A Social-Environmental Interface of Sustainable Development: A Case Study of Ghadames, Libya

  • Ahmad Taki
  • Jamal Alabid


One of the key challenges in the spatial planning and design of urban settlements in desert housing is the trade-off between the harshness of the environment and meeting social needs concurrently. Hence, this chapter discusses the role of socio-environmental dimensions on planning and developing urban forms within the context of the Sahara Desert. The case study of Ghadames' old settlements integrates spatial planning methodology with environmental thoughts, in accordance with sociocultural values. Field surveys were conducted in summers 2013 and 2014 to observe daily environmental cycles and social practices of residents through collating drawings, photos and sketches, interviews with householders and professionals and measurements of indoor thermal conditions. The field survey also showed that new houses do not effectively respond to the local climate or cultural contexts. This study recognises the need to promote the relationship between social integration and environmental awareness during the formation of urban settlements.


Social sustainability Thermal comfort Climatic design Ghadames 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Leicester School of Architecture, De Montfort UniversityLeicesterUK

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