Urban theorists argue that in the post-Second World War period cities faced the increasing development of homogeneous and soullessness urban spaces. This led to the formulation of urban design’s theories for addressing issues of space and place, as a means of correction to the built environment of modern cities. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the significance and authenticity of placemaking for Msheireb, which is the regenerated historic district of Doha in Qatar.
Oral and visual data are collected via: interviews with urban planners and consultants from Msheireb Properties and the Ministry of Municipality and Environment; walk-through studies; site visits and observations about the spatial form of buildings, streets and open spaces; on-site interviews; and a survey conducted during the walk-through studies.
The findings reveal that the urban regeneration of the historic district – envisioned through a socio-spatial process (public realm) based on conservation (built heritage) and modernization (contemporary architectural language) – contribute to defining the authenticity of placemaking (space and character) of the renewed historic district of Msheireb.
The insights provided through this research study contribute to the development of a framework for conceiving urban conservation projects in Qatar, which aim to preserve heritage value and revitalize deteriorating districts, to encourage the current trend for decentralization toward the creation of lively and vibrant urban district quarters by promoting a rediscovery of community life and cultural values.
The identified key factors have made the research original and unique.
The authors would like to acknowledge the support of Qatar University for creating an environment that encourages research. This study was developed as part of two research project schemes: QUST-2-CENG-2017-25 titled “Defining the contemporary architectural language for Qatar: the case of Msheireb Downtown Doha” from Qatar University; and UREP-21-036-5-006 titled “The dawn of Doha’s renaissance in Qatar: urban design strategies for achieving social sustainability in Msheireb Downtown Doha” from Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), a member of the Qatar Foundation. The authors would like to express gratitude to leading planners and architects from the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) and Msheireb Properties for their collaboration, participation in the meetings, handling of relevant visual data and documents for the research and discussing the conclusive results of this investigation. Finally, the authors thank the anonymous reviewers for their comments, which contributed to an improvement of this paper. The authors are solely responsible for the statements made herein. This research was supported by the Qatar National Research Fund (UREP-21-036-5-006) and Qatar University (QUST-2-CENG-2017-25).
Furlan, R., Petruccioli, A. and Jamaleddin, M. (2019), "The authenticity of place-making: Space and character of the regenerated historic district in Msheireb, Downtown Doha (state of Qatar)", Archnet-IJAR, Vol. 13 No. 1, pp. 151-168. https://doi.org/10.1108/ARCH-11-2018-0009Download as .RIS
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