Urban Sustainability, Globalization and Expansion Organization in Middle East

Mahmoud Ali Subeh, Taeser Al-Rawashdeh


In the Western context, notions of sustainable development often refer to the need to adjust existing economicmodels in order to maintain better balances between economic growth and social needs, while protecting localecologies and reducing the negative impact of growth on the global environment. In the developing world,however, sustainable development takes on a rather different meaning. With the agendas of developing nationsfocused on addressing basic developmental challenges such as economic growth, water scarcity, food security,and health, other environmental and social aspects are considered secondary at best and, for the most part, aluxury that a developing nation cannot afford.During the past three decades, Major Middle East city-regions have experienced considerable physical,economic and social transformations. Globalization and economic restructuring has resulted in these city-regionsreceiving the full impact of urbanization pressures. City-regions such as Dubai, Masqat, Beirut, Amman, andCairo have advocate expansion organization approaches giving particular interest to urban sustainability in anattempt to ease these pressures. These approaches promote efforts to achieve the triple bottom line sustainabilityby balancing economic and social development, and environmental protection, and putting (more emphasis oncompact and optimum development of urban forms). This paper evaluates the Middle East cities and assessestheir experiences in managing their urban forms whilst promoting sustainable patterns of urban development.The findings show that sustainable urban development initiatives employing a top down approach has yieldedencouraging results in these case study city-regions. However the need for a more concerted effort towards theoverall sustainability agenda still remains vital.

Keywords: Sustainable urban development, expansion organization, compact urbanization, city-regions,Middle East

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