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Understanding inhabitants' spatial experience of the city of Doha through cognitive mapping

Salama, Ashraf M. and Al-Maimani, Ahood and Khalfani, Fatma (2013) Understanding inhabitants' spatial experience of the city of Doha through cognitive mapping. Open House International, 38 (4). pp. 37-46. ISSN 0168-2601

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Despite the current fast track urban development process that characterizes the city of Doha, very few studies have addressed several important growth aspects, including the examination of the way in which its inhabitants comprehend and react to its built environment and the resulting spatial experience. This paper examines inhabitants' spatial experience in the city by applying cognitive mapping procedures coupled with an attitude survey. 108 responses were received, analyzed, and classified in three categories a) living, working, and visiting patterns; b) comprehension of home range, home zone, and movement; and c) ethnic affiliation: Qataris and other Arab expatriates. The findings contribute to an in-depth understanding of the inhabitants' spatial experience. The study concludes with an emphasis that by establishing knowledge generated from research findings that are derived from direct experience of inhabitants including movement patterns and the rhythm of geographical locations within the city, the various aspects of how certain areas work within the urban structure of the city can be elucidated.