Urban Crossroads

 

 

Introduction

Urban Crossroads is a regular column written by Mohammad al-Asad, the founding director of the Center for the Study of the Built Environment (CSBE) in Amman. Its articles address issues relating to the urban built environment, with an emphasis on Amman and other cities in Jordan. The articles explore the various dynamics that shape our cities, including the physical, geographic, cultural, social, economic, and political, and examine how such dynamics may be harnessed to bring about improvements in the quality of urban life.

The first Urban Crossroads article was published on April 15, 2004. The articles have appeared in a number of publications including The Jordan Times, Jordan's English-language daily; the online portals www.tareeq.me and www.7iber.com; and Krunoslav Ivanisin and Josep Lluis Mateo (eds.), Middle East: Landscape. City. Architecture (Zurich, 2013). Moreover, all Urban Crossroads articles are available on the CSBE website. The articles were published in English until September 2011, and have been published in both English and Arabic since then.

About the Author:

Mohammad al-Asad is an architect and architectural historian, and the founding director of CSBE. He studied architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and history of architecture at Harvard University. He held post-doctoral research positions at Harvard University and the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. He also has taught at the University of Jordan, Princeton University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he was the Alan K. and Leonarda Laing Distinguished Visiting Professor, and was an adjunct professor at Carleton University in Ottawa. He has published a number of books and articles in both Arabic and English on the architecture of the Islamic world, and contributed a column on architecture and urbanism to The Jordan Times, Jordan’s English daily newspaper.

He served as a reviewer for a number of cycles of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture since 1989, and is currently a member of the Award's Steering Committee. He also has been a member of the board of directors for a number of Jordanian cultural organizations and commissions including the Jordan Museum, the Royal Society of Fine Arts – The Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, and the Amman Commission. In addition, he has served as the Coordinator of the International Academic and Curatorial Committee of the Discover Islamic Art project of the Museum With No Frontiers, which has developed a virtual web-based museum of Islamic art in the Mediterranean.

 

Table of Contents:

Urban Crossroads #131-140

Urban Crossroads #121-130

Urban Crossroads #111-120

Urban Crossroads #101-110

Urban Crossroads #91-100

Urban Crossroads #81-90

Urban Crossroads #71-80

Urban Crossroads #61-70

Urban Crossroads #51-60 

Urban Crossroads #41-50

Urban Crossroads #31-40

Urban Crossroads #21-30

Urban Crossroads #11-20

Urban Crossroads #1-10

 

Content

Urban Crossroads #134: Unnecessary Trips (in Arabic or English) 

Urban Crossroads #133: How is Amman’s New Mayor Doing? (in Arabic or English)

Urban Crossroads #132: Amman Has a New Mayor (in Arabic or English)

Urban Crossroads #131: The Oxford Handbook of Cities in World History (in Arabic or English)

Urban Crossroads #130: The Newest Phase of Amman’s Growth (in Arabic or English) 

Urban Crossroads #129: Innovation. Design. Fabrication: The story behind the film (in Arabic or English)

Urban Crossroads #128: The Singapore Model (in Arabic or English)

Urban Crossroads #127: Assessing The Quality of Life In Your Neighborhood (in Arabic or English)

Urban Crossroads #126: Local Governance (in Arabic or English)

Urban Crossroads #125: Film Review: Urbanized (in Arabic or English)

Urban Crossroads #124: Amman Urban Charter (in Arabic or English)

Urban Crossroads #123: Too Many Cooks Spoil the Broth (in Arabic or English)

Urban Crossroads #122: Three Public Spaces in Amman (in Arabic or English)

Urban Crossroads #121: Hostile City (in Arabic or English)

Urban Crossroads #120: Save Amman's BRT (in Arabic or English) 

Urban Crossroads #119: City Clusters

Urban Crossroads #118: Nine Per Cent Parking 

Urban Crossroads #117: Gallery 27: Rethinking the Architectural Exhibition

Urban Crossroads #116: The University and the City

Urban Crossroads #115: Managing Amman (in Arabic or English)

Urban Crossroads #114: Tales From Two Cities: Tunis and Cairo

Urban Crossroads #113: Commemorating Oleg Grabar (1929-2011)

Urban Crossroads #112: Peeking Into the Future: The 2010 Aga Khan Award for Architecture

Urban Crossroads #111: City Components

Urban Crossroads #110: Too Many Short Trips  

Urban Crossroads #109: Memories and the City II: The Personal Past

Urban Crossroads #108: Memories and the Cities I: The Collective Past

Urban Crossroads #107: Managing the Traditional Arab City

Urban Crossroads #106: The Nimby Reaction

Urban Crossroads #105: The End of Globalization

Urban Crossroads #104: Connecting with the Built World

Urban Crossroads #103: Building Challenges: Urban Transportation

Urban Crossroads #102: Building Challenges: Housing Affordability

Urban Crossroads #101: Building Challenges: Energy Efficiency 

Urban Crossroads #100: The Bilbao Effect  

Urban Crossroads #99: Tomorrow's Designers of the Built Environment

Urban Crossroads #98: Amman's Garbage Problem

Urban Crossroads #97: Rethinking Public Transportation: Bus Rapid Transit Systems

Urban Crossroads #96: Moving in Amman: the Pedestrian Experience

Urban Crossroads #95: Bringing Nature Back into the City

Urban Crossroads #94: Urban Charters

Urban Crossroads #93: Aspiring for the Car-Free City

Urban Crossroads #92: Actions: What You Can Do With the City

Urban Crossroads #91: Good and Bad Urban Density

Urban Crossroads #90: Istanbul Today  

Urban Crossroads #89: The Sustainable Human Settlement

Urban Crossroads #88: Linking the Cities of Jordan

Urban Crossroads #87: Amman How Big Is Too Big?

