Sustainable Urbanism in the Gulf in the Pre-Oil Period

This seminar will focus on the sustainability of settlements until oil had a major economic impact in the countries of the Gulf, the body of water between southwest Iran and the Arabian Peninsula, traditionally called \”Persian Gulf\”or \”Arabian Gulf.\” Three cities will be studied for their environmental and socioeconomic sustainability: Doha, Qatar; Dubai, UAE; and Dammam/Al Kobar, Saudi Arabia. The research will focus at the building, open space, and urban design and planning levels, taking into account the harsh climate, the local resources, the culture and the economic means. The seminar is part of a larger research effort with the intention to study scalability for future action in the region and to examine how the past can shape the future of the built environment towards developing a cohesive and sustainable society. The seminar will survey leading world precedents of sustainable cities, culturally relevant community designs, economically viable development policies and successful government and private sector programs of interventions in the development field. The seminar will be project-based, with each student or a team of students analyzing just one of the three cities, using GIS as needed. A presentation and a written paper are required. A field trip is not included as part of the seminar, although field data will be obtained from the network of local sources that has been established for this research. Mr. Nader Ardalan will be a guest lecturer in the seminar.Open to students in planning, urban design, architecture and landscape architecture. This course will meet 8 weeks out of the semester. Specific dates TBD.