Planning Middle Eastern Cities: An Urban Kaleidoscope, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Planning Middle Eastern Cities

An Urban Kaleidoscope, 1st Edition

Edited by Yasser Elsheshtawy


224 pages | 59 B/W Illus.

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Middle Eastern cities cannot be lumped together as a single group. Rather they make up the urban kaleidoscope of the title, as the diversity of the six cities included here shows. They range from cities rich in tradition (Cairo, Tunis, and Baghdad), to neglected cities (Algiers and Sana'a), to newly emerging 'oil-rich' Gulf cities (Dubai).

The authors are all young Arab scholars and architects local to the cities they describe, providing an authentic voice with an understanding no outsider could achieve.

These contributors move away from an exclusively 'Islamic' reading of Arab cities - which they regard as outdated and counterproductive. Instead, they explore issues of identity and globalization in the context of the struggles and solutions offered by each city from the late nineteenth century to the present day. Their focus is on how the built environment has changed over time and under different influences.


'This volume provides a nonspecialist audience with a thorough overview of issues and approaches to contemporary Middle Eastern urbanism.' - Sophia Shwayri, Traditional Dewlling and Settlements Review, Spring 2005

'Will inspire further critical investigation on the sites and cities of the Middle East that have until now been marginalized in the debates regarding globalization and urban change.' - Journal of Architectural Education

Table of Contents

1. The Middle East City: Moving beyond the Narrative of Loss 2. The Merits of Cities' Locations 3. The Spatial Development and Urban Transformation of Colonial and Postcolonial Algiers 4. Globalization and the Search for Modern Local Architecture: Learning from Baghdad 5. Sana'a: Transformation of the Old City and the Impacts of the Modern Era 6. Lake Tunis, or the Concept of the Third Centre 7. Cairo's Urban Déjà Vu: Globalization and Urban Fantasies 8. Redrawing Boundaries: Dubai, an Emerging Global City Index

About the Series

Planning, History and Environment Series

This series offers a unique window on the creation of the modern environment. Designed for an international readership, the emphasis is on:

  • urban and regional planning
  • recent as well as longer-term history
  • what the past can tell us about the present
  • local as well as global and comparative topics

Within this framework the books address three themes:

  • regional, continental and comparative studies
  • planning histories of key cities
  • changing planning ideologies and policies


Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ARCHITECTURE / History / General
ARCHITECTURE / Urban & Land Use Planning
ARCHITECTURE / Study & Teaching