An urban grammar for the Medina of Marrakech

José P. Duarte, Gonçalo Ducla-Soares, Luisa G. Caldas, João Rocha

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

20 Scopus citations


This paper describes research carried out to develop a parametric urban shape grammar for the Zaouiat Lakhdar quarter of the Medina of Marrakech, in Morocco. The goal is to create the basis for a system that could capture some features of the existing urban fabric and apply them in contemporary urban planning. The methodology used is described, from the initial historical analysis and fieldwork to the identification of three sub-grammars necessary to encode the complexity of the urban pre-existences: the urban grammar, the negotiation grammar, and the housing grammar. Topdown and bottom-up approaches to grammar design are analyzed and compared. The bottom-up urban grammar developed is then described, and a hand-derivation of the existing urban fabric is proposed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDesign Computing and Cognition '06
PublisherKluwer Academic Publishers
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)1402051301, 9781402051302
StatePublished - 2006

Publication series

NameDesign Computing and Cognition '06

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Computer Science Applications


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