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Sustainable Design
 
Sustainable housing strategies
Hi everyone,

I am a planning student from Kerala, India. My thesis topic is related to the formulation of sustainable housing strategies for Alappuzha Town.

Alappuzha, called the "Venice of the East," is well known for its water networks, tourism, and heritage.

It is also a highly ecologically fragile zone. Can you please inform me of similar projects, if any exist?
deleted user
Responses
 
Sustainable housing strategies
I wonder why cities are usually referred to as the "Venice" or "Paris" of the East, but it doesn't work the other way around. For once, I would like to hear something like "Los Angeles-the Karachi of the West." Venice is sinking and Paris was burning. Surely there are examples of nice cities in the East. This, however, does not answer your question. Just my Monday morning rant.
Shiraz Allibhai
Sustainable housing strategies
Shiraz,

To reorientate the western view of "architecture as made in the west," you need to create a coffee table book full of lovely pictures showing showing the wide variety of 'eastern' cities, many of which predate western cities.

These days surely it is relatively easy to obtain small-scale satellite images of cities, and with that as a base, add several ground-based views to show and illustrate specific types.

In fact, what about views from above ground from low-flying aircraft? There is a magnificient TV series called "Flight over Spain" which shows regions, the countryside, the towns and the cities and a lot of architecture set clearly in many urban contexts. :)
Frank John Snelling
Sustainable housing strategies
Frank,

It is a good suggestion, but there exist plenty of coffee table books on cities in the Muslim world. The problem lies with the inferiority complex people in the East feel when they measure themselves with the West. The phrase "Paris of the East" does not come from the French but rather from the Lebanese.
Shiraz Allibhai
Sustainable housing strategies
Shiraz,

Interesting, although remember that both the Lebanon and Syria were occupied by the French after WW1 and so French became the second language.

Thus the phrase 'Paris of the East' would be a natural thought by someone who had absorbed the French language, French culture and French viewpoints.

There is no reason for the Moslem World to have an inferiority complex, given that it was due to Islamic astronomers, mathematicians and scholars passing a stream of information into and thus revitalising Continental Europe.

The fact the Moslem World was "becalmed in the doldrums" is probably due to the trade-routes changing from land to sea.And sea-trade routes were more economic because free wind power (on sails) was cheaper than moving goods on land by pack-animal or animal-drawn wagons.
Frank John Snelling
Sustainable housing strategies
Frank,

Good point on Lebanon. I think the declines in the fortunes of the Muslim world are numerous and complex. One of the reasons could be the trade routes. Another big reason I keep reading about was the "closing of the gates of ijtihad", which, it has been argued, stifled inquiry, reason, and the quest for knowledge.
Shiraz Allibhai
Sustainable housing strategies
Shiraz,

Thanks, perhaps you can you tell me what "ijtihad" means?

I can see it is an Arabic word, maybe something like "unorthodox belief"?
Frank John Snelling
Sustainable housing strategies
Frank-

There are a few interpretations depending on one's school of thought, but generally, "ijtihad" involves the process of independent inquiry, using the faculty of intellect and reason to understand God's message. This process was active and vibrant in the first few centuries after the rise of Islam, when great learning, art, and science created magnificent civilisations. Today, it can get you killed.
Shiraz Allibhai
Sustainable housing strategies
Shiraz,

Thank you. This sounds like the Medieval Christian European Theological dispute "for (or against) the free will of men". In other words, did (or did not) God give humans the free will to choose between right and wrong. This argument led to enormous divisions and warfare within the Christian Church, as both sides accused the other of heresy.
Frank John Snelling
Sustainable housing strategies
Shiraz and Frank,

I am surprised to know that my topic has led to such a beautiful debate between you both.
deleted user
Sustainable housing strategies
Shinoj, You are welcome. Thank you for your appreciation. :)))
Frank John Snelling
Sustainable housing strategies
Hi,
What exactly do you mean by sustainable housing strategies? I find this interesting because very few students tackle housing in their studies. There are so many aspects of sustainable housing. I guess a lot would also depend on whether you are looking at a specific target group (economically, socially, religion based etc.) or housing in general. A lot of discussion about housing as a product and housing as a process can be seen in the works of John Turner, John Habraken etc.
Sustainability is another vast field. I am sure you would be aware of the different aspects of sustainability and its relevance at all scales. Will you be focusing on one aspect of sustainability like land resources, infrastructure development, energy consumption, space use etc. or are you trying to tackle all the aspects?
I hope all these questions aid you in probing deeper into this field and perhaps narrowing down your focus.
Vishwanath Kashikar
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