This paper presents a proposal for a generic urban structure type (UST) scheme. Initially developed in the context of urban ecology, the UST approach is increasingly popular in the remote sensing community. However, there is no consistent and standardized UST framework. Until now, the terms land use and certain USTs are often used and described synonymously, or components of structure and use are intermingled. We suggest a generic nomenclature and a respective UST scheme that can be applied worldwide by stakeholders of different disciplines. Based on the insights of a rigorous literature analysis, we formulate a generic structural- and object-based typology, allowing for the generation of hierarchically and terminologically consistent USTs. The developed terminology exclusively focuses on morphology, urban structures and the general exterior appearance of buildings. It builds on the delimitation of spatial objects at several scales and leaves out all social aspects and land use aspects of an urban area. These underlying objects or urban artefacts and their structure- and object-related features, such as texture, patterns, shape, etc. are the core of the hierarchically structured UST scheme. Finally, the authors present a generic framework for the implementation of a remote sensing-based UST classification along with the requirements regarding sensors, data and data types.