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Examining attributes of urban open spaces in Doha

Salama, Ashraf, M. and Azzali, Simona (2015) Examining attributes of urban open spaces in Doha. Proceedings of the ICE - Urban Design and Planning, 168 (2). 75–87. ISSN 1755-0793

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Abstract

With intensive emerging and transforming urban spaces and centres, the city of Doha is experiencing continual rapid growth. However, minor attention has been paid to important growth aspects. This paper examines functional, social and perceptual attributes of three urban open spaces in the city by developing and implementing a walking tour assessment procedure composed of checklists and a scoring system. Results reveal important outcomes including the absence of landscape features and a dearth of green spaces or appropriate outdoor furniture, the absence of adequate shaded areas and shading devices and parasols and a lack of children's facilities or a specially designated area for children among other missing elements. These represent shortcomings that impede the maximum efficient and effective utilisation of such spaces. The paper suggests that opportunities to concretise and fulfil people's needs in open spaces should be underscored by urban planners, architects and policy-makers in a multicultural rapidly growing city.