Topic for Debate
Sustainable Arabian Cities
Is it possible to have a sustainable city in the climate of the Middle East?
Tia Kansara
Sustainable Arabian Cities
Hi Tia,
I really wonder what kind of "Sustainability" you are referring to here. If a place couldn't sustain there would have been no civilizations and decedents from them.The bottom line of sustainability is not the "ratings" while its the lifestyle of the people. All the Vernacular Architecture, old cities work perfectly even today,but the lifestyle, pace and priorities of the people changed and so the shape of the cities.
Sriraj Gokarakonda
Sustainable Arabian Cities
tia kansara

yes otherwise there have been urban decay in riyadh where a large city was established. sustainability is of course a broad topic. you can say that a city can be sustainable for a hundred years or so or for 50 years depending on the comprehensive land use plan of a community, but as what i've observed during my schooling years in architecture even roman cities have rise and fall. note there is always a "fall". in everything there is always a change so who knows maybe in 100 years to come great cities will become a rubble in the dessert just what happened to mesopotamia and the rest of the great cities in the past.
so sustainability can only achieve with a period of time not forever. depending on the planning included or considered by our urban planners. In our country urban planners planned development even considering sustainable development for a period of 30 to 50 years only. so as to middle east. not to mention middle east own the highest sky scraper ever made(burj Dubai, i forgot the new name), and of course this building needs a magnitude of energy, water supply, sewage disposal, and all the stuff so without considering its sustainability by the designers to name SOM architects this building would not be achieved or constructed.
the only thing in my mind when it comes to middle east was the scarcity of water but maybe this is not a problem since a magnitude of developments there are sprawling.
Butch Ganipes
Sustainable Arabian Cities
Hi Tia,
The responses you have received are pretty good and very precise in what they mean, when it comes to the word "Sustainability". I have been working in this field for a while and have done my masters thesis based off of sustainability and urbanism. It is a huge scale and quiet a morsel to digest. I would first like to understand the scale that you are trying to envision and then comment. For starters may be you can look up some of Sir. Norman Fosters work which he is currently working on at Abudhabi, UAE, its called the Mazdar city. Here is the link:
Pretty unique and a lot of stuff that has already been mentioned by one of the previous posts is covered in this but the difference is it is more of master planning and new found technology mixed with the present and older theories.

Hope this helps.
Prithwiraj Ghosh Roy
Sustainable Arabian Cities
i think that a city is sustainable because the people that dwell in them are intelligent and resilient; and whilst adaptive to the forces around, there is a touch of defiance that makes them open to possibilities and unafraid to step beyond the popular notions of 'common sense'.
Jofer Magsi


This site is adjusted only for landscape mode. Please rotate your device for properly using
We are sorry, we are still working on adjusting for Metro IE. Please use another browser for the best experience with our site.