Category Archives: Urban Planning

FACTORS ATTRIBUTED TO PLACELESSNESS OF A PUBLIC PLACE IN HISTORIC TOWN OF PENANG, MALAYSIA

Ismail Said¹ and Nor Zalina Harun²
1Associate Professor and 2Doctoral candidate
Department of Landscape Architecture, Faculty of Built Environment,
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
b-ismail@utm.my

ABSTRACT

The goal of this research is to identify factors that influence placelessness of a public place and to better understand its effect to residents. In order to determine residents opinions related to these issues, a semi structured interview was conducted amongst a random sample of young adult to elderly residents in a historic town inscribed by UNESCO Heritage List – Georgetown, Penang. A content analysis was done to extract and determine the factors involved and how these had affected the residents. Discontinuity of experiences, insecurity and change of environment and physical character are three underlying dimensions identified to be of significance factors attributed to placelessness. This information is hoped can aid in determining public willingness and government support to incorporate preservation of public place as important scheme in planning report and plan. Simultaneously, this research may support communities in ensuring the continuity of place identity and quality of life.

Keywords: Placelessness, historic town, public place, discontinuity and changes.

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The Earth as a Mosque

{jcomments on}Assoc. Prof. Dr. Spahic Omer
Kulliyyah of Architecture and Environmental Design
International Islamic University Malaysia
E-mail: spahico@yahoo.com

The Prophet (pbuh) has said that the whole earth was created as clean and pure (tahur), and as a place of worship, or a mosque (masjid),to him and his followers.[1] Consequently, he used to offer his prayers wherever they were due, and he would pray even in sheepfolds.[2] The Prophet (pbuh) was once asked about praying in places where the camels lie down. He replied: “Do not offer prayers in places where the camels lie down. These are the places of Satan.” He was asked about praying in the sheepfolds. He replied: “You may offer prayers in such places; these are the places of blessing.”[3] That the earth has been made clean and a mosque to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his followers, such is one of several favors which from among all the prophets have been bestowed only upon the seal of prophets, Muhammad (pbuh).

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Children’s Participation in Urban Heat Island Mitigation Strategies in Malaysia: A report of workshops for promoting green spaces in residential neighborhood

Introduction  

The goal of this study is to develop a participatory workshop method for use with children to help mitigate urban heat island in developing countries. It has been widely reported that green areas play a significant role to create cool spots in cities and divide urban heat island (UHI). Thus, this study attempts to find out the means to promote green spaces in urban areas through a participatory  approach.  Since children  account for a large portion of the population in most of  the developing countries,  this study focuses especially on the  children’s  participation.  Three workshops were conducted with about 50 elementary school children (fourth and fifth year) in one of the typical neighborhoods in  the city of Johor Bahru, Malaysia. This paper summarizes  the results of these  workshops for discussing  the possibility of the program  as a participatory approach for mitigating UHI.

For complete report; kindly check attachments below:

GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE IN CITIES AND TOWNS IN SOUTHEAST ASIAN COUNTRIES: QUEST FOR RESEARCH

Ismail Said¹ and Mazlina Mansor²
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia¹ and International Islamic University Malaysia²

¹ Corresponding author:

Faculty of Built Environment, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 Skudai, Johor, Malaysia
Phone: 075530714; 0127907273
Email: b-ismail@utm.my

This paper was presented at Second International Seminar on Sustainable Development on 21st July 2011 at Trisakti University, Jakarta.

ABSTRACT

The cities in Southeast Asia are rapidly urbanised. Urbanisation in the region causes urban residents to live in a city with less balanced ecological system. Green infrastructure is known to be a vital indicator for urban environmental sustainability. The green infrastructure is all landscape types comprise of greenery and open spaces. Its network ofpark, playing field, pocket and incidental green space and neighbourhood space that is linked by tree-lined streets and waterways around and between urban areas provides green lung for cities, hence promotes healthy society through spaces for recreational, social and leisure activities. These are the places where urban residents have access and contact with nature, and interactions with other individuals. This paper explores the roles of green infrastructure in the Southeast Asian cities and towns, and its implications to urban residents’ well-being. The green infrastructure acts as an important countermeasure to alleviate negative effects of urbanisation to residents and urban ecological system. A multidisciplinary literature review on urban open space, greenery and urban natural ecosystem was conducted to assess the body of research that highlights green infrastructure in Southeast Asia cities which include Jakarta, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Manila and Bangkok. The major themes derived from the findings were categorised into three: (i) quantity of existing green infrastructure, (ii) studies on green infrastructure contributions to well-being of urban residents, and (iii) significant attribute parameters that emerged from the studies. The review has found that even though the concept of green infrastructure may be new for many countries in the region, the areas of research have gained recognition in the urban public health dimension. In other words, the governments of the region must consider urban residents’ health derived from green infrastructure to be of important resources for future urban sustainability. There are also challenges especially on green infrastructure’s implementation that need to be addressed in city planning and urban design. The findings implicates that accumulation of research can promote public health of Southeast Asian cities that ultimately lead to environmental sustainability. 

