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A multitude of diverse attributes is required for effective urban performance at various scales ranging from the immediate context of public buildings to central urban…
A multitude of diverse attributes is required for effective urban performance at various scales ranging from the immediate context of public buildings to central urban spaces, and from urban corridors to residential neighbourhoods. Following their earlier works (GRIERSON, 2014; MUNRO and GRIERSON, 2016; SALAMA, 2011; SALAMA and WIEDMANN, 2013; and SALAMA et al., 2016) the guest editors frame these qualities under a cycle of three main symbiotic pillars: the imagined, the measured, and the experienced, which contribute to the development of insights that elucidate various parameters for exploring urban performance. These three pillars stem from the Lefebvrian arguments and his theory on the production of space, which postulates a triadic relationship of three different but related types of spaces: the conceived (Imagined), the perceived (measured) and the lived (experienced).
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…
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.
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…
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.
Whether in school buildings or university campuses the educational process involves many activities that include knowledge acquisition and assimilation, testing students' motivation and academic performance, and faculty and teachers' productivity. The way in which we approach the planning, design, and our overall perception of learning environments makes powerful statements about how we view education; how educational buildings are designed tells us much about how teaching and learning activities occur. Concomitantly, how these activities are accommodated in a responsive educational environment is a critical issue that deserves special attention. While it was said several decades ago that a good teacher can teach anywhere, a growing body of knowledge-derived from knowledge on “evidence-based design” suggests a direct correlation between the physical aspects of the learning environment, teaching processes, and learning outcomes. In its commitment to introduce timely and pressing issues on built environment research, Open House International presents this special edition to debate and reflect on current discourses on sustainable learning environments.
The educational process in schools involves many activities that ultimately aim at testing students' motivation, knowledge assimilation, academic performance, and…
The educational process in schools involves many activities that ultimately aim at testing students' motivation, knowledge assimilation, academic performance, and teachers' productivity. How these activities are accommodated in a responsive environment is a critical issue that deserves special attention especially from users' perspective. This paper analyzes emerging understandings of learning environments. Reactions of teachers and students to classroom and cluster prototypes, among other aspects, against a number of spatial requirements and educational objectives are analyzed and discussed based on two mechanisms. The first is a comparative analysis of reactions of teachers from three elementary schools within Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District. The second part is a case study of a pre-design phase undertaken for redesigning some buildings of North Carolina School of the Arts. The results of this investigation support the assumption on how the school environment has a direct impact on the way in which teaching and learning takes place. A conclusion envisioning the need for going beyond adopting prescriptive measures to address the quality of the learning environment is conceived by highlighting the need to utilize knowledge generated from research findings into school design process, to pursue active roles in sensitizing users about the value of the school environment in reaching the desired academic performance while increasing teachers' productivity.
South Asian communities have lived in Scotland since the late nineteenth century, experiencing a substantial growth in the post-war period. This paper contributes a new…
South Asian communities have lived in Scotland since the late nineteenth century, experiencing a substantial growth in the post-war period. This paper contributes a new understanding of the spatial practices of South Asian communities in the city of Glasgow based on statistics and surveys. The authors aim to address the gap in literature by analysing patterns of location and trends across the city region over the census period of 2011. The study furthermore integrates a walking tour assessment generated by checklists and a recording scheme. The attributes of cultural identity, economic diversity and socio-spatial practice of six urban spaces within three selected neighbourhoods are examined. Two urban spaces were chosen from each neighbourhood to interpret the diversity of land uses along each case study and the social interaction as well as economic activities of South Asian residents. This suggests that the idea of a coherent 'Asian community' obscures differences and generates assumptions regarding residential behaviour and 'in-group' identities. The research, therefore, provides an enhanced understanding of how these distinctive communities interact with a built environment, which has not been designed to cater certain spatial practices.
With the majority of people living in cities it has become increasingly important to examine the relationship between the qualities and characteristics of an urban setting…
With the majority of people living in cities it has become increasingly important to examine the relationship between the qualities and characteristics of an urban setting and the perceived satisfaction of its users. Discourses on Quality of Urban life (QOUL) show that the preponderance of existing empirical studies and measurement frameworks have been developed based on Western case studies or standards. Rapid urbanisation of cities in Africa and Asia, however, has dramatically impacted the use of space, and in many cases has resulted in intense urban transformations that impacted communities. This prompts questions about the quality of life (QOL) of residents and the liveability of their environments. Thus, this research argues that although there are many aspects of urban life that are pan-cultural, there are also culture specific features that make urban life unique in each city or setting. Consequently, QOUL studies should balance universal values and context-specificities. Following identification and critique of QOUL models, the paper calls for a new model to examine context specificities. The model aims to highlight the important role that context and culture play in urban life while underscoring the relevant core dimensions of QOUL studies.
The current fast track urban development process is an important characteristic of the city of Doha. No exploration or examination of its urban spaces, however, has been…
The current fast track urban development process is an important characteristic of the city of Doha. No exploration or examination of its urban spaces, however, has been done before. This paper offers an experiential assessment of three key urban open spaces by examining their spatial and physical characteristics while implementing direct systematic observation and behavioural mapping procedure. Assessment results reveal important outcomes that include absence of physical aspects amenable for effective use while offering a pleasant experience for visitors. The findings contribute to an in-depth understanding of the qualities of the three spaces and the resulting use, activities, and behaviour representative of the inhabitants' spatial experience in those spaces. While the overall experience of users appear to be satisfactory, the results convey that there is an absence of landscape features and a dearth of green spaces and appropriate outdoor furniture, absence of adequate shaded areas and shading devices and a lack of children's facilities or specially designated areas for children. Addressing the lack of features that enhance people's activities and use of these spaces would contribute to making the spaces more conducive for use by different types of users and at different days and times.
Covering about three million square kilometres, the Arabian Peninsula is mainly a diverse landscape of hot humid sandy coasts, arid desert, sparse scrubland, stone-strewn…
Covering about three million square kilometres, the Arabian Peninsula is mainly a diverse landscape of hot humid sandy coasts, arid desert, sparse scrubland, stone-strewn plains, and lush oases, as well as rocky and sometimes fertile mountain highlands and valleys. In addition to the indigenous local populace, the population is composed of large groups of expatriate Arabs and Asians, in addition to smaller groups of Europeans and North Americans; these expatriate groups represent a major workforce community of skilled professionals and semi-skilled or unskilled labourers from over sixty countries. The region's contemporary economy, dominated by the production of oil and natural gas has created unprecedented wealth, which in turn has led to a momentous surge in intensive infrastructural development and the construction of new environments (Wiedmann, 2012). The ensuing impact of this fast track development on the built environment, in conjunction with the continuous and seemingly frantic quest for establishing unique urban identities (Salama, 2012), is seen as a trigger for introducing this special edition of Open House International.