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University of Texas at Austin (2011)

Rethinking Dubai’s urbanism : generating sustainable form-based urban design strategies for an integrated neighborhood

Alawadi, Khaled Abdulrahman

Titre : Rethinking Dubai’s urbanism : generating sustainable form-based urban design strategies for an integrated neighborhood

Auteur : Alawadi, Khaled Abdulrahman

Université de soutenance : University of Texas at Austin

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2011

I conducted a case study analysis of Dubai, exploring multiple urban design tactics for a more sustainable development approach to Dubai’s pattern of development. Particularly, this dissertation identifies sustainable urban form design principles and strategies for a Dubai neighborhood. The research addresses the question : which form-based urban design strategies effectively deliver greater environmental, social, and economic coherence in Dubai’s neighborhood development ? In addition, this research addresses the question of whether certain urban form design principles contribute comparatively more than others to sustainability. I used two rounds of the Delphi technique, a structured communication technique utilizing multiple rounds of questioning, to obtain experts’ knowledge and opinions to redefine urbanism in Dubai towards more ecological and social responsive practices. My analysis of the Delphi reveal that in Dubai, the most sustainable neighborhoods are those emphasizing more public participation in the initial planning process, i.e., connectivity and multiple transportation options ; adequate diversity ; green, open, and social nodes in the urban fabric ; culturally-relevant urbanism and architecture ; climate-sensitive urbanism and architecture ; eco-balanced design applications ; and adaptability, all integrated with one another in the compactly arranged urban fabric. Approaches to sustainable development must stress elements other than just design itself, such as grasping the nuances of the cultural traditions, politics, and implementation constraints. Therefore, this research also involved collecting survey responses from local and expatiate residents in Dubai and interviewing Dubai government officials in order to identify and to understand the relevant political and cultural aspects as well as obstacles associated with the experts’ design recommendations. In particular, survey responses were used to : (1) identify the public opinion surrounding some of the Dubai neighborhood design ideas suggested by an international and local panel of experts ; and (2) understand how the public value and prioritize the suitability of the proposed design strategies to Dubai’s cultural environment. Interviews with the local authorities in Dubai facilitated (1) the determination of troublesome challenges and constraints for implementing some of the urban design strategies defined by experts in the Delphi ; and (2) identification of implementation opportunities and possible policy initiatives that might support the implementation of the proposed strategies. I also synthesized all research data to identify areas of overlap and disagreement among research participants (the experts, public, and government officials). Finally, the last chapter discusses two major obstacles challenging different aspects of sustainability. I also detail a potential solution to prevail over the challenges, and introduce potential areas of future research.


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