30+ Selected Abstracts
A Selection of Abstracts of Published Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles
This page will be updated as new research outputs are in-press or published ...
Defying a Legacy or an Evolving Process? An Evolutionary Account of Architectural and Urban Pedagogy for a Future Post-Pandemic World
Cultivating a Space for Decolonizing Architectural Knowledge
Knowledge Spaces in Architecture and Urbanism - A Preliminary Five-Year Chronicle
Assessing the Qualities of Urban Life in Three Neighborhoods, Lilongwe, Malawi
Assessing Public Open Spaces in Belgrade - A Quality of Urban Life Perspective
Re-enterprising Unplanned Urban Areas of Greater Cairo - A Social Innovation Perspective
Salama, A. M. (2020), Coronavirus Questions That Will Not Go Away: Interrogating Urban and Socio-Spatial Implications of COVID-19 Measures. Emerald Open Research - Sustainable Cities Gateway, 2 , DOI: https://emeraldopenresearch.com/articles/2-14/v1
Coronavirus Questions That Will Not Go Away: Interrogating Urban and Socio-Spatial Implications of COVID-19 Measures
The highly contagious coronavirus and the rapid spread of COVID-19 disease have generated a global public health crisis, which is being addressed at various local and global scales through social distancing measures and guidelines. This is coupled with debates about the nature of living and working patterns through intensive utilisation of information and telecommunication technologies, leading to the social and institutional acceptability of these patterns as the ‘new normal.’ The primary objective of this article is to instigate a discourse about the potential contribution of architecture and urban design and planning in generating knowledge that responds to pressing questions about future considerations of post pandemic architecture and urbanism. Methodologically, the discussion is based on a trans-disciplinary framework, which is utilised for conceptual analysis and is operationalized by identifying and discoursing design and planning implications. The article underscores relevant factors; originates insights for areas where future research will be critically needed, through key areas: a) Issues related to urban dynamics are delineated from the perspective of urban and human geography, urban design and planning, and transportation engineering; b) Questions that pertain to socio-spatial implications and urban space/ urban life dialectics stem from the field of environmental psychology; and c) Deliberations about new environments that accommodate new living/working styles supervene from ethnographical and anthropological perspectives. The article concludes with an outlook that captures key aspects of the needed synergy between architectural and urban education, research, and practice and public health in a post pandemic virtual and global world.
Ibrahim, H. G., Salama, A. M., Wiedmann, F., Aboukalloub, B., Awwaad, R. (2020), Investigating Land Use Dynamics in Emerging Cities: The Case of Downtown Neighbourhood in Doha. Journal of Urban Design, Volume, 25, Issue 3, pp. 387-411. ISSN # 1469 9664 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13574809.2019.1632179
Investigating Land Use Dynamics in Emerging Cities: The Case of Downtown Neighbourhood in Doha
The study of land use dynamics in emerging cities will inform sustainable development in the future. Doha has witnessed urban transition phases. The study objectives are: (1) conduct a review of neighbourhood planning theories and (2) develop a prototype for downtown land use dynamics in emerging cities. The developed prototype considers physical and socioeconomics aspects. The research tools are: content analysis of real-estate reports, observation study, and preferences survey. Fereej Abdulaziz has been selected as an example. The study emphasizes the importance of policymakers in analysing the changes of neighbourhood, with an overarching aim of guiding future growth.
Wiedmann, F., Salama, A. M., Ibrahim, H. G., Mirincheva, V. (2019), New housing patterns and spatial fragmentation in Gulf cities. Journal of Urbanism: International Research on Placemaking and Urban Sustainability. Volume 12, Issue 4, pp. 293-411. ISSN # 1754 9174 https://doi.org/10.1080/17549175.2019.1626263
New Housing Patterns and Spatial Fragmentation in Gulf Cities
In recent years, the rapid growth of Gulf cities has led to a transformation of local settlement structures. The key objective of this paper is to deliver an overview of new housing patterns and how they impact spatial fragmentation. To identify the spatial distribution of new housing typologies and to explore the recent transformation of urban fabrics, GIS analyses were carried out and Space Syntax models were developed in the case of Qatar’s capital, Doha. This is coupled with an analysis of the travel routes of 130 residents which were assessed to investigate key aspects related to fragmentation. The outcomes include both new insights into the understanding of urban development tendencies in Gulf cities and the introduction of a methodological approach to establish responsive strategies in fast-growing and car-dependent cities.
