The verticalization of Manama’s urban periphery

Wiedmann, Florian (2013) The verticalization of Manama’s urban periphery. Open House International, 38 (4). pp. 90-100. ISSN 0168-2601

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Abstract

This paper explores the various roots and characteristics of current high-rise clusters emerging in new city districts along the coast of Manama and the resulting challenges to urban planning. Like many other Gulf cities Bahrain's capital Manama has witnessed rapid urban growth since local real-estate markets were liberalized in 2003. The recent developments have particularly focused on newly reclaimed areas along the periphery of Manama's city center. These new districts are mainly occupied by residential and commercial high-rises, which have been transforming previous urban morphologies. Today, the public sector is witnessing a wide range of planning challenges to integrate urban consolidation processes and to prevent infrastructural collapse. This paper therefore examines the evolution of urban planning that has led to the construction of high-rise buildings. In addition, the paper is based on GIS calculations and field studies regarding the increase of built densities, particularly between 2003 and 2008, when most developments were launched. In this regard, two case studies, Juffair and Seef District, were selected due to their main roles in recent development tendencies.