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Manchester Metropolitan University (2018)

Toward an integrated smart sustainable urbanism framework in the historic centre of Baghdad. (Old Rusafa as a case study)

Al-Saffar, Mazin

Titre : Toward an integrated smart sustainable urbanism framework in the historic centre of Baghdad. (Old Rusafa as a case study)

Auteur : Al-Saffar, Mazin

Université de soutenance : Manchester Metropolitan University

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2018

Résumé partiel
According to Batty “Despite a century of effort, our understanding of how cities evolve is still woefully inadequate” (Batty, 2008). The form of the city has been changing as the complexity of its systems has increased. Its varied aspects and methods have included ICT, smart transport systems, and the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) for example. In the pursuit of smart sustainable urban form in heritage cities such as Baghdad, the research will analyse the concept of ‘smart sustainable city’, taking into account urban conservation, use, and reuse of historic places, buildings and cultural environments. The capital, Baghdad, is the largest city in Iraq. The population of Baghdad as of 2017 is approximately 8,000,000, making it the second largest city in the Arab world after Cairo, Egypt. There are four historic areas of the modern city of Baghdad : Rusafa, Karkh, Adhamiya and Kadhimiya. The area of Old Rusafa represents the main historic centre of Baghdad. Its unique urban fabric defines this area and is surrounded by modern urban pattern and by modern roads, which replaced its walls. Generally speaking, in most of the traditional areas in Baghdad city and especially the area of Old Rusafa, due to the lack of standard infrastructures, the deteriorating built environment and rundown houses, air pollution and a lack of modern facilities, the younger generation is abandoning these areas (Al-Akkam, 2012a). Nowadays, most residents are low-income families who cannot afford to live in better sectors with higher rent. Such problems have brought into focus the extent to which a smart and sustainable urban design framework can be able to provide appropriate solutions to regenerate the traditional urban fabric regarding urban form, land use, transportation, and create a new vision to deal with the social and economic processes. However, the significant features in the historic part of Baghdad such as narrow alleys, natural shading, the hierarchy between public and private space, mixed-use, human scale pattern, high density/low rise living, a walkable and zero carbon environment are providing an extraordinary base to implement smart and sustainable standards. Unfortunately, there is a tremendous amount of evidence of a decline in the social function of historic urban fabric and traditional Iraqi houses of Old Rusafa (Al-Akkam, 2013b). Thus, this research will illustrate how ICT and smart sustainable design might transform the historic urban environment in the traditional area of Rusafa to be both smart and sustainable. This research first offers a review of the process of urban transformation in the context of city change through utilising urban morphology to explain how Baghdad transformed from a geometric city to an organic form and then from a traditional city to the modern metropolis.

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