The Graduate Program in Architecture and Urban Planning (PPGAU) of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte - UFRN began in March 1998, the Specialization Program "Studies of Habitat with Focus on the Environmental Issue" approved and funded by the Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel - CAPES, through the Northeast Project.

The Master’s degree level was implemented from 1999 onwards, already approved by CAPES, based on the production of research that had been growing consistently in the Department of Architecture of UFRN. The initial lines of research of the PPGAU resulted from the investigations and from the intellectual output of their professors, gathered in the institutional format of the so-called Research Bases developed at the initiative of the Vice-Presidency of Research of UFRN - PROPESQ, which bring together researchers whose studies focus on common issues.

As a result of this evolution of the research activity, with consequences to the area of teaching and of then in view of the need to investigate new topics and methods, and of the requirements set out in the CAPES’s continued ratings, in 2003, when it celebrated its 5th anniversary, the Program initiated an internal process of assessment and of re-structuring that resulted in the change of the Fields of Focus and of the Lines of Research and of the courses that were being offered at that time.

The new structure was forwarded, justified and approved at the different internal levels of UFRN and by the area committee from CAPES, resulting in an improvement in the Program assessment conducted every three years, in which it earned grade 4 (four). At that time, the number of faculty members increased from 10 professors (holding a PhD degree) to 11 permanent faculty members. This enabled the scheduled departure of professors for post doctoral internship abroad, favored the emergence of student exchange as well as national and international agreements, in addition to the diversification, expansion and dissemination of the intellectual output of the Program’s professors.
In this re-structuring process, it was included in its agenda for discussion, the proposal of the Program for the Doctoral degree, which was forwarded to the competent authorities in 2005 and approved in the the Scientific Technical Committee – CTC of CAPES in August 2006.


Research Bases / Groups

The Research Bases resemble the Research Groups registered in the Directory of the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development - CNPq. They are certified and evaluated annually by the Vice-Presidency of Research (PROPESQ) taking into consideration the meeting of a set of criteria that enables participants to submit projects and compete for financial support. They can be divided into Study Groups focused on the investigation of specific issues within the larger theme that defines the Base, which counts on the involvement of researchers from the same department, from different departments and/or Laboratories, and from other institutions.

The first Research Base - Habitat Studies - founded in 1997, brought together most of the researchers from the Department of Architecture and is the foundation upon which the PPGAU was structured. With the growing number of researchers, diversification and expansion of topics covered and the emergence of new approaches, this initial composition was broken, giving rise to three new Bases, which, together with the founder, from 2005 onwards started to feed the Program’s lines of research.


Habitat Studies

Since then, the Research Base “Habitat Studies”, registered with the same name in the Directory of Research Groups in CNPq, is structured in the following Study Groups: Study Group Housing, Architecture and Urban Planning - GEAU; Study Group Land-Ownership Reform and Habitat - GERAH; Study Group on Urban and Contemporary Processes- GEPUC and Study Group Study History of the City and of Urban Planning - HCURB. Thus, in a comprehensive manner, it brings together researchers whose studies have urban and regional problems as their object of study, setting three strands of research: city, housing and contemporariness; management and physical-territorial policies; and history of the city and of urban planning. These three elements involving different time periods and spaces enable a wide debate regarding the historical or contemporary processes of the constitution of the urban and territorial space from various angles, such as: the new spatial configurations or the re-use of traditional and historic environments; housing, city and other forms of human settlement in the context of globalization and post-modern society; the effects of an "tourism-based urbanization" and of metropolization process; the urban-environmental and housing/sanitation policies and their relationship to living conditions and housing; the aspiration of the Urban Reform in the process of urban and regional planning and its intersection in other aspirations such as the Land-Ownership Reform; the achievements of organized social groups in the urban and rural environments; the monitoring of the implementation of management tools and of the process of use and occupation of the land; as well as the principles, agents, the scope, the representations and the historical conditions that have evolved the urban planning proposals and the construction of the urban space and of the territory.


MUSA - Morphology and Uses of Architecture

The Research Base MUSA - Morphology and Uses of Architecture, registered with the same name in the Directory of Research Groups of the CNPq, encompasses the Study Group on the Build Heritage - GEPE. It contributes to the knowledge of the fundamentals of architecture and urban planning, and in particular, to the study of relationships between theory and built form, and between built form and social-cultural practices. In the practical field, studies carried out have contributed to expand knowledge about the formation and the transformation of cities and buildings, especially in Brazilian Northeast region, as well as for the understanding of paradigms underlying these processes. It also provides resources and tools for the assessment of interventions in the built environment and for decision-making in urban and architectural projects. Recent examples include: studies of the effects of the expansion and transformation in the road structure on the built heritage of cities, through procedures of modeling and of parsing of space, including the use of GIS tools; the examining of parallels between morphological changes in homes and the emergence of new domestic compositions/habits; the study of the evolutionary scenario of architecture theory in Brazil; the construction of databases on morphological features deemed relevant for the sustainable development of city centers; the formatting of new tools and procedures for the modeling of the built environment.


