Desert Paradises : Surveying the Landscapes of Dubai’s Urban Model book cover
1st Edition

Desert Paradises
Surveying the Landscapes of Dubai’s Urban Model

ISBN 9780815355502
Published April 3, 2019 by Routledge
188 Pages 30 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Desert Paradises: Surveying the Landscapes of Dubai’s Urban Model explores how designed landscapes can play a vital role in constructing a city’s global image and legitimizing its socio-political hierarchy. Using the case study of Dubai, Bolleter explores how Dubai’s rulers employ a paradisiacal image of greening the desert, in part, as a tool for political legitimization.

Bolleter also evaluates the designed landscapes of Dubai against the principles of the United Nations and the International Federation of Landscape Architects and argues that what is happening in Dubai represents a significant discrepancy between theory and practice.

This book offers a new perspective on landscape design that has until now been unexplored. It would be beneficial to academics and students of geography, landscape architecture, urban design and urban planning – particularly those with an interest in Dubai or the many cities in the region that are experiencing Dubaiification.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction  2. Dubai briefing  3. Paradisiacal landscapes  4. Urban and desert landscapes  5. Challenges in practice  6. The potential of Landscape Urbanism in Dubai  7: Conclusion

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Julian Bolleter is Deputy-Director at the Australian Urban Design Research Centre (AUDRC) at the University of Western Australia. His role includes teaching a master’s programme in urban design and conducting research and design projects. Julian is a landscape architect and urban designer and has worked in Australia, the United States, the UK and the Middle East. He has published four books: Made in Australia: The Future of Australian Cities (with Richard Weller), Take Me to the River: A History of Perth’s Foreshore, Scavenging the Suburbs: Auditing Perth for One Million Infill Dwellings and The Ghost Cities of Australia: A Survey of New City Proposals and Their Lessons for Australia’s 21st Century Development.


"Desert Paradises is a superb analysis of the development of urban landscape in Persian Gulf

with a focus on Dubai. This fascinating and historically informed account sheds new light on

nuances of landscape urbanism and the complex politics behind it. Providing an original and

impactful contribution to landscape design, history and practice, Bolleter handles both breadth and

depth of the development of landscape in Dubai with balance and solid supportive arguments.

This indispensable study would be an inspiring reading for experts from various fields, including

but not limited to, geographers, urban planners, designers, architects, and historians of

contemporary Middle East."

Mohamad Gharipour, Morgan State University, USA


"[This book] makes a substantial contribution to the discourse of landscape architecture in the Middle East." - Julian Raxworthy, (Landscape Review), University of Queensland, Australia