Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Urban form and infrastructure: A morphological review

Williams, Katie

Urban form and infrastructure: A morphological review Thumbnail


Katie Williams
Professor and Research Centre Director


The report provides a baseline analysis of, and forward look at, urban form and infrastructure in the UK. It sets out the legacy of development in the post-war period, and explains how settlement patterns have evolved in relation to investments in infrastructure (transport, energy, water, waste, ICT, health and education). It provides a summary of the positive and negative consequences of the UK's key development patterns: compact and contained established towns and cities; edge and out-of-town developments; peripheral housing estates and urban extensions; newer settlements; and dispersed developments. It then considers emerging approaches to the governance of urban form and infrastructure, with potential lessons for the UK, in the face of a number of challenges and uncertainties related to climate change, economic instability, and demographic and social shifts. Finally, the report offers an analysis of plausible future options for the development of: a) existing places (via compaction/containment, the development of polycentric city regions and managed shrinkage); and b) new developments (via peripheral growth, new settlements or dispersed developments). The report concludes with a number of conditions nexessary for the effective delivery and management of urban form and infrastructure to 2065.


Williams, K. (2014). Urban form and infrastructure: A morphological review

Report Type Technical Report
Publication Date Jun 26, 2014
Deposit Date Feb 11, 2015
Publicly Available Date Oct 4, 2017
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords urban form, infrastructure, development patterns, compact city, containment, edge development, urban extensions, managed shrinkage, polycentric development, new settlements, peripheral growth, smart growth, climate change
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.


You might also like

Downloadable Citations