Van Riel, K. and Salama, A. M. (2019), Using Auto-Photography to Explore Young People's Belonging and Exclusion in Urban Spaces in Accra, Ghana. Open House International, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp. 62-70. ISSN # 0160-2601.
Using Auto-Photography to Explore Young People's Belonging and Exclusion in Urban Spaces in Accra, Ghana
This paper examines young people’s ‘lived’ experience of urban spaces in Accra, the capital of Ghana, by focusing on the use of auto-photography as an appropriate method for this investigation. Accra has a very young population and low rates of employment among the young people, demographics that are often associated with societal instability and increased risk of civil conflict. Research into African youth and the urban spaces they occupy is scarce and involves real challenges, but it is necessary and urgent due to various issues of exclusion and identity. This paper reports part of a larger phenomenological study on the spatial exclusion of youth in Accra’s urban spaces. The theoretical framework builds on Lefebvrian dialectics of space and focuses on how notions of belonging and exclusion are reflected in the mode of ‘lived space’. The fieldwork was completed on a small sample of young people in two distinct neighborhoods of Accra. In essence, the focus of the paper is on the urban spaces occupied by young people and on the utility of the participatory research tool adopted, auto-photography. In this context, the tool is less intrusive than direct observation and therefore well equipped to allow an ‘insider’ view into personal experiences and perceptions of place that are otherwise difficult to access and study. The paper concludes with a call for urban professionals and decision makers to produce inclusive urban environments that cater for all while for differences and belonging to co-exist.
Salama, A. M. (2019), Methodological Research in Architecture and Allied Disciplines: Philosophical Positions, Frames of Reference, and Spheres of Inquiry. Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp. 8-24. ISSN # 2631 6862. https://doi.org/10.1108/ARCH-01-2019-0012
Methodological Research in Architecture and Allied Disciplines: Philosophical Positions, Frames of Reference, and Spheres of Inquiry.
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to contribute an inclusive insight into methodological research in architecture and allied disciplines and unravel aspects that include philosophical positions, frames of reference and spheres of inquiry. Design/methodology/approach: Following ontological and epistemological interpretations, the adopted methodology involves conceptual and critical analysis which is based on reviewing and categorising classical literature and more than hundred contributions in architectural and design research developed over the past five decades which were classified under the perspectives of inquiry and frames of reference. Findings: Postulated through three philosophical positions – positivism, anti-positivism and emancipationist – six frames of reference were identified: systematic, computational, managerial, psychological, person–environment type-A and person–environment type-B. Technically oriented research and conceptually driven research were categorised as the perspectives of inquiry and were scrutinised together with their developmental aspects. By mapping the philosophical positions to the frames of reference, various characteristics and spheres of inquiry within each frame of reference were revealed. Research limitations/implications: Further detailed examples can be developed to offer discerning elucidations relevant to each frame of reference. Practical implications: The study is viewed as an enabling mechanism for researchers to identify the unique particularities of their research and the way in which it is pursued. Originality/value: The study is a response to a glaring dearth of cognisance and a reaction to a growing but confusing body of knowledge that does not offer a clear picture of what research in architecture is. By identifying key characteristics, philosophical positions and frames of reference that pertain to the research in architecture and associated disciplines, the findings represent a scholastic endeavour in its field.
Salama, A. M., and Remali, A. M. (2018), Urban Traditions in the Midst of the Chinatown of Liverpool and the Quasi-Enclave of Glasgow. Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review - Working Paper Series, Volume 292, (1). ISSN # 1050-2092.
Urban Traditions in the Midst of the Chinatown of Liverpool and the Quasi-Enclave of Glasgow
Migration has contributed to shaping urban transformation in cities at various scales. Today, it is emerging as a polarising challenge within the politics of urbanism. This article considers the draw of British cities on Chinese migrants, perceived as cities of opportunity, security, and the seeking of upward mobility in a new place to call home. The study questions whether staging an ethnic community and its subsequent origin or source traditions is beneficial to cultural diversity in the city, or whether this may lead to a lack of integration and opportunity for the migrant communities. In a comparative assessment, the dense Chinatown of Liverpool is juxtaposed with the dispersed ethnic enclaves of Chinese migrants across Glasgow, revealing their authenticity, community cohesiveness, and identity within their urban milieus.
