Conserving the relevance of heritage: corrective actions for sustainable historical fabric of the Arab city

Abdelmonem, M.G. ORCID: 0000-0002-8271-0924, 2016. Conserving the relevance of heritage: corrective actions for sustainable historical fabric of the Arab city. In: M. Robinson, ed., International Conference Proceedings: Inheriting the City: Advancing Understandings of Urban Heritage, University of Birmingham, Taipei, Taiwan, 31 March - 4 April 2016. Birmingham: University of Birmingham. ISBN 9780704428645

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Traditional quarters represent a valuable cultural and economic asset in the contemporary city, for which conservation policies are developed. Between the urban fabric, architectural character and the human asset, traditional quarters exhibit their distinctiveness and authenticity. What is unjustifiably ignored is the fact that traditional quarters have never been frozen in time. Rather, they are a product of multi-layered additions of cultures, styles, social and economical development. In their preservation of such history, policies have largely ignored economy, industrial and spatial logic on the old quarters while focusing on style of buildings in forms of touristic attractions and images of the past. Modernity was the aim of every process of architectural production, and technology played significant part in every construction at all historical periods. This paper investigates the tendency to modernity that shaped the traditional quarters of the Arab city and how best new buildings are integrated in the historic core of cities in an attempt to offer new economic and social possibilities for sustainable urban structure. Architectural practice and regulations in traditional quarters, hence, have become counter-productive and misleading, when it comes to the future of historical contexts. By locking traditional quarters in the past, limiting design options in them and restricting building functions, this paper argues, could have damaging effect on the long term survival of these quarters.
Using the analysis of long-term strategies for historical sites in European cities, Asian and Middle Easter Cities, this paper makes case for corrective actions that debate policy-makers approach for the future of historical quarters. It envisages long-term strategies for traditional quarters that are self-sufficient and act as active and dynamic zones rather than being static museum for touristic consumption. The paper concludes that by being part of active everyday life of society, traditional quarters can sustain their continuity and self-sufficiency.

Item Type: Chapter in book
Creators: Abdelmonem, M.G.
Publisher: University of Birmingham
Place of Publication: Birmingham
Date: 2016
Divisions: Schools > School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment
Depositing User: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 16 Jan 2018 13:34
Last Modified: 16 Jan 2018 13:36

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