Towards a theory of natural occupation: developing theoretical, methodological and empirical support for the relation between plot systems and urban processes

Evgeniya Bobkova

Plot systems (or ‘plots’, ‘lots’, ‘parcels’, ‘land divisions’) is a commonly recognised structural component of urban form along with streets and buildings. They play a critical role in understanding urban processes in cities, not least of all because they link directly between the physical world and institutions, such as property rights.


The role of plots and plot systems in urban processes is addressed in the PhD thesis as the theory of natural occupation. The theory argues that the structure of plot systems is the driver of a process of economic concentration and diversification of economic activity in cities, as described in the burgage cycle concept (temporal evolution of built form) and the spatial capacity concept (link between plot shape and urban diversity).


Project timeframe: 2016  –  2020