Harrington, S., Dimitrijevic, B., and Salama, A. M. (2018), Cracks and Light: Observing the Resilience of the History Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Martor: The Museum of the Romanian Peasant Anthropology Review, 23, pp. 143-161.
Cracks and Light: Observing the Resilience of the History Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Among the seven national institutions of the former socialist Yugoslav period that appear to have been assigned to the category of ‘contested’ and ‘unwanted’ heritage, the History Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina stands out. Originally built as a Museum of Revolution, it bears a legacy of a specific identity and cultural narrative developed in the socialist period, which has been projected in the architecture displaying the hallmarks of early Modernism. Even though the Museum was listed as a national monument by the Commission to Preserve National Monuments in 2012, the building is in an alarmingly advanced state of disrepair, with little indication that such trend will be reversed any time soon. The paper firstly discusses the Museum in the context of current international developments and the aspects related to museum architecture. Secondly, the Museum is observed through a critical heritage lens and within phenomena of a deliberate destruction of heritage in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Since 2003 the Museum has a permanent exhibition The Besieged Sarajevo, illustrating the practical modes of survival during the 1990s war, consisting of artefacts donated by citizens. Other exhibition themes, ranging from the labour movement traditions, the legacy of World War I, life in former Yugoslavia, the Dayton Peace Agreement mapping, and The Obliteration of Cultural Heritage project, posit critical questions for and about the contemporary society in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This work combines two disciplinary fields, architecture and public history, to inquire into selected contemporary activities of the Museum. Its resilience is viewed as representative, symbolic, and symptomatic of an over-reaching cultural, political, and economic condition in the country.
Salama, A. M., Wiedmann, F., Ibrahim, H. G. (2018), Migrant Knowledge Workers' Perceptions of Housing Conditions in Gulf Cities. Journal of International Migration and Integration, 19 (1), pp. 15-33. ISSN # 1874 6365. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12134-017-0527-z
Migrant Knowledge Workers' Perceptions of Housing Conditions in Gulf Cities
The various efforts in diversifying local economies in most Gulf States led to the emergence of new medium to high-income groups of migrant knowledge workers whose efforts are required to develop various new economic sectors. This paper aims to investigate the current housing conditions and perceptions of these migrant communities to identify key similarities and differences with respect to housing made available to them and depending on their cultural background. To this end, the methodology involves field surveys to explore the three main housing typologies for higher-income groups and a questionnaire with a total of 258 knowledge workers in the city of Doha as a representative case to investigate the associated perceptions of four dominant groups from different cultural backgrounds. The findings reveal that there is a distinct social segregation between cultural groups, which is mainly rooted in varying income levels. Furthermore, the supply-driven market has hardly integrated cultural needs of migrants and thus diversified and inclusive housing has been identified as major planning and design challenge.
Salama, A. M., Wiedmann, F., Ibrahim, H. G. (2017), Lifestyle Trends and Housing Typologies in Emerging Multicultural Cities. Journal of Architecture and Urbanism, 41(4), pp. 316-327. ISSN # 2029-7955. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3846/20297955.2017.1415773
Lifestyle Trends and Housing Typologies in Emerging Multicultural Cities
The introduction of new housing typologies in emerging cities is rooted in dynamics including infrastructural investments, urban growth rates and new development policies. In accommodating new lifestyles, demand-driven patterns by tenants and property owners are the main factors consolidating development trends in future. This paper explores the relationship between new lifestyle patterns and housing typologies in emerging cities. Within the context of Gulf cities, namely Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha and Manama, this paper investigates demographic structures and housing trends where a rapid phase of urban growth has transformed local urbanism. Current social structures were analysed by following a new ‘lifestyle framework’ resulting in the characterization of four main lifestyle trends. This is coupled with the assessment of 240 cases of new residences from the Gulf cities under study. The juxtaposition of both studies offers an outlook relevant to the importance of a transition from supply-driven to demand-driven housing dynamics to accommodate emerging multicultural societies. The paper thus contributes to a better understanding and identification of the social groups that are currently lacking suitable housing.
