Oases: Architecture and Urbanism in Tropical Desert Regions: From Traditional Wisdom to Contemporary Vision?

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Desertification as a global problem and the resulting quest for a sustainable
urban and architectural development in environmentally challenged arid
regions frame this paper’s investigation into vernacular and contemporary
strategies in the tropical desert/West Asia. It attempts to compare the vision of
Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City as a green technology and high-tech eco-city
approach of the 21st century with a traditional desert oasis settlement prefossil-
fuel-revenue. Conducted research on traditional building knowledge of
settlement patterns in oasis hamlets in Oman and the over the last ten years
revisited development of Masdar City in the UAE as a case of a contemporary
eco-city approach are collated under considerations of the impacts on the
anthropho-sphere and eco-sphere. The anticipated paper aims to investigate the
status quo of this vision and further solutions for a future-oriented sustainable
architectural and urban development in arid regions through qualitative
primacy settlement patterns, a correlation to contemporary quantitative green/
high-performance design solutions and the use of local resources and material
systems in tropical and subtropical desert climates.
Do contemporary ‘green city’ visions live up to the applied wisdom of
traditionally developed oasis settlement primacies within the same bio-climatic
and socio-cultural region? What can we learn to future-proof oases in the dry
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 7 Dec 2019
Event7th International Network of Tropical Architecture Conference: Urban Tropicality - The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 5 Dec 20198 Dec 2019
Conference number: 7th


Conference7th International Network of Tropical Architecture Conference
Abbreviated title2019 iNTA
Internet address


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