Contemporary Metropolis


Rapid urbanisation has been one of the urgent issues across the globe in the past few decades. According to the Population Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, today, 55% of the world’s population lives in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to increase to 68% by 2050. As a consequence, more and more cities are now becoming part of larger metropolitan areas.


The modern meaning of metropolis appeared in early 20th century describing the change of measure and scale of the urban settlements in the wake of the industrialization in the western world. It described the urban expansion that had been occurring at different times in different locations around the world over the past two centuries. Otto Wagner and Ludwig Hilberseimer were amongst the first scholars who raised the issue of the Großstadt, that is the “big” city.


The phenomenon of the contemporary metropolis is, however, quite different from the modern industrial “big city”. Unlike the prediction of early modern metropolis being the “vertical city” driven by progress, technology, and science, what we experience now is rather a more complex “horizontal metropolis”. There are many underlying reasons to this phenomenon that are also complex and intertwined. However, within our project framework, we focus on the three issues of data, scale, and quality of living. 


The Need of a New Discipline


The contemporary metropolis cannot be defined by statistics nor be considered as a globally homogeneous phenomenon. Instead, we need to focus on the paradigm shift from city to metropolis that brought us a new way of understanding our living context, the new measure and scale of contemporary lives. Therefore, considering the different nature of the contemporary metropolis and its inherent issues, we cannot understand it within traditional disciplinary boundary.


Metropolitan Discipline is the new perspective on contemporary metropolis and the complexity of its issues with these approaches and questions. It promotes collaboration and contribution of scholars and practitioners all around the globe in shaping the genome and phenome of the metropolitan knowledge as well as building new tools, frameworks, and methodology. The emphasis on the “practice” comes from the notion that the metropolitan discipline is not merely a branch of knowledge but rather a framework for the reciprocal process of knowledge building and practical exposure.

Metropolitan General Issues and Principals




The aim of the Metropolitan General Issues and Principle (MGIP) framework is to create a feedback mechanism where practical experience is reflected in the theoretical work of the Metropolitan Discipline, taking the local environment, community, wealth, governance, and culture dimensions into consideration.


Reducing the metropolitan complexity into metropolitan dynamics is an important role of the MGIP framework. Compared to the entire entangled system that is the metropolitan complexity, metropolitan dynamics represent a series of phenomena explaining the issue and the gap in reality. These are related to specific topics and issues, therefore have limited factors to consider compared to the entire complexity. 





Metro-dology is the design process of the Metropolitan Architecture projects. It is a sequence of phases implemented with specific tools that support the decision-making process of the physical transformations of a metropolis through the building of a metropolitan narrative.


The Metropolitan Discipline aims to equip the learners with the ability to articulate a dialogue, a narrative on all subjects that make up the framework of metropolitan projects and be able to integrate the complex urbanization process in their strategic plans.

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Cofounded Erasmus + Programme

KA2 - Cooperation for Innovation and the Exchange of Good Practices
KA203 - Strategic Partnerships for higher education