Call for papers: How do we design a habitat? Influence and implications of urban design in territorial, social, economic and environmental sustainability.


At a time when the importance of housing is increasingly acknowledged, it is also important to question the creation of habitat, discussing its role in the production of overall urban space. Particularly, it is important to consider the political, urban and social conditions that determine both directly and indirectly the features of domestic space and its corresponding habitat, reaching further realms such as ecology, health and well-being. If the problem of housing is affirmed in political agendas, scholarly debates and civic society, the same is not true of the habitat. This is a theme that remains underexplored, and its postponement will have negative outcomes in the transformation of the territory.

Looking back into CIAM IX, the habitat concept is defined as “as environment that may shelter the ‘harmonious spiritual, intellectual and physical realization’ of its inhabitants” [1]. In 1960, the Portuguese National Architects Union (SNA) also expresses concern for the relationship between habitat and housing, conducting studies on livability and integration of urban housing estates, namely in its first Colloquium titled “Social aspects in habitat conception” [2].

Six decades later, through the most recente Portuguese Housing Act, habitat is defined as “the territorial and social context outside the house in which this is placed, namely regarding the surrounding space, the collective equipment and infrastructure, as well as the access to fundamental public services and networks of transportation and communication”[3].

The lasting importance of these themes is testified not only by public discission, but also by several international oficial agendas, namely the ‘2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’[4], the ‘2030 Housing Agenda’[5], the ‘New Urban Agenda - Habitat III’[6], the ‘New European Bauhaus’[7] and the ‘Green New Deal for Europe’[8].

If in the past, architectural professionals, individually or in groups, sought to reflect upon the habitat concept and readjust their practices in order to accommodate its demands, is architecture today ready to face the wider challenges that its production will influence?

This thematic dossier of CIDADES: Comunidades e Territórios proposes a space for reflection and discussion, national or international, of housing and habitat, as well as about the potential to rethink it towards current ecological and social demands.

Thus, we question what the role of urban design may be in housing and habitat:

What is its repercussion on the construction of the city? What is the influence of these concepts in architecture? How can the habitat concept contribute to improve housing conditions and programs? What are the impacts of housing in improving conditions of life and public health? How do social, economic and environmental transformations find expression in housing space? How has housing space responded to such transformations? What has been the role of instruments for planning and territorial management? And finally, what are the impacts of habitat in territorial, social, economic and environmental sustainability?

We encourage the submission of papers on housing and habitat in areas such as history, architecture, urban planning, landscape design, geography, public policies or sociology, in several approaches or scales.

Initial submission of abstracts deadline: 31 December 2022. Selected abstracts’ authors will be invited to submit full papers to the journal’s website: final deadline 1 March 2023.

Abstracts should be submitted directly to the editors, through the e-mail and the papers must be submitted through the online platform of CIDADES: Comunidades e Territórios. The submission must mention in the comments section the title of the thematic dossier and its editors. The papers may be written in Portuguese or English and must conform to the journal’s instructions for authors (available in:

All submissions will be subject to double blind peer-review, according to the journal’s guidelines. The publication of the thematic dossier is scheduled for December 2023.


[1] CIAM IX (1953). Aix-en-Provence (France) 19-26 July 1953. CIAM IX: discussing the charter of habitat. Consultado a: 01 de agosto de 2022. Disponível em:

[2] Sindicato Nacional dos Arquitectos (1960). Aspectos Sociais na Concepção do Habitat. Arquitectura. 3ª Série (nº 67).

[3] Assembleia da República (2019). Lei n.º 83/2019, de 3 de setembro. Diário da República n.º 168/2019, Série I de 2019-09-03, páginas 11 – 33. Consultado a: 01 de agosto de 2022. Disponível em:

[4] Nações Unidas (2015). Agenda 2030 de Desenvolvimento Sustentável: Transformar o nosso Mundo. Consultado a: 01 de agosto de 2022. Disponível em:

[5] UNECE – Comissão Económica das Nações Unidas para a Europa & Housing Europe (2021). #Housing2030: Effective policies for affordable housing in the UNECE region. Consultado a 04 de setembro de 2022. Disponível em:

[6] Nações Unidas (2017). Nova Agenda Urbana - Habitat III. Consultado a: 01 de agosto de 2022. Disponível em:

[7] União Europeia (2020). A Nova Bauhaus Europeia. Consultado a: 01 de agosto de 2022. Disponível em:

[8] DiEM25 – Democracy in Europe (2019). Green New Deal for Europe – For Europe’s Just Transition. Consultado a 04 de Setembro de 2022. Disponível em: