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The production of urban qualities in the emerging city of Doha : urban space diversity as a case for investigating the 'lived space'

Salama, Ashraf M. and Wiedmann, Florian (2013) The production of urban qualities in the emerging city of Doha : urban space diversity as a case for investigating the 'lived space'. ArchNet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research, 7 (2). pp. 160-172. ISSN 1938-7806

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Centred on investigating urban space diversity this paper introduces a framework that enables the examination of urban qualities in emerging cities in the Gulf. The rapidly growing city of Doha is selected as a case study due to its rising importance in the region. Lefebvre's perceived-conceived-lived triad is outlined to illustrate how it can be utilized to identify factors that impact the production of urban environments. Notably, little attention has been paid to several growth aspects including the understanding of urban space diversity and the resulting inhabitants' spatial experience, their attitudes toward evolving urbanized spaces. Utilizing an attitude survey, the paper explores urban spaces in the city of Doha as experienced by different groups. An investigation of a number of key urban spaces is undertaken through the identification of key urban nodes. Spaces are examined from the perspective of the city's inhabitants using 490 responses to the survey. The results delineate that urban spaces lack key conditions amenable to creating urban diversity. Nevertheless, they corroborate the notion that urban spaces are perceived and experienced differently by different groups based on their gender, age, and cultural background. The paper concludes with suggestions toward a more inclusive approach to the understanding the production of urban qualities and the design of the city's urban spaces.