Iloilo City on Serote’s Urban Forms


An urban form is defined as the physical characteristics that make up built-up areas, including the shape, size, density, and configuration of settlements. It refers not only to the physical layout and design of the city but also on the spatial pattern of human activities at a certain point in time. Urban forms are ever-changing, adapting to every new building, park, sidewalk, road, or gate that’s erected.

Prof. Serote has introduced the different urban forms in his typology of urban forms in which he identified five types and these are the following: dispersed sheet, the galaxy of settlements, the core city, the urban star and the ring.

Of the five urban forms, Iloilo city has adopted the urban star as its current form and layout. The main notable characteristic is a strong urban core with secondary centers of moderate densities, distributed along main radials roads. The downtown area or the city proper district is considered to be the core and the districts of Jaro, Mandurriao, Molo, and Lapaz as the secondary centers. The current circumferential road connecting the city districts acts as the main radial road of the city urban form.

It is a star in its urban form also because of the development patterns in each of the city districts pointing out to the neighboring municipalities i.e. Pavia, Oton, & San Miguel. Pavia is most likely to be the most rapid in its development in both infrastructure and industrial and is forming an urban center of its own, making the surrounding districts of Jaro and Mandurriao also flocking with its residential population.

It somehow has similarities to the concentric zone model in terms of residential areas starting at the outskirt edge of the districts up to the neighbor towns. There is only that its sort of radio-centric form has open spaces between the outreaching corridors of development.

The growth of Iloilo City started in the downtown center and that the development of surrounding districts can be a factor in changing its urban form in the future. Further government projects on urban development can also alter this and with a definite city planning, it is no surprise that Iloilo city’s urban form will evolve adopting to its development.


Ibabao, R. A. (2017, November 5). Theories on the morphological patterns of cities [Ppt].

4 Theoretical Explanations of Morphological Pattern of a City (with diagram). (2014, May 12). Retrieved from

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