The influence of building regulations on urban dwelling in Jeddah
Jeddah City is one of the largest cities in Saudi Arabia. It is not a new city, but is a result of a long period of history in which many experiences and regulations of urban dwelling were practised, based on trial and error. Jeddah's society has its own cultural values, traditions, systems, laws, and way of life, based on Islamic beliefs, which form its identity. It is a known fact that Islam does not prevent the benefit and adaptation of systems from other societies, through cross culture, but rather encourages this, with the stipulation that no harm will come to the Muslim socio-culture, and that there is no conflict with Islamic Shari'ah (law). Jeddah, through its long life, has experienced many regulations applied to its built environment. Some conformed with its socio-culture, but were abandoned one way or another, and new policies and regulations were substituted. It was thought that they would be suitable because they had succeeded in other societies, or it was thought that they would lead to urbanisation or that they would be easy to apply. Thus they were adopted, without being analysed against the need of Jeddah's Muslim society and its micro climate, to establish their suitability. Consequently, many problems occurred in the built environment. The main goal of this thesis is to analyse the regulations that have been applied in Jeddah City through it's long life by identifying their nature, their positive and negative impact on the urban dwelling and their conformity with Islamic Shari'ah (law). Based on the analysis, solutions and regulations, recommendations are suggested, aiming to be suitable for Jeddah's inhabitants and environment. To achieve this goal, the thesis is designed to have two main parts, each with chapters. Each chapter represents a distinctive stage in the planning of Jeddah City. The first part deals with evolution and analysis of Jeddah's urban dwelling components, urban fabric, building form, and typology, with a concentration on the influential factors that caused the evolutions. The second part deals with evolution and analysis of the influential regulation on Jeddah's urban dwelling, with concentration on the conformity with 'socioculture and values of the inhabitants. Thu s. the background of Islam and it's legal system is included in this second part as a prerequisite for the analysis. The study revealed that two distinctive factors regulate Jeddah's urban dwelling. The first is characterised by tradition and has great conformity with socio-culture with the effect of creating architecture suitable and fit for Jeddah's society and environment. The second is characterised by contemporary design and greatly conflicts with the society and environment of Jeddah. From the analysis of the causes and effects of the traditions and contemporary regulation on the urban dwelling. proposed solutions and recommendations of regulations and method of enforcement are drawn in the thesis conclusion to overcome the deficiency and conflict of the present applied regulations with Jeddah's socio-culture and environment.