Demystifying Doha: On Architecture and Urbanism in an Emerging City. by Ashraf Salama and Florian Wiedmann
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Over the past decade or so, the wealth produced by Qatar's oil and gas exports has generated a construction development boom in its capital city of Doha and the surrounding vicinity. Since the late 1990s, the number of inhabitants has grown from less than 400,000 to more than 1.7 million today. In many respects, Doha is portrayed as an important emerging global capital in the Gulf region, which has been positioning and re-inventing itself on the map of international architecture and urbanism, with a global image of building clusters of glass office towers, as well as cultural and educational facilities. While focusing on the architectural and planning aspects of Doha's intensive urbanization, this first comprehensive examination of the city sets this within the socio-political and economic context of the wider Arabian Peninsula. 'Demystifying Doha - On Architecture and Urbanism in an Emerging City' features a comprehensive discussion on contemporary architecture and urbanism of Doha as an emerging regional metropolis. It provides a critical analysis of the evolution of architecture and urbanism as products of the contemporary global condition. Issues that pertain to emerging service hubs, decentralised urban governance, integrated urban development strategies, image-making practices, urban identity, the dialectic relations between the city and its society and sustainable urbanism are all examined to elucidate the urban evolution and the contemporary condition of Doha. 'Demystifying Doha - On Architecture and Urbanism in an Emerging City' concludes by suggesting a framework for future studies of the city as well as for investigating the future of similar cities, setting out an agenda for sustainable urban growth, while invigorating the multiple roles urban planners and architects can play in shaping this future.