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Global Built Environment Review

an international refereed journal for architecture, planning, development and the environment

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GBER Volume 10 Issue 1 October 2016


Biomimetic Buildings : The Emerging Future of Architecture
Emily Barbara Kennedy

Biomimicry is sustainable innovation inspired by Earth's diverse life forms which, in thanks to billions of years of evolutionary refinement, embody high-performance, resource-efficient design solutions. Dismissing large potential ecological and economic returns associated with biomimcry, critics argue the approach 1) diminishes the role of the human designer; 2) relies on suboptimal models due to evolutionary incrementalism; 3) demands humans repress their impulse to build; and 4) depletes architecture of human meaning. The purpose of this article is to defend the merits of biomimicry by revealing how poorly founded these assertions are. Each is based on an outdated paradigm that we must shed in order to nurture a new era of architecture.

Social Mobility and Green Open Urban Spaces, With Special Reference to Cairo
Ayman Wanas and Enas Samir

Many rudiments and dynamics formulate the quality of life in cities: one of them is urban green space. Green urban areas play a vital role in improving the quality of life in cities, on the environmental level and social level as well. This paper examines the interrelationship between socio-economic mobility and the form, the use and the quality of green space with a particular reference to Cairo, Egypt. It also seeks to determine the critical factors in making those spaces up to user's expectations. The paper debates the notion of green spaces, development through time and the types of users in association with the socio-economic and political dimensions through a comprehensive literature review. It critically observes and documents the changes and the transformations in the green urban open spaces in Cairo, which, happens in consequent with socio-economic changes in political drifts taking Zamalek district, Cairo as a field study area. The paper reaches its results using correlation analyses, which approves the interrelationship between socio-economic mobility and physical changes and transformations in urban green spaces.

Public Sector Housing Initiative For Low Income People : Evidence from 'Uttara Model Town' Project, Dhaka
Afsana Haque and Mahfuja Aktar

Based at the office records of the Capital City Development Authority (RAJUK), this research explores plot allocation process for 'Uttara Model Town' project. It investigates the socio-economic characteristics of initial plot owners of all three katha plots - the lowest sized plots at the project area. It also carries a field survey to identify the residential development pattern on the selected plots. Study findings suggest that RAJUK's commitment of allocating plots to low income people has not properly been reflected through its allocation process. Only 135 three-katha plots (13% of the total minimum sized plots) belong to a low income family, and 61% of these 135 plots are vacant. Residential development patterns on the rest of the plots indicate that many of the low income owners have transferred their property rights to higher income people. An implication of the findings is that planners in development authorities and policymakers should clearly define the target low income population, provide optimum size and location of the affordable dwelling unit, ceil land price and make the process of allocation systematic and transparent.

Urban Parks in Islamic Modern Cities : Case studies in Ankara
Yehia H Wazeri

Urban Parks benefit urban communities environmentally, aesthetically, recreationally, psycologically and economically. The most significant feature that distinguishes city parks from other categories of parks, they serve the city as a whole. Studying the distribution and design approach of urban parks in cities is very significant. The requirements of citizens must be achieved by a suitable pattern of parks distributed and by the quality of services, and different activities are provided in the parks elements.The aims of the present study is to investigate the major parks distribution in Ankara, the capital of Turkey, using a Google Earth program. Another goal of the survey is to determine the similarities and differences in design concept and elements of six major parks, using field observations and an analysis approach.