EXAMINING THE VIBRANCY OF URBAN COMMERCIAL STREETS IN DOHA
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Commercial streets play an important role in cities. They are not only a means of access and platforms for intrapersonal communication throughout a city but are also areas of economic and social expression. They create a host of economic exchanges while generating pedestrian and vehicular fluxes. Contributing to the public realm, they are considered places of social and professional activity, while also posing a series of safety, aesthetic, environmental and developmental challenges. Doha is one of the leading developing cities in the Middle East. It aspires to develop a sustainable built environment of international standard, while responding to local culture and customs. Vibrant urban commercial streets play a major role in Doha, and they are affected by the country’s fast growth and rapid urban development. The design and rehabilitation of future and existing commercial streets are of utmost importance to the livability and sustainability of the city. Consequently, deep research is required to investigate the concept of vibrancy in Doha’s commercial streets. The research aims to explore the principles that define and contribute to street vibrancy. In order to achieve this systematically, physical and social assessment methods of investigation are formulated. Criteria and a scores index are explored by firstly inductively considering the research questions. These tools are fundamental elements to build towards the second objective, which is to identify and verify in a deductive way the parameters that contribute to the vibrancy of the commercial streets. Mixed method for collecting and analyzing data from active street users has been used in the research, including personal interviews and on-site surveys. The research establishes a link between planning and design and the streets’ vibrancy, of which results a framework for future investigations and principles for the revitalization of existing streets, or the design of new commercial streets. As these principles aim to guarantee the vibrancy of commercial streets, the research concludes that their implementation and development may positively contribute to the city’s economic and social fabric.
- Urban Planning & Design [13 items ]