Is the neighbourhood an entity fostered by a way of life, which is in need of architectural/planning definition, or is it a concept used metaphorically to describe an architectural/planning invention? Posing this question is not meant as a reflection on the linguistic meaning of the term. Rather it presents the need to explore the connection between the conceptual meaning of the terni and its operational meaning in architecture and in planning. This is done in order to understand the interpretation of the concept and its use in architecture and in planning. The paper will focus on various concepts of the neighbourhood and will contrast them with neighbourhood architectural/planning practice as well is with contemporary approaches to neighbourhood design and management.