In the last few years, the Persian Gulf city of Dubai has exploded from the Arabian sands onto the world stage. Oil wealth, land rent, and so-called informal economic practices have blanketed the urbanscape with enormous enclaved developments attracting a global elite, while the economy runs on a huge army of migrant workers from the labour-exporting countries of the Indian Ocean and Eurasian regions. The speed and aesthetic brashness with which the city has developed have left both scholarly and journalistic observers baffled and reaching for facile stereotypes with which to capture its city's identity and significance to the history of urban planning, architecture, social theory, and capitalism.In "The Superlative City", contributors from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and colleagues from the United Arab Emirates, the United States, and Denmark offer the most serious analyses of the city to appear to date. Remarkable aspects of Dubai, such as the size and theming of real estate projects and the speed of urbanization, are situated in their local and global architectural, political, and economic contexts. Planning tactics and strategies are explained.
The visually arresting aspects of architecture are critiqued but also placed within a holistic view of the city that takes in the less sensational elements, such as worker camps and informal urban spaces.
Buy Superlative City book by Ahmed Kanna from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(241mm x 191mm x 10mm)
Harvard Graduate School of Design
Publisher: Harvard Graduate School of Design
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Author Biography - Ahmed Kanna
Ahmed Kanna is a Postdoctoral Fellow in International Studies at the University of Iowa.