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Urban Space Transformation in Old City of Baghdad – Integration and Management [Megaron]
Megaron. 2012; 7(1): 79-90

Urban Space Transformation in Old City of Baghdad – Integration and Management

Mohammed K Al-hasani
Technical University Cottbus, Urban Planning&design.

Like all historical sites in Mesopotamia emerged to serve the Humanity all over the world, Baghdad stands on the top of cities giving an excellent example of the dramatic development through decades. The city which stands on the river Tigris and not far away from Babylon faced multi-faceted transformation procedures in the physical and cultural environment due to natural and political issues. Baghdad city has a lot of urban features which belong to different historical periods. The transformation from a circular fortification city to organic pattern reflects the local contents of physical and socio-economic characteristics. The city kept its compact structure till the beginning of British colonial period in 1917. The inner shape and urban components started to change until we reach a very critical situation nowadays. Today this city faces urban decay and segregation due to the uncontrolled planning policies and started to lose its bright heritage architecture and urban fabric in severe way especially after three grinding wars.
The absence of development strategies to protect the urban heritage of Baghdad allowed the modern structure to reach the peripheries of the old part and destroyed the inner part where historical monuments and quarters exist. The approach was to enhance modernism in the 1970s and 1980s trough new architecture and technical facilities. The strong interference in the historical structure accompanied with strong market power extension caused a real damage in spaces that have spiritual and historical influence and the sever interference caused more devastation of the existing urban places and created also more vacant lands and not defined space. The spatial configuration of the whole city was modified and the city structure was mixed. Conflicts in urban structure and urban space accompanied with socio-economic problems were the result. The old city was divided into several parts and created spaces which are not a meeting points but segregation borders for each part. What made the situation worse was the absence of regulation which controlled any urban development procedure accompanied with a monster of corruption which allowed more destruction for more traditional buildings and sites.

Keywords: Baghdad, Urban Space Transformation

Mohammed K Al-hasani. Urban Space Transformation in Old City of Baghdad – Integration and Management. Megaron. 2012; 7(1): 79-90

Corresponding Author: Mohammed K Al-hasani, Iraq

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