Salama, A. M., Remali, A. M., and MacLean, L. A. (2017), Characterisation and Systematic Assessment of Urban Open Spaces in Glasgow City Centre. Spatium, 37 (June 2017). pp. 22-33. ISSN # 1540-369X. 10.2298/SPAT1737022S
Characterisation and Systematic Assessment of Urban Open Spaces in Glasgow City Centre
Urban open spaces have substantially contributed to the development of cities in terms of image, function, form, and social engagement, and thus have been a central concern of urban researchers for several decades. This paper contributes to the contemporary urban discourse as it relates to the city and its users. It demonstrates a mechanism for characterisation and systematic assessment of key urban open spaces in Glasgow City Centre. The mechanism is implemented in three layers of investigation that involve the development of space profiles through preliminary observations, an examination of functional, social, and perceptual attributes through a walking tour assessment procedure with checklists and a scoring system, and an understanding of how users perceive and comprehend these spaces through a photographic attitude survey. The paper places emphasis on key findings by conveying similarities and differences between the spaces in terms of assessment outcomes and users’ perception, while revealing their essential attributes and qualities. Conclusions are offered as reflections on the findings while suggesting possibilities for future research through additional complementary layers of investigation.
Salama, A. M., Remali, A. M., and MacLean, L. A. (2017), Deciphering Urban Life: A Multi-Layered Investigation of St. Enoch Square, Glasgow City Centre. Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research. 11(2), pp. 137-156. ISSN # 1938-7806. http://dx.doi.org/10.26687/archnet-ijar.v11i2.1278
Deciphering Urban Life: A Multi-Layered Investigation of St. Enoch Square, Glasgow City Centre
An urban space is a vital stage for social interaction and city life. Measuring the city life is always related to social, economic and cultural conditions of an urban context. Social gathering increases the quality of urban space and improves economic vitality. This paper aims to explore how successful urban spaces could impact the growth and performance of an urban context, not only as a physical urban reality, but also as a generator of social life. Utilising St. Enoch Square as a case study, a multi-layered methodological approach constituted in a series of tools was implemented, including behavioural mapping, visual preference survey, walking tour assessment, contemplating settings, and observing physical traces and by-product of use in order to interpret various forms of experiences that take place. Findings reveal various attributes of St. Enoch Square while highlighting different qualities that promote and support the overall vibrancy of the city life. Conclusions are drawn to emphasise that the physical and spatial characteristics of an urban space are critical factors for maintaining social interaction while creating essential opportunities that support the human experience in the public realm.
Salama, A. M. and MacLean, L. A. (2017), Integrating Appreciative Inquiry (AI) into Architectural Pedagogy: An Assessment Experiment of Three Retrofitted Buildings in the City of Glasgow. Frontiers of Architectural Research, 6(2), pp. 169-182. ISSN # 2095-2635. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foar.2017.02.001
Integrating Appreciative Inquiry (AI) into Architectural Pedagogy: An Assessment Experiment of Three Retrofitted Buildings in the City of Glasgow
Recently there has been a growing trend to encourage learning outside the classrooms, so-called ‘universities without walls.’ To this end, mechanisms for learning beyond the boundaries of classroom settings can provide enhanced and challenging learning opportunities. This paper introduces Appreciative Inquiry (AI) as a mechanism that integrates various forms of inquiry into learning. AI is operationalized as a Walking Tour assessment project which was introduced as part of the class Cultural and Behavioural Factors in Architecture and Urbanism delivered at the Department of Architecture, University of Strathclyde – Glasgow where thirty-two Master of Architecture students were enrolled. The Walking Tour assessment involved the exploration of 6 factors that delineate key design characteristics in three retrofitted buildings in Glasgow: Theatre Royal, Reid Building, and The Lighthouse. Working in groups, students assessed factors that included context, massing, interface, wayfinding, socio-spatial, and comfort. Findings reveal that students were able to focus on critical issues that go beyond those adopted in traditional teaching practices while accentuating the value of introducing AI and utilizing the built environment as an educational medium. Conclusions are drawn to emphasize the need for structured learning experiences that enable making judgments about building qualities while effectively interrogating various characteristics.
