Cities of the Arabian Peninsula reveal contradictions of contemporary urbanization
The fast-growing cities of the Persian Gulf are, whatever else they may be, indisputably sensational. The world’s tallest building is in Dubai; the 2022 World Cup in soccer will be played in fantastic Qatar facilities; Saudi Arabia is building five new cities from scratch; the Louvre, the Guggenheim and the Sorbonne, as well as many American and European universities, all have handsome outposts and campuses in the region. Such initiatives bespeak strategies to diversify economies and pursue grand ambitions across the Earth.
Shining special light on Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Doha—where the dynamics of extreme urbanization are so strongly evident—the authors of The New Arab Urban trace what happens when money is plentiful, regulation weak, and labor conditions severe. Just how do authorities in such settings reconcile goals of oft-claimed civic betterment with hyper-segregation and radical inequality? How do they align cosmopolitan sensibilities with authoritarian rule? How do these elite custodians arrange tactical alliances to protect particular forms of social stratification and political control? What sense can be made of their massive investment for environmental breakthrough in the midst of world-class ecological mayhem?
To address such questions, this book’s contributors place the new Arab urban in wider contexts of trade, technology, and design. Drawn from across disciplines and diverse home countries, they investigate how these cities import projects, plans and structures from the outside, but also how, increasingly, Gulf-originated initiatives disseminate to cities far afield.
Brought together by noted scholars, sociologist Harvey Molotch and urban analyst Davide Ponzini, this timely volume adds to our understanding of the modern Arab metropolis—as well as of cities more generally. Gulf cities display development patterns that, however unanticipated in the standard paradigms of urban scholarship, now impact the world.
|Publisher:||New York University Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)|
About the Author
Professor of Sociology at New York University. His books include the classic, Urban Fortunes (with John Logan) and more recently, Against Security: How We Go
Wrong at Airports, Subways, and Other Sites of Ambiguous Danger.
Davide Ponzini is
Associate Professor of Urban Planning at the Department of Architecture and
Urban Studies at Politecnico di Milano, Italy. He is the author (with Pier Carlo
Palermo) of Place-making and Urban
Development, and (with photographer Michele Nastasi), Starchitecture: Scenes, Actors, and Spectacles in
Table of Contents
List of Figures ix
Introduction: Learning from Gulf Cities Harvey Molotch Davide Ponzini 1
Section I The Gulf as Transnational
1 Giving the Transnational a History: Gulf Cities across Time and Space Alex Boodrookas Arang Keshavarzian 35
2 Problematizing a Regional Context: Representation in Arab and Gulf Cities Amale Andraos 58
3 Mobilities of Urban Spectacle: Plans, Projects, and Investments in the Gulf and Beyond Davide Ponzini 79
Section II Assembling Hybrid Cities
4 A Gulf of Images: Photography and the Circulation of Spectacular Architecture Michele Nastasi 99
5 Planning for the Hybrid Gulf City Laura Lieto 130
6 Planning from Within: NYU Abu Dhabi Hilary Ballon 147
Section III Urban Test Beds for Export
7 Gateway: Revisiting Dubai as a Port City Mina Akhavan 175
8 Exporting the Spaceship: The Connected Isolation of Masdar City Gökçe Günel 194
9 "Two Days to Shape the Future": A Saudi Arabian Node in the Transnational Circulation of Ideas about New Cities Sarah Moser 213
Section IV Audacity, Work-Arounds, and Spatial Segmentation
10 Real Estate Speculation and Transnational Development in Dubai Yasser Elsheshtawy 235
11 Consuming Abu Dhabi Harvey Molotch 256
12 A Quest for Significance: Gulf Oil Monarchies' International Strategies and Their Urban Dimensions Steffen Hertog 276
Conclusion: From Gulf Cities Onward Harvey Molotch Davide Ponzini 300
About the Contributors 323