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Volume :5 Issue : 17 1979      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

BEHAVIORAL ASPECTS OF URBAN PLANNINGIN THE ARAB GULF STATES

Auther : By Dr. Abdul-Ilah Aabu-Ayyash

 

Urban planning in the Arab Gulf States has gone through several stages. These stages reflected the different political economical and social changes that the Gulf region witnessed during the past three decades. Since the discovery of oil in this area, migration accelerated at rates that are rare to find in other regions. Coupled with migration was the high annual natural increase in the population of these states. Migration to the region exerted a rising pressure on the space and services of the urban environments.

At the beginning, urban planning was based on simple models and classical theories. Although such models and theories were suitable in the primary stages of planning, they were no suitable for the complicated problems that resulted from the rapid expansion of urban areas. This situation necessitated the use of more sophisticated urban model and theories.

The major shortcomings of the classical urban models came from their original structures and assumptions. Such models used to deal with point locations instead of a system of locations. This means that the plans that were drawn according to these models, were concerned with problems at a specific location without taking into consideration the interrelationships that usually exist between such a location and neighboring locations.

In addition, the classical models are based on rigid assumptions, which do not usually exist in reality. One of the basic assumptions in such models was the notion of rationality. This notion suggests that a man’s behavior be conditioned according to economic factors, i.e., minimizing costs and maximizing profits.

The rigidity of the rationality assumption necessitated the search for a better alternative. Thus, it was replaced by a behavioral component. Models of man that were incorporated in recent urban plans dealt with the influence of social and cultural factors upon the attitudes and behaviors of persons as they are exhibited in reality. One of the major fields that studied man’s behavior extensively is Psychology. Researches in this field produced three types of models:

  1. The first type is called the conflict model of man.
  2. The second is known as the machine model of man.
  3. And the third one is the open-system model of man.

These new notions, ideas, and conceptual developments convinced urban planners with the importance of incorporating behavioral elements in their models. Since these notions and ideas represent new trends in planning, Urban Planners in the Arab Gulf States should incorporate such concepts in their urban models and strategies.

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