 

Keywords: Green infrastructure; Southeast Asian region; urban residents’ well-being

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Urbanization and Human Development

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Spahic Omer
Kulliyyah of Architecture and Environmental Design
International Islamic University Malaysia
Email: spahico@yahoo.com
 

People are both the creators and demolishers of every civilizational accomplishment. They too are the only beneficiaries of each and every valuable civilizational upshot. Similarly, people are the creators and inhabitants of cities, a locus of civilization. They create cities and then live and work in them. They do this either commendably, thus securing and enjoying the fruits of their right acts so long as they stick to the right schemes which led them to such a state, or appallingly with no clear purpose or direction. In the latter scenario, things are always bound to eventually work against the inhabitants of a city, making their lives both miserable and injurious. Allah says to this effect: “Mischief has appeared on land and sea because of (the meed) that the hands of men have earned, that (Allah) may give them a taste of some of their deeds: in order that they may turn back (from evil).” (al-Rum 41)

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City Planning in Ibn Khaldun’s Thought

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Spahic Omer
Kulliyyah of Architecture and Environmental Design
International Islamic University Malaysia
E-mail: spahico@yahoo.com
 
Introduction: Who was Ibn Khaldun?

Franz Rosenthal, the translator of Ibn Khaldun’s masterpiece in literature on philosophy of history and sociology “al-Muqaddimah” (Prolegomena), noted that “writing the biography of Ibn Khaldun would not seem to be a particularly difficult task, for he left posterity an autobiography which describes the events of his life in great detail and presents the historical background clearly.”[1] Ibn Khaldun’s description of his own life gives us such an accurate knowledge of events in his life that it unmistakably stands out as the most detailed autobiography in medieval Muslim literature.[2]

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THE ROLE OF URF ON THE ARCHITECTURAL CHARACTER OF THE URBAN HAUSA TRADITIONAL HOUSE IN NORTHERN NIGERIA

Dr. Babangida Hamza

Department of Architectural Technology, Hassan Usman Katsina Polytechnic, Dutsin-ma road Katsina

Telephone: 08136846970, email;babanhamza@yahoo.com

 

Abstract

Among the factors that shape the character of traditional built environments are aggregate individual and collective building practices of people. These building practices have been accepted and recognized by the society as tradition in time series. The aim of this paper is to bring to the fore such traditional building practices of the Hausa society, and to specifically explain their influences on the form and architectural character of the traditional house using the traditional city of Katsina as a case study. The study was facilitated through qualitative data collection approach involving extensive literature search and physical documentation of house floor plans and still pictures. A personal interview with key informants such as local builders, householders and community leaders was carried out to identify latent information on traditional building practices and their underlying motivations. Results of the study indicated heavy influences of adapted traditional building practices inherited from the pre-Islamic times and which were due to socio-cultural needs, practicality and the nature of trade of the Hausa society. The findings of the study support earlier views that the Hausa traditional houses accommodate social habits as well as economic production.

 

Keywords:  Architectural Character, Hausa, Traditional building practices, Traditional house, Urf

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Community Spatial Planning Unit- CSPU for the development of Urban Master Plans

Community Spatial Planning Unit- CSPU for the development of Urban Master Plans

Dr. Abdurahman  Mohamed*,  Samar Zourob**

 

* Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, University of Bahrain, Ex-Director-IWAN Center for Architectural Heritage, Islamic University Gaza, Palestine. amohamed@iugaza.edu

**Architect, Municipality of Khan Younis, Palestine.

Abstract:

The master plan is a tool to draw the strategies for urban development in the city. It is  an important organizational framework to facilitate connection and interaction between people, land uses and services. It reflects the style of life and city character. Several approaches have been used to define the master plan and to develop means to deal with its spatial organization. More recently,  the master plan has been defined as a spatial plan and has been divided into different spatial hierarchies  in order to improve the vitality of the plan and urban environment it deals with. It has been found that the concept of community unit is one of the effective tools to organize the spatial hierarchy of master plans. The aim of this concept  is to ensure that a residential community is properly served by the right number, size and type of schools, parks, mosques, shops, clinics and other services and facilities. It also aims at distributing these facilities in a manner that will both be convenient and give a sense of identity, continuity and coherence.

This study provides further development of the concept and widens its scope to be the Community Spatial Planning Unit- CSPU. In the light of this concept, spatial planning of  Khan Younis city, Gaza, Palestine has been discussed since the plan of the British Mandate, 1946 until 2005 Master Plan. it is found that spatial planning in Khan Younis did not recognize any type of well defined organization or hierarchical coordination. This severely has affected the quality of urban life in the city and the level of its services and facilities. It is of crucial importance to consider the Community Spatial Planning Unit- CSPU in the development of the future master plans of the city as a necessary requirement for improving its urban character and quality of life.

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Islam and the Significance of the Mosque

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Spahic Omer

Kulliyyah of Architecture and Environmental Design
International Islamic University Malaysia
Email: spahico@yahoo.com

 

Life as worship (‘ibadah) in Islam

 

Islam teaches that man has been created as Allah’s vicegerent on earth. With his honorable vicegerency (khilafah) mission, man signifies both the climax and the epicenter of Allah’s act of creation and its divine purpose. As such, when completely submitting to the Will and Word of his Creator and Master – as man’s ultimate fate ought to be — man elevates himself to the highest level in the hierarchy of life’s multifaceted constituents and beings, including angels. Man’s life, then, in its totality becomes one sweet song of worshipping, glorifying and praising Allah, the Lord of the universe. It becomes a form of worship (‘ibadah) where Allah in all the life interests and pursuits of man becomes the ultimate object of all his spiritual cravings and desires. “He is the final end, that is, the end at which all finalistic nexuses aim and come to rest…He is an end for all other ends”, Isma’il Raji al-Faruqi inferred.[1]

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