The Urban Morphology Institute focuses its efforts on the design of guidelines, tools and strategies to assist national & local government, international organizations and businesses in meeting their ambitious targets in the field of urban development. The Urban Morphology Institute is specialized in integrated strategies deriving the maximum co-benefits (environmental, social, economic) from spatial planning. It builds on innovative strategies based on credible science and quantitative analysis. Building on its internationally recognized expertise in the field of urban forms, the Institute provides a comprehensive framework to cross-optimize the four pillars of urban planning: spatial planning, energy planning, transportation planning and urban economics. The Urban Morphology Institute works closely with the United Nations, major international Development Banks such as The World Bank and AFD, and along with national and local governments (Government of the People’s Republic of China, City of Joburg, Grand Paris).


In China, the Urban Morphology Institute is taking part to a wide range of projects and delivers its expertise to support innovative urban development strategies:

  • Urbanization study with DRC of State Council and The World Bank 
  • Revision of the national statutory urban planning in China with MoHURD
  • Study of the relationships between urban morphology and energy in 6 Chinese cities (MoHURD, CABR, CSUS, and The World Bank) 
  • T.O.D. projects in 5 cities (World Bank, local governments, urban rail companies and developers)
  • GEF Project for the World Bank including demo low energy buildings and an ecocity project in Damuwan


In South Africa, the Urban Morphology Institute works closely with the City of Joburg, AFD and Wits University. The aim of the initiative is to support Johannesburg’s transition towards an inclusive, resilient, resource-efficient city through systematic, integrative and targeted research. The main objectives of the project are to:

  • Foster spatial transformation through integrated transportation and spatial planning to create an efficient, sustainable, inclusive and resilient urbanization, and to mitigate climate change
  • Retrofit the existing city towards greater sustainability, climate change mitigation and adaptation, resilience, liveability and inclusivity.
  • Influence the city currently being built towards the goals mentioned above by contributing to the “Corridors of Freedom” strategy through the Spatial Development Framework (SDF) and the Strategic Area Framework (SAF)