Salama, A. M., Azzali, S., and Wiedmann, F. (2017), The Everyday Urban Environment of Migrant Labourers in Gulf Cities: The Case of the Old Centre of Doha, Qatar. City, Territory and Architecture, 4 (article 5): pp. 1-15. ISSN # 2195-2701 10.1186/s40410-017-0061-5
The Everyday Urban Environment of Migrant Labourers in Gulf Cities: The Case of the Old Centre of Doha, Qatar
Preventing the complete social restructuring and the relocation of migrant communities from traditional cores in Gulf cities to newly urbanized areas is a rising urban and social challenge. The Al Asmakh district in the old centre of Doha is an important example that manifests the current encounter between rising investment pressures and preserving the local identity including the particular urban life and spatial settings that have evolved over several decades. This paper presents key research findings with respect to the lived urban spaces of the Al Asmakh in order to exemplify the potential loss of very distinctive neighbourhoods and to introduce particular characteristics of urban spaces and the way migrant communities appropriate them. As part of a learning experiment undertaken at Qatar University in 2014, structured field surveys, systematic observations as well as behavioural mapping techniques were adopted as important approaches to investigation. The outcomes reveal stimulating dynamics between migrant communities and their environments. It also postulates that city residents have the capacity to recover swiftly from difficulties and resilience in spite of an impeding and hampering context. The paper concludes with projections of how contemporary transformation processes in Gulf cities will have to be based on diversity and social inclusion. Such a transformation should stem from the recognition that migrant communities need to have access to develop their own settings that relate to their routine spatial practices while securing the economic basis of many migrant labourers.
Salama, A. M. (2016), Nationalist Particularism and Levels of Legitimizing Architectural and Urban Traditions in Four Gulf Cities. Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review Working Paper Series, Volume 272. ISSN # 1050-2092.
Nationalist Particularism and Levels of Legitimizing Architectural and Urban Traditions in Four Gulf Cities
This article interrogates acts and levels of legitimizing traditions with the aim of originating discerning accounts from the perspective of ‘Modern State’ and ‘Nationalist Particularism.’ The analysis is undertaken at three different but related levels: chronological, representational, and interventional where each places emphasis on a particular aspect of legitimization. Gulf cities are identified as an appropriate context for this investigation, which is based on a multi-layered approach that interweaves procedures devised to probe each level separately while contributing to portray the overall milieu of legitimizing traditions. Genuinely legitimizing traditions necessitates employing bottom-up strategies while going beyond the practice of cloning traditions to embrace authentic responses to environmental, socio-cultural, and socioeconomic realities.
Wiedmann, F., Salama, A. M., and Ibrahim, H. G., (2016), The Impact of Affordable Housing Developments on Sustainability in Gulf Cities. Open House International, Volume 41, Issue 4, pp. 31-38. ISSN # 0160-2601.
The Impact of Affordable Housing Developments on Sustainability in Gulf Cities
The recent construction boom has led to new urban development dynamics in Gulf cities driven by real-estate speculations and large infrastructure investments. While in the past affordable housing for medium income migrants and their families was integrated within the fringes of old downtown areas and compound developments in the suburbs, recent investment patterns have led to an increasing challenge of these economically highly engaged social groups to find residences. In recent years, a newly emerging trend in the Gulf region has been the establishment of large scale mass housing projects as new dormitory settlements to address the growing demand for affordable housing. This paper presents an overview of current development patterns by exploring two major affordable housing projects and their impact on sustainability in Doha and Dubai This is undertaken by establishing a preliminary assessment framework that involves relevant sustainability parameters. The assessment reveals the major differences between both projects and their impact on environment, economy and society.
Remali, A. M., Salama, A. M., Wiedmann, F. and Ibrahim, H. G. (2016), A Chronological Exploration of the Evolution of Housing Typologies in Gulf Cities. City, Territory and Architecture, 3(article 14): pp. 1-15. ISSN # 2195-2701 10.1186/s40410-016-0043-z
A Chronological Exploration of the Evolution of Housing Typologies in Gulf Cities
This paper traces the evolution of housing typologies in four major cities in the Gulf region, namely Doha, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Manama. The study reviews the formation and historical events in the region, which had a significant impact on new social as well as economic realities and consequently evolving housing types during the last two centuries. The methodological approach is based on reviewing a number of case studies representing local housing typologies throughout distinctive historic periods which were categorized in four periods: the post-nomadic, traditional, modern, and contemporary. The main objective is to identify the process of transformation by applying a comparative assessment of the different periods in order to examine continuities or ruptures between them. Thus, particular layout elements were analysed and compared. Conclusions are drawn to underline contemporary challenges while offering projections for future housing typologies in the selected cities and other similar ones.
