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Urban conservation planning beyond the West: The case of Bahrain

Khalaf, MJM; (2016) Urban conservation planning beyond the West: The case of Bahrain. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

This thesis is based on an interdisciplinary study between the conservation and urban planning fields. It addresses the topic of ‘place conservation’ which is referred to here as Urban Conservation Planning (UCP). This study provides an alternative perspective to the current planning-dominant, Western-centric literature on UCP. Unlike any other branch of conservation, UCP requires control over the urban environment which can only be achieved through urban planning. Most of the current UCP literature focuses on the planning/regenerative aspect of the profession and lacks connections to the theoretical developments in the conservation field. Particularly, understanding urban heritage beyond the ‘built’ aspect and addressing the theory of values at urban scale are often overlooked. In addition to this gap in the literature, the dominant narrative of UCP is mainly based on Western experiences and intellectual traditions while places beyond the West are poorly represented in this narrative. This study addresses the topic of UCP from a conservation perspective while dealing with the planning and management aspects imposed by the scale of urban heritage. It aims to contribute to the understanding of UCP beyond the Western world by examining the relevance of the dominant Western (English) narrative of UCP to the Arabian Gulf through the case study of Bahrain. Using qualitative research methods, this study composes and documents the contemporary Bahraini narrative of UCP through providing original data based on insiders’ views and experiences of the research topic and triangulates the findings by examining case studies and other primary and secondary sources. The research explores the historical processes and evolution that contributed in forming the institutional organisation and legal framework for UCP in Bahrain. This includes examining the evolution of the definition of urban heritage and its values, the approaches used for UCP and the impact of the wider political and urban management context on the formation of an UCP assemblage in Bahrain to compare the findings to that of England. The research provides insights into the comparability of the evolution of theory and practice of UCP in England and Bahrain and the central role the wider political and urban management systems play in shaping the outcome of UCP in Bahrain. The findings of this research suggest that most of the challenges to UCP in Bahrain are coming from the local urban management culture including the institutional organisation, policy framework and power relations between the different governmental agencies concerned with UCP. These aspects contribute to the divide between urban planning and conservation in Bahrain and delay the establishment of a defined and functional UCP assemblage.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Urban conservation planning beyond the West: The case of Bahrain
Event: UCL (University College London)
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > The Bartlett School of Planning
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1476129
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