The Evolution of the Spatial Patterns of Traditional Islamic Cities

Amireh, Omar M. N (1990) The Evolution of the Spatial Patterns of Traditional Islamic Cities. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The purpose of this study is that if cities are to be accounted as Islamic they should be considered in the context of Islamic urban frameworks. Subsequently their spatial patterns should be conceived as the resultant of the application of these frameworks within a built environment. Implicit in undertaking this research was the conviction that spatial pattern in Traditional Islamic Cities evolved within certain urban frameworks and not, per se, space concepts and it is within that context that variety of spatial arrangements were developed, utilized to serve a prevailing religious, societal, commercial, political-administrative aspects. To achieve this purpose five main issues are addressed and later answered what Islam (1) as a religion, precepts, conducts contributed to the emergence, formation and evolution of the traditional Islamic urban system, (2) how these systems and frameworks have evolved within the changing strategies and conditions, Muslims and Islam underwent, (3) how such evolving frameworks were reflected and interpreted into built physical environment, (4) what other influencing non-human, static factors that shape these environments, (5) what underlying spatial frameworks that have governed the resultant structure, fabric, texture and the infilling of these built environments. Number of Islamic cities are used as models of analysis in this research. Closely and chronologically dealt with they assisted us to perceive the evolving pattern and to follow the various processes of formations and transformations that occurred in these cities. Further and closer investigation in surviving traditional built environment, has enabled us to highlight the underlying spatial correlations and expressions. Within these two stages, part one and two trace the evolution of the city level and show clearly that many original Islamic cities had clear organized arrangements and frameworks, but that these have been lost or neglected over time. Part three is based on two case studies of Aleppo and Cairo in order to discover the manner by which the spatial pattern worked in the "classical Islamic city". This part offer an explanation as to how the apparent chaotic pattern of the urban grain which today characterises the Islamic city, comes about and concludes that it is not random but obeys a recognisable set of systems based on reasonable spatial idiom. The work concludes by considering the relevance of these findings to the problems of urban structuring in todays context in the belief that considered evolution from the past will prove a more relevant method than the rupture apparent in most of the development of the last few decades.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Architecture, Urban planning
Date of Award: 1990
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1990-78222
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2020 12:09
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2020 12:09

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