Salama, A. M. and Wiedmann, F. (2016), Perceiving Urban Liveability in an Emerging Migrant City. Urban Design and Planning. 169(6), pp. 268–278. ISSN # 1755-0793 http://dx.doi.org/10.1680/jurdp.15.00034 .
Perceiving Urban Liveability in an Emerging Migrant City
Gulf cities have witnessed rapid urban growth where new migrant communities from various cultural backgrounds have been evolving over the last two decades. This paper explores perceptions of liveable urban environments in Qatar's capital city, Doha. An attitude survey of 280 migrant professionals from different cultural backgrounds engaged in the high service sector was conducted. A profile for each cultural group including westerners, middle easterners, Indians and Southeast Asians was developed to analyse the way in which the key liveability factors are perceived. Factors were classified into two overarching categories: urban life and urban spaces. Urban life category included aspects that pertain to traffic and movement experience, residential satisfaction, shopping experience, and satisfaction regarding leisure and service spaces. Urban space category included attractiveness, iconicity and familiarity, which were attitudinally explored in four public open spaces. The inquiry has uncovered a number of concerns related to traffic experience, housing quality, parking spaces, school facilities and shopping opportunities. This may stymie the city's global attractiveness success on the global stage while warranting the need for addressing liveability as a part of future development plans.
Wiedmann, F., Salama, A. M., and Ibrahim, H. I (2016), The Role of Mega Projects in Redefining Housing Development in Gulf Cities. Open House International, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp. 56-63. ISSN # 0160-2601.
The Role of Mega Projects in Redefining Housing Development in Gulf Cities
Since the end of the 1990s, large-scale mega projects have been initiated in Gulf cities to enable an unprecedented urban growth and the expansion of new economic sectors. In this respect, mega projects have played a key role in redefining housing developments in Gulf cities. This paper explores the newly emerging housing typologies and their distinctive roles in defining new urban environments. The selected case studies are located in the Jumeirah District in Dubai, which can be seen as the first prototype of a large cohesive development area that has been built of nine rather differing mega projects including the iconic Palm project and one of the largest residential high-rise agglomerations in the Middle East. The paper is based on the evaluation of official planning data from each project as well as field observations. Conclusions are drawn to highlight key implications while identifying housing development tendencies.
Salama, A. M., Wiedmann, F., Thierstein, A., and Al Ghatam, W. (2016), Knowledge Economy as an Initiator of Sustainable Urbanism in Emerging Metropolises: The Case of Doha, Qatar. Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research 10(1), pp. 274-324. ISSN # 1938-7806.
Knowledge Economy as an Initiator of Sustainable Urbanism in Emerging Metropolises: The Case of Doha, Qatar
This paper is a comprehensive coverage of a research project of the National Priority Research Program of the Qatar National Research Fund, entitled 'Investigating the Qualities of the Urban Environment in Emerging Regional Metropolises', and carried out between 2011 and 2014 through the joint collaboration of Qatar University and Technische Universität München. Through the shift of global economic forces Gulf cities, such as Qatar's capital Doha, are developed as central hubs between developed economies in the West and the rising economies of Asia. In the context of international competition between cities new challenges are emerging where cities need to find ways to sustain and extend their position in a globalizing world. Therefore the research process placed emphasis on the complex interrelationship of knowledge economies and spatial developments in the Gulf region. The work is premised on the assumption that non-physical economic aspects and the qualities of the urban environment are interdependent. It analyses the qualities of the urban environment of Doha as an important regional metropolis through a comprehensive investigation utilizing a set of interdisciplinary research methods that include analysis of historic documents, Delphi interview series, company network analysis, GIS analysis, cognitive mapping, behavioural studies, media surveys, attitude surveys, and space syntax analysis. The outcomes promise important results regarding urban qualities in the city of Doha culminating into various recommendations aimed at potential beneficiaries including public sector organizations, private sector and real estate development companies, and academia.
