Planning Middle Eastern Cities

An Urban Kaleidoscope

Edited by Yasser Elsheshtawy

© 2010 – Routledge

224 pages

Purchasing Options:
New in Paperback: 9780415553094
pub: 2009-10-15
US Dollars$44.95
Hardback: 9780415304009
pub: 2004-07-15
US Dollars$180.00

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

Cairo, Baghdad, Algiers and Dubai cannot be easily lumped together as a single group. Cities in the Arab world are too diverse and hybrid, ranging from those rich in tradition, to 'forgotten’ cities, to newly emerging Gulf cities.

The authors here, Arab scholars and architects local to the cities they describe, provide an authentic voice with an understanding no outsider could achieve. They explore issues of identity, hybridity, colonization 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

This book is a very informative and lively read that certainly adds fresh perspectives to the study of Arab cities… This collection could be an interesting text for undergraduate and graduate courses in Middle East and urban/cultural studies. International Journal of Middle East Studies

A thorough overview of issues and approaches to contemporary Middle Eastern urbanism. Traditional Dwelling and Settlements Review

The essays collected by Elsheshtawy raise as many questions as they answer, but this is also a strength of the book, which provides insights into places often grounded in an idealized past, both in their architecture and their architectural history. Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians

This is a laudable collective effort with an excellent choice of case-studies which make a compelling argument in favour of the ‘urban kaleidoscope’. This certainly provides food for thought for architects, planners, urban specialists and historians working on and in the Middle East - Urban History Journal

Table of Contents

1. The Middle East City: Moving Beyond the Narrative of Loss Yasser Elsheshtawy 2. The Merits of Cities' Locations Jamel Akbar 3. The Spatial Development and Urban Transformation of Colonial and Postcolonial Algiers Karim Hadjri and Mohamed Osmani 4. Globalization and the Search for Modern Local Architecture: Learning from Baghdad Hoshiar Nooradin 5. Sana'a: Transformation of the Old City and the Impacts of the Modern Era Khaled A. Al-Sallal 6. Lake Tunis, or the Concept of the Third Centre Bechir Kenzari 7. Cairo's Urban Déjà Vu: Globalization and Urban Fantasies Khaled Adham 8. Redrawing Boundaries: Dubai, an Emerging Global City Yasser Elsheshtawy

About the Editor

Yasser Elsheshtawy is Associate Professor of Architecture at the UAE University, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates.

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 / Study & Teaching