The Middle East is well-known for its historic gardens that have developed over more than two millenniums. The role of urban landscape projects in Middle Eastern cities has grown in prominence, with a gradual shift in emphasis from gardens for the private sphere to an increasingly public function. The contemporary landscape projects, either designed as public plazas or public parks, have played a significant role in transferring the modern Middle Eastern cities to a new era and also in transforming to a newly shaped social culture in which the public has a voice. This book considers what ties these projects to their historical context, and what regional and local elements and concepts have been used in their design.
‘This collection of a dozen essays covers a variety of subjects (Cairo parks, Tehran parks, xeriscapes, and stonework among them). An interesting notion appears in chapter 2, in which James Wescoat Jr., ASLA, makes the case that even the concept of "landscape" in the Middle East is fairly recent. It refers to neither just gardens nor geography there, he says, but a combination of both.’
Landscape Architecture Magazine
1. Urban landscape: public space and environment in cities of the contemporary Middle East (MOHAMMAD GHARIPOUR), 2. Between garden and geography: landscape as an emergent concept in the wider Middle East (JAMES L. WESCOAT JR.), 3. In pursuit of a European city: competing landscapes of Eskis¸ehir’s riverfront (KIVANÇ KILINÇ AND DUYGU KAÇAR), 4. Inventing the seashore: the Tel Aviv-Jaffa promenade (ELISSA ROSENBERG), 5. Sculpted landscape: the unbuilt public square of Islamabad (FARHAN KARIM), 6. Paradise reconsidered: the early design history of Pardisan Park in Tehran (KATHLEEN JOHN-ALDER), 7. Aspiring masonry: design thinking and experimental vernacularism in Ferdowsi Garden (HOOMAN KOL), 8. Cairo’s urban parks: space, place, and meaning (AKEL ISMAIL KAHERA), 9. Beyond greening: approaches to the contemporary landscape in the United Arab Emirates (KEVIN MITCHELL), 10. Contemporary landscape as urbanism: emergent ecologies of the Doha Corniche (ANNA GRICHTING), 11. The sovereign global city: Omani post-traditional landscape urbanism (HALA F. NASSAR AND ROBERT HEWITT), 12. Epilogue: urban landscapes and future sustainable urban qualities in Middle Eastern cities (ASHRAF M. SALAMA)
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