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Shaping urban tradition and the contemporary lived space in a globalizing context

Salama, Ashraf M (2014) Shaping urban tradition and the contemporary lived space in a globalizing context. In: Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments (IASTE 2014), 2014-12-14 - 2014-12-17, Universiti Putra Malaysia.

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Abstract

Focusing on major evolutionary developments in the Arabian Peninsula this discourse offers a positional interpretation and interrogates missing conceptions and misconceptions relevant to identity, tradition, modernity, how they are absorbed and their manifestations and representations. How has the contemporary urban condition on the peninsula come into being and who has shaped that being are two critical questions that represent the crux of the discourse. Within the notion of 'human agency', and issues of 'newness', 'nowness', 'being', and 'becoming', the discussion endeavours to offer answers and brings into focus three approaches for comprehending both evolutionary and contemporary urban traditions and the lived space in the peninsula. The first attempts to portray its architecture within contextual geo-cultural politics, and the amalgam of influences it enjoys, including 'Mediterraneanism', 'Middle Easternism', 'Pan-Arabism', and 'Islamism'. Notwithstanding these stimuli being constructs serving political and ideological ends, they are of heuristic value, posing questions of meaning and the sharing of urban and existential values. The second approach traces key socio-political and socio-economic incidents, and examines their impact while mapping their relevance on examples of urban interventions and the messages they convey. The third approach examines the impact of the evolving global condition, the rise of a connected global society and multiculturalism on architecture and place typologies in selected cities. While one approach might be more pertinent to some contexts within the peninsula than others, assimilating and accommodating the three approaches would enable better insights into the understanding of contemporary urban traditions while recognizing key aspects of the lived space in such a rapidly-growing globalizing context.