Sunday, July 10, 2011

CFP: Sustaining Urbanism in Cities of the Arabian Gulf: Urban Space and the Knowledge Economy

Call for papers

Sustaining Urbanism in Cities of the Arabian Gulf: Urban Space and the Knowledge Economy

Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting 2012,
New York City, USA
February, 24-28, 2012

Alain Thierstein, Munich Technical University
Ashraf M. Salama, Qatar University
Florian Wiedmann, Qatar University
Nina Alaily-Mattar, Munich Technical University
Sven Conventz, Munich Technical University

Special Session:
Cities on the Arabian Gulf have recently acquired a geo-strategic importance. With accelerating pace in the past 20 years, huge surpluses have been heavily invested in the local built environment with the hope of fostering the globally connected status of these cities.

The unstated anxiety over the bursting of the Dubai bubble instigated the region to brace itself for a time in which surplus might not be so abundant. Towards that end, visions are drawn, in which these cities become players in diversified global economies, chief among them, the Knowledge Economy. The underlying rationale is that locations that produce, service and maintain the Knowledge Economy have high levels of value added in the long run.

This session discusses the two domains of Knowledge Economy and the built environment within the context of the cities of the Arabian Gulf. It asks the following:

Beyond the record breaking and headline attracting physical developments, how can these cities sustain and enhance their position in the global competition of geographic locations? What are the city specific drivers and impediments for being a sustainable player in the global Knowledge Economy? How do the cities of the region score in the global competition for attracting and retaining creative talent? Have the cities overcome the Dubai factor? Are there any lessons learnt from the construction intensive Dubai experiment? As cities seek to play a role in the Knowledge Economy, what imperatives for cooperation and complementation exist in the Arabian Gulf region?

Submitting papers

Both conceptual and empirical papers are welcome, and we look forward to receiving proposals that make use of a variety of data sources, scales and analyses and methodological backgrounds. Interested participants should direct their expression of interest, questions and or/ title and abstracts of 250 words or less to Alain Thierstein (, Ashraf Salama (, Florian Wiedmann (, Nina Alaily-Mattar ( or Sven Conventz (, by August, 1st. Contributors will have to register for the conference and submit their abstract the regular way (through the AAG website:, and should then send the registration code (PIN) they receive to us. Please note that you have to submit the abstract AND also pay, and then your PIN is activated. Once everyone has done this, we register for a special session, and mention all registration codes that will be in our session(s).
Architecture-Urbanism is dedicated to a) those who are interested in creating livable and sustainable environments and buildings that meet socio-cultural and socio-behavioral needs of people, environments that are responsive to historical, traditional and physical constraints, b) to those who are interested in finding panacea for the ills of our globalized world, and c) to those who are interested in regaining what cultures and societies have lost by the acts of architects. ____________________________________________________________________________