Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Toward a more conscious approach to urban development

Interview: Toward a more conscious approach to urban development

QNRF-Qatar National Research Fund Newsletter, Issue # 8, January 2012

Qatar is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. At the heart of the vision for the country's development is a decreased dependence on natural resources and an increased reliance on a knowledge economy. This vision demands much in terms of aligning infrastructure to support education and research. But more than that, it demands the right people to bring, create and transfer knowledge. Attracting them is one thing, retaining them is another. For the first time, a researcher in Qatar is putting Doha under the microscope to make suggestions about its development.

“What do we mean by knowledge economy?” asked Professor Ashraf Salama, Chair of the Department of Architecture and Urban Planning at Qatar University. “That’s an important question. If you have international universities, international businesses or what is called APS, advanced producer services, international high tech and IT, then you have a knowledge economy. But the urban environment should be able to accommodate these practices. Does it? That’s what we are studying in Doha, its potential to support the knowledge economy.”

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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. ____________________________________________________________________________