Dynamics of populations and the everyday urban environment in the emerging city of Doha

Ashraf M. Salama, Florian Wiedmann, Fatma A. Khalfani, Ahood Al-Maimani

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The current fast track urban growth is an important characteristic of the emerging city of Doha. Such a growth is marked by intensive infrastructure projects, high rise clusters of glass towers, new cultural facilities and art museums, emerging residential environments on the periphery of the city, as well as hall mark events. However, very few studies have addressed several important growth aspects, including the examination of the way in which the inhabitants comprehend and react to their built environment and the resulting spatial experience. This paper examines the inhabitants' spatial experience in key urban open spaces in the city by applying cognitive and behavioural mapping procedures coupled with an attitude survey. Applying the cognitive mapping technique, 108 responses were received, analysed, and classified under three categories a) living, working, and visiting patterns; b) comprehension of home range, home zone, and movement; and c) ethnic affiliation: Qataris and other Arab expatriates. Implementing direct systematic observation and behavioural mapping of key urban open spaces reveals important outcomes that include absence of physical aspects amenable for effective use while offering a pleasant experience for visitors. The findings contribute to an in-depth understanding of the inhabitants' spatial experience of the everyday urban environment of Doha. A conclusion is established to emphasise that by developing knowledge generated from research findings that are derived from the direct experience of inhabitants, the various aspects of how certain areas work within the urban structure of the city can be elucidated, while seeking means for improving the qualities of the everyday urban environment.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
Publication statusUnpublished - Jul 2013
Event4th Annual Gulf Research Meeting - University of Cambridge , Cambridge, United Kingdom
Duration: 3 Jul 20135 Jul 2013


Conference4th Annual Gulf Research Meeting
CountryUnited Kingdom


  • urbanism
  • spatial experience
  • everyday urban environment
  • urban spaces
  • population dynamics
  • Doha

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  • Impacts

    Architectural and urban research for an enhanced decision-making on urban dynamics of emerging cities

    Ashraf Salama (Participant), Alain Thierstein (Participant) & Florian Wiedmann (Participant)

    Impact: Impact - for External PortalEnvironment and sustainability - natural world and built environment, Professional practice, training and standards, Quality of life and safety

    Cite this

    Salama, A. M., Wiedmann, F., Khalfani, F. A., & Al-Maimani, A. (2013). Dynamics of populations and the everyday urban environment in the emerging city of Doha. Paper presented at 4th Annual Gulf Research Meeting, Cambridge, United Kingdom.