Urban Traditions in the Contemporary Lived Space of Cities on the Arabian Peninsula
This article aims to answer the question “Whose tradition?” in relation to the contemporary architecture and urbanism of the Arabian Peninsula. It first contextualizes tradition in the region within the geocultural politics of the Arab World and identifies key factors that shaped its traditional settlements, including tribal governance, social systems, building materials, and construction techniques. The article then contends that the region’s urban traditions have been transformed from ones shaped by common people to ones shaped by the elite, in which the role of rulers is heavily emphasized. To explore this view, it analyzes two representative scenes in the contemporary urban lived space of the region, using examples from Dubai and Doha. These are articulated in terms of the emergence of elite enterprises, persistent patterns of social and ethnic segregation, and a continuing struggle to construct identity. Conclusions drawn from the discussion delineate key answers to the question “Whose tradition?” But a framework of examination is also introduced that emphasizes that lived space and the traditions that ensue from it cannot be seen in isolation from other types of space — such as conceived and perceived space. There needs to be a new cycle of knowledge production about cities in the region that integrates concern for all three (lived, conceived and perceived space) to better understand its traditions."
Conventz, S., Thierstein, A., Wiedmann, F., and Salama, A. M. (2015), When the Oryx Takes Off: Doha a New Rising Knowledge Hub in the Gulf Region?. International Journal of Knowledge-Based Development, 6(1), pp. 65-82. http://dx.doi.org/10.1504/IJKBD.2015.069443
When the Oryx Takes Off: Doha a New Rising Knowledge Hub in the Gulf Region?
With accelerating pace in the past years, Qatar has strategically pushed forward its economic diversification. According to Qatar's long-term development vision, the knowledge-economy is taking a key role within this economic diversification process and the transformation of its capital into a regional as well as global service-hub. This paper aims at identifying emerging knowledge-based patterns that drive the Qatari space economy. We apply a research concept that brings together two different scientific angles: relational economic geography and physical urban development aspects. The results indicate first a subsidiary role for the Qatari knowledge intensive firms within the Gulf region; second their predominant connectivity patterns to Europe and South-East Asia; third as a distinct lack of urban amenities and qualities for knowledge workers.
Examining Attributes of Urban Open Spaces in Doha
With intensive emerging and transforming urban spaces and centres, the city of Doha is experiencing continual rapid growth. However, minor attention has been paid to important growth aspects. This paper examines functional, social and perceptual attributes of three urban open spaces in the city by developing and implementing a walking tour assessment procedure composed of checklists and a scoring system. Results reveal important outcomes including the absence of landscape features and a dearth of green spaces or appropriate outdoor furniture, the absence of adequate shaded areas and shading devices and parasols and a lack of children's facilities or a specially designated area for children among other missing elements. These represent shortcomings that impede the maximum efficient and effective utilisation of such spaces. The paper suggests that opportunities to concretise and fulfil people's needs in open spaces should be underscored by urban planners, architects and policy-makers in a multicultural rapidly growing city.
Interrogating the Practice of Image making in a Budding Context
Image making is a continuous worldwide practice of architects and designers whose concern is to create meaningful environments. Such a practice results in expressions that either reflect the regional context or mirror the wider global culture. This paper aims at interrogating image making practices in the city of Doha, which has experienced rapid urban transformations, associated with building large scale work and learning environments, mixed use developments, and cultural and sport facilities. Contextualizing current debate on Doha’s architecture and urbanism, a critical analysis of geo-cultural politics and on the notion of the 'scapes of flows' is undertaken. Based on contextual, critical, and perceptual approaches image-making practices in the city were discerned. Different types of efforts were categorized and critically analyzed underlying the contextual and critical approaches. The analysis reveals that efforts range from utilizing symbolism in contemporary imaging, to manifesting tradition-modernity in search for image identity, to addressing the global condition towards image making. The perceptual approach established empirical evidence by investigating users' reactions to three notable office buildings that their design attempts to evoke a unique image. This was supported by statements made by CEOs of architectural firms and development companies that reflected a promise towards image making in the architecture of Doha. A concluding critique is introduced to elucidate that while there are incessant attempts at image making, the practice of 'cutting and pasting' dominates in the absence of critical consciousness. Such a critique calls for avoiding 'case by case decision making' the urban governance in the city still adopts while engaging effective place making strategies.
