Urban-Rural Synergy Between Housing Spatial Patterns and Landscape: Typological Classification of Belgrade Socialist Settlements From an Environmental Perspective

Urban-Rural Synergy Between Housing Spatial Patterns and Landscape: Typological Classification of Belgrade Socialist Settlements From an Environmental Perspective

Ana Nikezić (Faculty of Architecture, University of Belgrade, Serbia), Jelena Ristić Trajković (Faculty of Architecture, University of Belgrade, Serbia) and Aleksandra Milovanović (Faculty of Architecture, University of Belgrade, Serbia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9932-6.ch006


The morphogenesis of the urban territory and its contact with the non-urbanized, natural environment of the wider metropolitan area distinguish issues of the synergy between landscape and spatial patterns in order to achieve their balance, optimization, and harmony. This chapter highlights the conceptual framework of landscape ecology as linking to place-based design approach for studying the synergy of landscape and housing spatial patterns in order to improve their integration in future perspective. The territory of the city of Belgrade is recognized as a specific spatial-morphological system that is a consequence of the urban-rural synergy between socialist housing settlements and environmental processes. The chapter points at the environmental and functional values of nature with a particular focus on housing typology in the process of urban planning and architectural design.
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The proposed thematic framework of this chapter studies the role of landscape studies in a comprehensive process of planning, programming and designing of housing spatial patterns, considering the processes of morphogenesis and environmental processes of the territorial development of the city with the recognition of border, non-urbanized zones that have achieved urban-rural synergy in the process of urbanization. Accordingly, the initial objective of this research is the improvement of relations between architectural design, urban planning and, landscape ecology, as connecting disciplines of territorial, spatial and environmental studies. In this way, the issue of environmental planning and development of housing spatial patterns is set in the specificity of the spatial framework of the wider metropolitan area of the city of Belgrade in the period from 1947 -1972. This period is recognized as relevant time point in the urban development of Belgrade and in that order, it is taken as a reference point in relation to which the development of a housing landscape is considered, and also its variability and conditionality in line to the spatial-morphological and content-functional system of the city.

The main objective of this research is to establish a perspective for future development of socialist housing settlements built between 1947 and 1972 in line with recognized developmental tendencies and axes, through (1) a critical overview of the existing morphology and the planning framework, and (2) a scientific examination of the landscape studies role in the planning of housing spatial patterns. The overall objective is to scientifically explain the position and role of the typological classification of socialist housing settlements from an environmental perspective in the process of planning, programming, and designing of the relationship between the built and the natural environment at different spatial levels of housing typology.

The contribution of this research to architectural design and urban planning, as well as urban and environmental studies, can be expressed through the function of scientific knowledge that takes place in three phases and in accordance with which the chapter structure was established. The first phase involves a scientific explanation, which takes place through the discussion of importing the landscape-ecological concepts into housing typology planning and design. The second phase involves the contextual analysis of planning and development of the Belgrade territory in the period between the two Master plans from 1950 and 1972, which significantly influenced the physiognomy of the urban landscape of Belgrade, the metabolism of the city and the identity of housing settlements in line with landscape-ecological principles: (1) comparative analysis of the adopted urban plans and the realized urban structure, and (2) mapping the professional dialogue of the housing planning of Belgrade. The third phase implies a typological classification of Belgrade housing spatial patterns from an environmental perspective through the definition of their territory, morphology, spatial form, programming and character of the housing landscape.

The importance of landscape studies for the territory of Belgrade was previously highlighted through a series of relevant studies with a particular focus on the typology of Belgrade’s landscapes for the needs of application of European Landscape Convention (Cvejić, Vasiljević & Tutudžić, 2008), the role of the concept of landscape planning as an instrument of spatial development (Vasiljević, 2012), but also an overview of the transformation of the landscape structure in the process of development of the territory of Belgrade in the second half of the 20th century (Janković, 2017). These studies form the basis of landscape studies for the context of the territory of Belgrade, while the purpose of this chapter is to focus on thematic research based on the principles of landscape-ecological and environmental studies, focusing on the relationship between housing spatial patterns and landscape at different spatial levels.

Respecting the goals and principles established in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, it is expected that the results of this research indicate the necessity of ‘‘awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature’’ (United Nations, 2015: 23). It is expected that the identified housing settlements types contribute to the establishment of future planning perspectives and design principles for the housing typology in the comprehensive territory of Belgrade, and also, to point out the synergy of landscape and housing spatial patterns.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Multi-Scale Approach: Based on the concept of scale as equally spatial and temporal dimension in order to understand spatial heterogeneity and the influence of spatial heterogeneity on the social and ecological mechanisms.

Housing Physiognomy: Generated spatial framework and character of housing in accordance with morphological, typological and program aspects.

Programming: A complex analytical method which involves complex operations in classifying design aspects in order to define the problem which becomes the focus of solving through design or planning process.

Morphogenesis: Spatial-temporal process of urbanity that defines the morphological image of the city, urban units or spatial units.

Housing Spatial Patterns: An equally spatial and programmable urban construct which determinant spatial-temporal developmental layers and morphological character of housing typology at relevant levels and scales.

Housing Landscape: A complex social mechanism that is created under the influence of everydayness and ideological values that are reflected at different spatial levels and scales in line with nature and environmentalism.

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