The Souq Waqif Heritage Site in Doha: Spatial Form and Livability
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The aim of this paper is to examine how and the extent to which the urban form of the heritage site of the Souq Waqif in Doha (1) encourages the formation of enhanced levels of social and community engagement (i.e., social life) and (2) can be further implemented in order to enhance social interactions. (Methodology) The study investigates the relationship between the Souq Waqif’s settlement and users’ levels of social interactions. In order to provide an answer to the main questions, in this study the author explores and analyzes (A) the form of the urban fabric of the heritage site and (B) the social activities performed by the users within the settlement. Data is obtained from visual material, users’ interviews and survey that explore and reveal how and the extent to which the form of the urban fabric of the Souq Waqif’s settlement is the arena of social activities and therefore contribute to enhance the social life of citizens. (Findings) (1) The analysis indicates that, compared with car-oriented suburbs, the walkable, pedestrian oriented and mixed-use heritage site of the Souq Waqif encourage people to be socially engaged and enhance higher level of social life: the settlement is the arena where intentional or accidental interactions occur, encouraging a sense of trust and of connection between people and the places they live. (2) Furthermore, the study allows understanding how built forms of the Souq Waqif should be implemented in order to facilitate social interactions.
- Architecture & Urban Planning [114 items ]