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Knowledge economy as an initiator of sustainable urbanism in emerging metropolises : the case of Doha, Qatar

Salama, Ashraf M. and Wiedmann, Florian and Thierstein, Alain and Al Ghatam, Wafa (2016) Knowledge economy as an initiator of sustainable urbanism in emerging metropolises : the case of Doha, Qatar. ArchNet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research, 10 (1). pp. 274-324. ISSN 1938-7806

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Abstract

This paper is a comprehensive coverage of a research project of the National Priority Research Program of the Qatar National Research Fund, entitled ‘Investigating the Qualities of the Urban Environment in Emerging Regional Metropolises’, and carried out between 2011 and 2014 through the joint collaboration of Qatar University and Technische Universität München. Through the shift of global economic forces Gulf cities, such as Qatar’s capital Doha, are developed as central hubs between developed economies in the West and the rising economies of Asia. In the context of international competition between cities new challenges are emerging where cities need to find ways to sustain and extend their position in a globalizing world. Therefore the research process placed emphasis on the complex interrelationship of knowledge economies and spatial developments in the Gulf region. The work is premised on the assumption that non-physical economic aspects and the qualities of the urban environment are interdependent. It analyses the qualities of the urban environment of Doha as an important regional metropolis through a comprehensive investigation utilizing a set of interdisciplinary research methods that include analysis of historic documents, Delphi interview series, company network analysis, GIS analysis, cognitive mapping, behavioural studies, media surveys, attitude surveys, and space syntax analysis. The outcomes promise important results regarding urban qualities in the city of Doha culminating into various recommendations aimed at potential beneficiaries including public sector organizations, private sector and real estate development companies, and academia.