Urban Crossroads #86: Preserving Amman's Heart and Soul

Urban Crossroads #85: Amman's Heart and Soul II: Jabal Amman's First Circel Area

Urban Crossroads #84: Amman's Heart and Soul: The Downtown Area

Urban Crossroads #83: Public Art

Urban Crossroads #82: The City's Creative Energies

Urban Crossroads #81: A New Amman, for Better and for Worse 

Urban Crossroads #80: Bottom-Up Urban Development  

Urban Crossroads #79: Urban Life and Rising Commodity Prices

Urban Crossroads #78: Urban Change: Management and Resistance

Urban Crossroads #77: Architecture for the Rich; Mere Shelter for the Poor

Urban Crossroads #76: Celebrating Water

Urban Crossroads #75: Wakalat Street... Again!

Urban Crossroads #74: The Amman Report Card

Urban Crossroads #73: Architecture Serving Humanity: The Winning Project of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture

Urban Crossroads #72: Managing Amman's Traffic

Urban Crossroads #71: Cairo: A Ray of Hope

Urban Crossroads #70: To Tax or Not to Tax: Amman's Empty Land Plots  

Urban Crossroads #69: The Municipal Three-Legged Stool

Urban Crossroads #68: To Kill the Goos that Lays the Golden Egg

Urban Crossroads #67: The Trans-Jordan Trail

Urban Crossroads #66: The Dubai Model

Urban Crossroads #65: Urban Planning and Daily Stress

Urban Crossroads #64: Sharing the Road

Urban Crossroads #63: Where Should All the Garbage Go?

Urban Crossroads #62: Smart Growth

Urban Crossroads #61: Desperately Seeking Amman (by guest contributor Babar Mumtaz)

Urban Crossroads #60: The Urban Planning Moment  

Urban Crossroads #59: Zero Tolerance

Urban Crossroads #58: The Demands of the Few and the Rights of the Many

Urban Crossroads #57: Staking Territory

Urban Crossroads #56: Goodbye Nature

Urban Crossroads #55: Have to vs. Want to

Urban Crossroads #54: Whose Street is it Anyway?

Urban Crossroads #53: What Happened to my Neighborhood

Urban Crossroads #52: Exploring a Traffic Intersection

Urban Crossroads #51: Building Communities 

Urban Crossroads #50: Moving Around Amman  

Urban Crossroads #49: Moving Around the City

Urban Crossroads #48: Searching for the Inoffensible Gas Station

Urban Crossroads #47: Sweifieh Revisited

Urban Crossroads #46: Model Streets 

Urban Crossroads #45: To Centralize or Decentralize

 Urban Crossroads #44: Educating Architects and Planners

Urban Crossroads #43: What if... 

Urban Crossroads #42: Ever-growing Amman

Urban Crossroads #41: Exploring the Early Islamic City

Urban Crossroads #40: Rehabilitating Old Aleppo  

Urban Crossroads #39: The Landscaping Challenge

Urban Crossroads #38: "If You Can't Maintain It, Don't Build It"

Urban Crossroads #37: Disposable Buildings

Urban Crossroads #36: Buy Now, Pay Later

Urban Crossroads #35: Taking the Bus

Urban Crossroads #34: The Street Where I Live

Urban Crossroads #33: City Infrastructure

Urban Crossroads #32: Underpasses Everywhere

Urban Crossroads #31: Fixing Sweifieh

Urban Crossroads #30: Urban Solutions: Easier Said than Done  

Urban Crossroads #29: Amman's Urban Fabric: What Went Wrong?

Urban Crossroads #28: Energy Consumption in the City

Urban Crossroads #27: Sweifieh: A Case of Urban Deterioration

Urban Crossroads #26: The Growth of Buildings

Urban Crossroads #25: A Tale of Two Shops

Urban Crossroads #24: The Economics of Zoning: Jabal Amman’s First Circle Area

Urban Crossroads #23: Nooks and Crannies

Urban Crossroads #22: Surfaces of the City: Concrete

Urban Crossroads #21: Signs of the City

Urban Crossroads #20: Empty Plots Everywhere  

Urban Crossroads #19: Amman's Most Beautiful District

Urban Crossroads #18: Amman Street Maps

Urban Crossroads #17: Soundscapes of Amman

Urban Crossroads #16: Airport Road

Urban Crossroads #15: Parking in Amman: Privilege or Right 

Urban Crossroads #14: Time Zoning

Urban Crossroads #13: To Commute or to Telecommute

Urban Crossroads #12: The Shopping Mall

Urban Crossroads #11: Apartment Living

Urban Crossroads #10: Sidewalks of Amman  

Urban Crossroads #9: Riyadh

Urban Crossroads #8: Property Rental Laws

Urban Crossroads #7: Beirut

Urban Crossroads #6: Public Transportation

Urban Crossroads #5: Cities of the Arab East

Urban Crossroads #4: Zoning

Urban Crossroads #3: Urban Sprawl

Urban Crossroads #2: The Domination of Amman

Urban Crossroads #1: Introduction: An Anatomy of the City 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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