URBAN DESIGN International

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 107–129 | Cite as

Space, movement and heritage planning of the historic cities in Islamic societies: Learning from the Old City of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Original Article


Traditional historic cities in Islamic societies of Asia and Africa are fast disappearing and/or losing relevance. There is a clear need for heritage planners to plan for what is left and to integrate these historic cities with the bigger cities that surround them. This study on movement dynamics of people and cars in relation to spatial configuration, described using space syntax, was undertaken in the Old City of Jeddah to understand and learn how accessibility and the density of people and activities can be used for retaining the viability and vitality of this and other historic cities. The study reports several findings that are potentially relevant to heritage planning. However, further studies are needed to understand the importance of the findings in relation to different social and symbolic realities of Islamic societies before specific spatial strategies can be identified for heritage planning in this and other historic cities.


heritage planning traditional Islamic cities space movement space syntax Jeddah 


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Architecture, Design, & Planning, University of KansasLawrenceUSA

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