This paper explores territorial definition e control of open spaces across housing estates with distinct housing types in southern Brazil, namely, detached, row, and terraced houses, two storey and four storey blocks of flats. Residents’ territorial behaviour is confronted with their levels of satisfaction concerning the housing unit as well as the estate. A sample of 24 housing estates, mostly, in the in metropolitan region of Porto Alegre is the object of the investigation. Questionnaires were applied to residents in order to reveal their attitudes regarding the dwelling and the estate. Physical measurements were taken to register territorial definition and control. Data was qualitatively and quantitatively analysed using SPSS/PC. Among the main results are the influence on territorial definition and control of housing type and the way buildings were located on site. Residents tended to control trough physical barriers spaces in the home range they felt belonged to them.