PROJETAR - Architectural Design and Perception of the Environment

The Research Base PROJETAR - Architectural Design and Perception of the Environment, registered with the same name in the Directory of Research Groups of the CNPq, aims to contribute to the progress of research and of the production of knowledge in the areas of Architectural Design and Perception of the Environment. It carries out studies on issues related to design theory and architectural concept, methods and techniques for designing and of teaching/learning of the project; as well as on the perception of the environment as an important theoretical and methodological help to the assessment and feedback of the designing process, with potential for application to specific perspectives, as the school, hospital, commercial and industrial architecture, on those environments that have historic interest to the PROJETAR base and of universal accessibility, fundamental aspects to the improvement of the environmental quality (architectural and urban) cities and therefore of the quality of life of the population.


Environmental Comfort and Energy Efficiency

The Research Base Environmental Comfort and Energy Efficiency is also registered with the same name in the Directory of Research Groups of the CNPq. Its purpose is to provide assistance to urban planning and architectural decisions that provide improved environmental comfort and the optimization of the use of energy toward the maintenance of comfort conditions. The base originated from previous studies that sought a better understanding of the influence of climate on the performance of buildings and the influences in the activities developed by their users, mainly in the hot and humid tropical climate. Therefore, the base is characterized by the focus on research involving the tropical climate and the participation of professionals from different areas, usually with multidisciplinary training. Its researchers provide orientation and develop research on: thermal, light and sound comfort, at user-level and of the built environment; urban microclimate; natural ventilation; thermal and energy performance of buildings; air quality in the built environment; integration of methods and tools to designing, among others.


The Graduate Program in Architecture and Urban Planning of UFRN has the following purposes:

a) Provide training opportunities to researchers and high level professors with a view to better meeting the demand for training in Architecture and Urban Planning, taking into account the specificity of its proposal;

b) to develop the theoretical and methodological approaches of the research projects/initiatives, expanding their universe of coverage for national and international issues, through the increasing of student exchange with other outstanding educational and research institutions, through the mutual disclosure of their intellectual output and through the convergence of master’s degree students from other regions of the country;

c) To disseminate the knowledge accumulated (intellectual capital) throughout seven years of the Program, expanding its potential to beyond the local and regional level, thereby contributing to the national development in issues relating to the sustainability of human settlements and projects of intervention in the territory, the city and the building;

d) To strengthen the technical capacity installed at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte - UFRN and in Graduate Program in Architecture and Urban Planning - PPGAU in terms of human and material resources, generating and imparting knowledge through its two areas of focus - ‘Urbanization, Projects and Physical-Territorial Policies’ and ‘Project/ Design, Morphology and Technology in the Built Environment’ - which are connected to the bases and lines of research with related topics.


Focus Areas / Research Areas


Lines of Research (4):

Theoretical-conceptual foundations and methodology of the process of conceiving, planning and designing the territory, of the social-spatial relationships of the natural and built environment, focusing on the production of the space and in housing associated with the social demands.


2. HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE, URBAN PLANNING AND TERRITORY – It addresses the historical processes of urbanization and territorial formation from different perspectives; from the colonial period to the current days; the cultural field of architecture and urban planning; representations, transformations, projects, plans and actions; architecture, structure and urban and rural landscape; typologies, spatial arrangements, styles; circulation of ideas and models.


3. DESIGNING AND ASSESSMENT OF THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT – It focus on knowledge that feed the understanding and the proposition of the built environment, involving: relationships between the fullness and emptiness that characterize it, and different modes from which it is perceived and used; concepts and methods of conceiving, developing, representing, simulating, managing and assessing projects; intervention in areas and buildings of interest for conservation/preservation; teaching and research in the field of the architectural project.


4. TECHNOLOGY AND COMFORT IN THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT – It investigates urban spaces, buildings and building systems with respect to the planning, bioclimatic project/designing, environmental impact; thermal, acoustic and luminous performance; energy efficiency, durability and fire prevention.


Program's E-mail address:
Program's Postal Address: 

Programa de Pós-Graduação em Arquitetura e Urbanismo –PPGAU/ UFRN

Centro de Tecnologia

Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte - UFRN

Campus Universitário Lagoa Nova

Caixa Postal 1524

CEP 59078-970 – Natal/ RN – BRASIL

Phone/Fax. (84) 3215-3776
Office Hours: 02:00 p.m. - 08:00 p.m.
Secretary: Nicolau Silva.

Alternative Address

Program Coordination

SIGAA | Superintendência de Tecnologia da Informação - (84) 3342 2210 | Copyright © 2006-2024 - UFRN -