Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 4

Urban Spaces Related Abstracts

4 Thermal Comfort and Outdoor Urban Spaces in the Hot Dry City of Damascus, Syria

Authors: Lujain Khraiba

Abstract:

Recently, there is a broad recognition that micro-climate conditions contribute to the quality of life in urban spaces outdoors, both from economical and social viewpoints. The consideration of urban micro-climate and outdoor thermal comfort in urban design and planning processes has become one of the important aspects in current related studies. However, these aspects are so far not considered in urban planning regulations in practice and these regulations are often poorly adapted to the local climate and culture. Therefore, there is a huge need to adapt the existing planning regulations to the local climate especially in cities that have extremely hot weather conditions. The overall aim of this study is to point out the complexity of the relationship between urban planning regulations, urban design, micro-climate and outdoor thermal comfort in the hot dry city of Damascus, Syria. The main aim is to investigate the temporal and spatial effects of micro-climate on urban surface temperatures and outdoor thermal comfort in different urban design patterns as a result of urban planning regulations during the extreme summer conditions. In addition, studying different alternatives of how to mitigate the surface temperature and thermal stress is also a part of the aim. The novelty of this study is to highlight the combined effect of urban surface materials and vegetation to develop the thermal environment. This study is based on micro-climate simulations using ENVI-met 3.1. The input data is calibrated according to a micro-climate fieldwork that has been conducted in different urban zones in Damascus. Different urban forms and geometries including the old and the modern parts of Damascus are thermally evaluated. The Physiological Equivalent Temperature (PET) index is used as an indicator for outdoor thermal comfort analysis. The study highlights the shortcomings of existing planning regulations in terms of solar protection especially at street levels. The results show that the surface temperatures in Old Damascus are lower than in the modern part. This is basically due to the difference in urban geometries that prevent the solar radiation in Old Damascus to reach the ground and heat up the surface whereas in modern Damascus, the streets are prescribed as wide spaces with high values of Sky View Factor (SVF is about 0.7). Moreover, the canyons in the old part are paved in cobblestones whereas the asphalt is the main material used in the streets of modern Damascus. Furthermore, Old Damascus is less stressful than the modern part (the difference in PET index is about 10 °C). The thermal situation is enhanced when different vegetation are considered (an improvement of 13 °C in the surface temperature is recorded in modern Damascus). The study recommends considering a detailed landscape code at street levels to be integrated in urban regulations of Damascus in order to achieve a better urban development in harmony with micro-climate and comfort. Such strategy will be very useful to decrease the urban warming in the city.

Keywords: Urban Spaces, micro-climate, outdoor thermal comfort, urban planning regulations

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3 The Impact of Building Technologies on Local Identity of Urban Settlements

Authors: Eman Nagi Gowid Selim

Abstract:

Nowadays, the relevance of places to people has been questioned from different perspectives. This is attributed to the fact that many international concrete blocks were used to create multi-use public spaces in neighborhoods based on the techniques of mass-productions concepts that became one of the most effective ways in building construction, replacing the local and traditional built environment. During the last decades, the world has become increasingly globalized and citizen more mobilized, and thus, ignoring the social and environmental dimensions of the local identity. The main enquiries of the research are “How did building technologies affect urban settlement’s identity?” and “What are the impacts of technologies and globalization on local identities in urban spaces? “From this perspective, the research presents firstly, a historical review that shows how old civilizations enhance their local identities using the newly discovered building materials in each era in different urban settlement and fabrics without losing the identity. The second part of the research highlights the different approaches of building technologies and urban design to present a clear understanding of ways of applying and merging between different methodologies to achieve the most efficient urban space design. The third part aims at analyzing some international and national case studies where the form and structure of particular spaces are vital to identifying the morphological elements of urban settlements and the links existing between them. In addition, it determines how the building materials are used to enrich the vocabulary of the local identity. This part ends with the deduction of the guidelines for the integration of the environmental and social dimensions within the building technologies` approaches to enhance the sustainability of local identities and thus, ending up with redefining "Urban Identity" to guide future research in such cultural areas. Finally, the research uses the comparative methodology for applying the deduced guidelines on a national case study namely “Othman`s Towers” in corniche El Maadi, and then ends up by some results in the form of strategies for future researcher, that identifies how to ensure local identity in urban settlements using new building materials and technologies to achieve social and environmental comfort within the cultural areas.

