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A perceptual approach for investigating urban space diversity in the city of Doha

Salama, Ashraf M. and Gharib, Remah Y. (2012) A perceptual approach for investigating urban space diversity in the city of Doha. Open House International, 37 (2). pp. 24-32. ISSN 0168-2601

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The city of Doha is growing rapidly with emerging urban nodes and centers, housing development. Little attention however has been paid to several growth aspects including the understanding of urban space diversity and the resulting inhabitants' spatial experience, their attitudes toward emerging urbanized spaces. Utilizing a perceptual approach in the form of an attitude survey, this paper explores urban spaces in the city of Doha as perceived and experienced by different groups. An investigation of a number of key urban spaces is undertaken through the identification of key urban nodes that are identified based on parameters that include density, commercial activity, and public accessibility. Spaces are examined from the perspective of Doha's inhabitants using 490 responses to a survey questionnaire. The results delineate that urban spaces lack key conditions amenable to creating urban diversity. Nevertheless, they corroborate the postulation 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 design of the city's urban spaces.