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Technische Universität Berlin (2014)

Urban growth from patchwork to sustainability : case study Muscat

Al Gharibi Hamad

Titre : Urban growth from patchwork to sustainability : case study Muscat

Urbanes Wachstum von Patchwork zu Nachhaltigkeit : Fallstudie Muscat

Auteur : Al Gharibi Hamad

Université de soutenance : Technische Universität Berlin

Grade : Doctoral Thesis 2014

Since the oil revolution, 40 years ago, Muscat, the capital of the Sultanate of Oman has been under massive waves of rural migration due to the availability of the services. Urbanization in the whole country has reached 84% in 2009 according to UN statistics. However, Muscat holds more than one third of the total population of Oman. An urbanization pattern in Muscat is characterized by dispersed and patchy settlement structures as well as a car-dependent community. The overall ensuingseparation of functions is further augmenting mobility needs that are exclusively based on car-dependence. Life style patterns are oriented towards the single villa on a walled plot as the most favorite residential building type. These trends however meet limited resources mainly related to land. Due to the geophysical and climatic setting of the country 75% of the country’s total surface of 212,460 square kilometers is covered by desert. Thus the remaining land has to be shared for different purposes of Omani society. While land consumption by residential use, services and transport infrastructure is increasing steadily, suitable land for agriculture is decreasing again supporting rural-to-urban migration or transition and thus creating again new demands on shrinking land resources. Since the total area of Muscat is 2,300 square kilometers merely 330 square kilometers of land is appropriate for development, whereas the rest of the total area is dominated by Al-Hajar Mountains. Meanwhile, some parts are considered as restricted areas which are occupied by governmental and institution easements. This roughly described 20th century-type of urbanization has been surpassed by the early 21st century- type that focuses on complete new cities for 200,000 to 300,000 inhabitants. In the GCC countries and in Oman a number of new cities are under construction claiming to become sustainable cities, at least from an environmental point of view. While much attention is paid to this new urbanization trend, the resources consuming 20th century urbanization processes go ahead and have to be considered as an irreversible fact in Oman. The research projects aims at detecting driving forces of the ongoing urbanization trend, and secondly at developing strategies and programs to control and guide the resulting urbanization patterns towards a resource-saving, and socially- and economically-balanced utilization of limited resources. It is assumed hereby that the way that the limited resource land is managed plays a crucial role.

Mots clés  : Architektur ; Stadtplanung ; Wachstum — architecture ; growth ; urban planning Muscat ; Oman


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