Keywords: Cultural Context, Building Technologies, Urban Spaces, participatory design, environmental approach, social dimension

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2 Furnishing Ancillary Alternatives for High Speed Corridors and Pedestrian Crossing: Elevated Cycle Track, an Expedient to Urban Space Prototype in New Delhi

Authors: Suneet Jagdev, Abhishek Singh, Hrishabh Amrodia, Siddharth Menon, Mansi Shivhare

Abstract:

Delhi, the National Capital, has undergone a surge in development rate, consequently engendering an unprecedented increase in population. Over the years the city has transformed into a car-centric infrastructure with high-speed corridors, flyovers and fast lanes. A considerable section of the population is hankering to rehabilitate to the good old cycling days, in order to contribute towards a green environment as well as to maintain their physical well-being. Furthermore, an extant section of Delhi’s population relies on cycles as their primary means of commuting in the city. Delhi has the highest number of cyclists and second highest number of pedestrians in the country. However, the tumultuous problems of unregulated traffic, inadequate space on roads, adverse weather conditions stifle them to opt for cycling. Lately, the city has been facing a conglomeration of problems such as haphazard traffic movement, clogged roads, congestion, pollution, accidents, safety issues, etc. In 1957, Delhi’s cyclists accounted for 36 per cent of trips which dropped down to a mere 4 per cent in 2008. The declining rate is due to unsafe roads and lack of proper cycle lanes. Now as the 10 percent of the city has cycle tracks. There is also a lack of public recreational activities in the city. These conundrums incite the need of a covered elevated cycling bridge track to facilitate the safe and smooth cycle commutation in the city which would also serve the purpose of an alternate urban public space over the cycle bridge reducing the cost as well as the space requirement for the same, developing a user–friendly transportation and public interaction system for urban areas in the city. Based on the archival research methodologies, the following research draws information and extracts records from the data accounts of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. as well as the Centre for Science and Environment, India. This research will predominantly focus on developing a prototype design for high speed elevated bicycle lanes based on different road typologies, which can be replicated with minor variations in similar situations, all across the major cities of our country including the proposed smart cities. Furthermore, how these cycling lanes could be utilized for the place making process accommodating cycle parking and renting spaces, public recreational spaces, food courts as well as convenient shopping facilities with appropriate optimization. How to preserve and increase the share of smooth and safe cycling commute cycling for the routine transportation of the urban community of the polluted capital which has been on a steady decline over the past few decades.

Keywords: Road Safety, Urban Spaces, prototype, bicycle track

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1 Exploring Re-Configuration of Ordinary Spaces into Recreation and Leisure Space in Compact Unplanned Settlements: Experience from Manzese Informal Settlement-Dar Es Salaam Tanzania

Authors: Edson Ephraim Sanga

Abstract:

This paper stems to explore possible places used for recreation in unplanned settlements in order to avail knowledge on how to create and shape urban spaces essential for recreation and leisure. The context of unplanned settlements is spatially characterized compactness and congestions of buildings developed by residents without professional inputs. These characteristics surpass greenery landscapes such as parks and squares essential for health, happiness and wellbeing. The lack of recreational greenery landscape arises a question on how possible can recreation take places in the settlements? This study used qualitative methods mainly observation and in-depth interview to explore the recreational situation in Manzese informal settlements as an instrumental case and found that ordinary spaces are re-configured into recreational spaces and used as ‘parks’ and ‘squares’ in the settlements. The spaces are diverse and complex as they possess different spatial characteristics based on their physical attributes and the way they are used and interpreted by respective users. This paper argues that the re-configuration processes of ordinary spaces should not be taken for granted because they portray the appropriation of spaces from quotidian dimensions in a particular context.

Keywords: Recreation, Urban Spaces, ordinary spaces, unplanned settlement

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