N. (2004). De uma cidade a outra: perspectivas periféricas. Em Os Tempos das Formas (2012) (1a, Vol. II: A Cidade Imperfeita e a Fazer). Guimarães: Escola de Arquitectura da Universidade do Minho.