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Title: The concept of ownership in the formation of the Islamic City
Author: El-Kassar, Nabil Abdul Rahman
Awarding Body: Heriot-Watt University
Current Institution: Heriot-Watt University
Date of Award: 2001
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This research concentrates mainly on the inhabited tissue in the urban fabric of the traditional Islamic Cities. It researches mainly the design and construction of the housing plots and places in between like yards, courtyards, streets, and markets known collectively as Al-Amer. It explores the hypothesis that this was built mainly by the decisions of the common people and enabled by principle of ownership. The objective is to complement previous studies that have tended to focus more on the great buildings of Islamic society such as Mosques, mausolea, madrasas, and khans erected by famous caliphs and sultans to memorialise their reigns and places in history. In contrast to this approach, this study examines the general urban infrastructure and architecture utilised by the common people in their everyday lives. The research is divided into four parts. The first centres on the Islamic City - its beginning, informal development, and general planning. The entire process of urbanisation or city building is examined with emphasis on the role of community decision-making and leadership formation. Thus, the rules of construction and informal urban design start to emerge as the process is explored in some depth. The second part is about land ownership as a major factor in the formation of the urban fabric of the city known as Al- Amer. This covers such aspects as the methods utilised for awarding of building plots to individuals to carry out their houses through "vitalisation" known as Ihya `a and direct allocation known as Iqta'a. The third part covers the built -up area of the inhabited urban fabric. In this regard it includes an analysis of the houses, markets, shops and other outbuildings and the spaces that separate and connect them. A great variety of interstitial shapes emerge as a direct result of applying principles and interpretations of principles of Ihya'a, Iqta'a, Hareem and Darar. These "forces/rules" have traditionally been applied to both residential and non -residential structures as well as rights -of -way, dimensions of streets, sight lines, house designs, Hareem, Darar, and other significant concerns of urban Muslims. In a sense it creates an Urban policy with guidelines accumulated through time forming the conventions which led fmally to making micro plans through a community process in programming and developing the housing model giving at the end the unique coherent structure of the traditional medieval Islamic city. The fourth part covers some other aspects of property ownership as they relate to the dynamic growth, territorial changes and the overall development of the city giving it its rich pattern of shapes and spaces and great visual interest.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available