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A framework for investigating urban qualities in emerging knowledge economies : the case of Doha

Wiedmann, Florian and Salama, Ashraf M. and Thierstein, Alain (2012) A framework for investigating urban qualities in emerging knowledge economies : the case of Doha. ArchNet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research, 6 (1). pp. 42-56. ISSN 1938-7806

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Over the last decade Qatar's capital city Doha has been undergoing a new period of urbanisation that has created a new perception of the city as an emerging urban centre in the Gulf region. It has witnessed rapid urban growth driven by economic diversification strategies that have liberalised its markets. At the same time however the general urban consolidation has not kept pace and the liveability of many areas has decreased in quality despite the transformation of the city into a global hub because of large-scale projects. This paper aims to introduce a framework that can be utilized to analyse the complex interdependencies between Doha's recent economic transformation and the changing structure of its urban environment. It is designed to deliver insights into the various factors that produce urban space and their individual effects on urban qualities, taking as its basis Henri Lefebvre's triad of space production. The analyses resulting from the application of this framework have the potential to contribute to a comprehensive understanding of the needs of a thriving knowledge economy and the emerging urban environment that accommodates it.