Wiedmann, F.; Salama, A. M.; Mirincheva, V. (2014), Sustainable Urban Qualities in the Emerging City of Doha, Journal of Urbanism-International Research on Place-making and Urban Sustainability, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp. 62-84. ISSN #1754-9175. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17549175.2013.870088
Sustainable Urban Qualities in the Emerging City of Doha
Various urban qualities are required for sustainable urban development, which is a particular challenge in the case of emerging cities such as Qatar’s capital, Doha. Therefore, this paper seeks to introduce a framework concerning how to investigate urban qualities and their production in space in order to clarify the challenges and limitations of planning for sustainability. The paper is based on analyses and evaluations of GIS data as well as a series of interviews with 10 planning experts at the Ministry of Municipalities and Urban Planning and a series of questionnaires received from 350 inhabitants. After introducing the basic framework as a model, the three dimensions of sustainability – ecological efficiency, economic growth and social equity – are analysed in relation to the urban qualities needed for producing them. In conclusion the general challenges in establishing sustainable urban development mechanisms in Doha are discussed.
Salama, A. M.; Al-Maimani, A.; Khalfani, F. (2013), Understanding Inhabitants’ Spatial Experience of the City of Doha through Cognitive Mapping, Open House International, Volume 38, Issue 4, pp. 37-46. ISSN # 0160-2601
Understanding Inhabitants’ Spatial Experience of the City of Doha through Cognitive Mapping
Despite the current fast track urban development process that characterizes the city of Doha, very few studies have addressed several important growth aspects, including the examination of the way in which its inhabitants comprehend and react to its built environment and the resulting spatial experience. This paper examines inhabitants' spatial experience in the city by applying cognitive mapping procedures coupled with an attitude survey. 108 responses were received, analyzed, and classified in three categories a) living, working, and visiting patterns; b) comprehension of home range, home zone, and movement; and c) ethnic affiliation: Qataris and other Arab expatriates. The findings contribute to an in-depth understanding of the inhabitants' spatial experience. The study concludes with an emphasis that by establishing knowledge generated from research findings that are derived from direct experience of inhabitants including movement patterns and the rhythm of geographical locations within the city, the various aspects of how certain areas work within the urban structure of the city can be elucidated.
Seeking New Forms of Pedagogy in Architectural Education
Seeking responsive forms of pedagogy in architectural education, this paper responds to some of the negative tendencies that continue to characterize the delivery of knowledge content in lecture-based courses. Such tendencies are identified under the headings of: a) science as a body of knowledge versus science as a method of exploration, and b) learning theories about the phenomena versus getting the feel of the behaviour of the phenomena. The paper underscores the shift from mechanistic pedagogy to systematic pedagogy and the characteristics of each. Building on critical pedagogy and the hidden curriculum concept transformative pedagogy was introduced as a form of pedagogy that can be intertwined into mainstream teaching practices. Translating the premises underlying systemic and transformative pedagogies, inquiry-based, active, and experiential learning were identified as learning mechanisms amenable to work against the two identified negative tendencies. These mechanisms were implemented through a series of exercises in a lecture-based course, I have taught in spring 2010 and 2011: ARCH 313- Community and Neighbourhood Design Workshop, offered as part of the core architecture professional program at Qatar university. The exercises involved a) critical reflection as a form of in-class active learning, b) a walking tour-PLADEW as an experience-based mechanism for learning from the environment, and c) a design game as form of collaborative learning for students’ active engagement in a classroom setting. While each exercise has its own contribution, they offer students multiple learning opportunities while fostering their capabilities to shift from passive listeners to active learners, from knowledge consumers to knowledge producers, while engaging in a wide spectrum of mental activities.
Salama, A. M. (2012), Knowledge and Design: People-Environment Research for Responsive Pedagogy and Practice, Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences-Elsevier Imprint, Volume 49, pp. 8-27. ISSN #1877-0428. (Based on Proceedings of the 1st National Conference on Environment-Behavior Studies, Shah Alam, Malaysia, November 2009).
Knowledge and Design: People-Environment Research for Responsive Pedagogy and Practice
This paper argues for introducing a theory for knowledge integration in architectural design education. With a focus on human behavior and people-environment research, a contextual analysis of the reasons for developing a theory is introduced and reasons categorized. The milieu of the theory is constituted in several contextual elements. The theory encompasses a number of underlying theories and concepts derived from other fields that differ dramatically from architecture, with three major components: disciplinary component; cognitive-philosophical component; and inquiry-epistemic component. Possible mechanisms for knowledge acquisition are an indispensable component of the theory, whose aim is to foster the development of responsive knowledge critical to the successful creation of built environments.