ASSESSMENT OF NEIGHBORHOOD VITALITY IN DOHA
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Well-functioning urban environments are good causes of societies living healthily and happily. The performance of the public realm plays an important role, in this regard, where societies are in direct contact with their physical environment. Urban environments should be created in which economic prosperity, social cohesion, and citizenship occur. The concept of urban vitality achieves this through being concerned with the socio-cultural, experiential, and spatial dimensions of the urban environment. On the scale of intimate communities, vitality plays a significant role in encouraging behaviours, social interactions, in the neighbourhood. Three domains are studied to define urban vitality: the society, its activities, and its physical environment. Considering the local context of the thesis, the rapid growth of vehicle-oriented neighbourhoods in Doha is leading to a decline in their degree of vitality. In many cases, this leads to a lower quality of urban life and a decline in the vitality of the city. Therefore, this thesis aims to assess the degree of neighbourhood vitality in Doha in order to recommend actions for areas of improvements. Study neighbourhoods are selected based on their geographical location within Doha and filtered by the average population density. Fereej Bin Mahmoud (downtown), Al-Thumama (suburban), and Al-Dafna (waterfront) neighbourhoods were selected. The assessment is approached through establishing a neighbourhood vitality index which was aggregated from the individual scores of socio-cultural, experiential, and spatial dimensions of neighbourhood vitality. This approach is supported by three data collection tools: questionnaire survey, observations, and semi-structured interviews. A total of ninety questionnaires were collected from residents, along with six neighbourhood observations, during morning and evening hours to study the functionality of the public realm. Results of the vitality index calculations showed that downtown and suburban neighbourhoods were indexed as moderately vital, whereas waterfront neighbourhoods were indexed as vital. Results of the analysis showed that three main factors should be considered to enhance the degree of vitality in neighbourhoods: culture, climate, and context. Planning and design approaches should consider these factors to create well-functioning public realms through accessible streets and shaded, green public spaces.
- Urban Planning & Design [13 items ]