Measuring Lisbon patterns: Baixa from 1650 to 2010

Marat-Mendes, Teresa; Sampayo, Mafalda Teixeira and Rodrigues, David M. S. (2011). Measuring Lisbon patterns: Baixa from 1650 to 2010. Nexus Network Journal, 13(2) pp. 351–372.



The present study, based on a comparative analysis of several plans for Lisbon’s Baixa district, with an emphasis on that area’s public space, contributes to an understanding of the urban design process and presents a fresh perspective on dealing with historical data by conducting a posteriori analysis using mathematical tools to uncover relations in the historical data. The nine plans used were quantified and evaluated in a comparative manner. While CAD was used to quantify the urban morphology of the different plans, comparative tables make it possible to register the data, which was further evaluated through two interrelated processes: mathematical analysis and the urban analysis. The results show the existence of power law relations for the areas of each of the city’s different elements (e.g., blocks, churches, largos and adros). We discuss how this contributes to the understanding of the plans’ elements.

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