TDSR 9.2 Spring 1998

MOSQUES AND MARKETS: TRADITIONAL URBAN FORM ON CHINA’S NORTHWESTERN FRONTIERS
Piper Gaubatz

COMMUNITY IN THE NEW URBANISM: DESIGN VISION AND SYMBOLIC CRUSADE
Denise D. Hall

RECONSTITUTING TRADITIONAL URBAN VALUES: THE ROLE OF THE BOUNDARY IN THE CONTEMPORARY CITY
Mahbub Rashid

HOUSE FORM AND CHOICE
Renee Y. Chow

TWENTY YEARS OF CHANGE IN THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT OF YEMEN
Fernando Varanda


 

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Volume 9.2

MOSQUES AND MARKETS: TRADITIONAL URBAN FORM ON CHINA’S NORTHWESTERN FRONTIERS
Piper Gaubatz
The Chinese have long been known for their ancient and well-defined urban traditions.  This article explores the ways in which those traditions were both maintained and transformed on China’s multicultural northwestern frontiers in the Late Imperial period, and provides a brief overview of the contemporary situation.  After a general discussion of traditional Chinese urban form and urban design on the frontier, the article uses case studies of four frontier cities — Lanzhou, Xining, Hohhot and Urumqi — to illustrate ways in which divided settlement morphologies, culturally distinct neighborhood landscapes, functional differentiation of space along ethnic lines, and cross-cultural diffusion of architectural and ornamentation styles contributed to the development of distinctive urban forms.

COMMUNITY IN THE NEW URBANISM: DESIGN VISION AND SYMBOLIC CRUSADE
Denise D. Hall
The design strategy known as “The New Urbanism” is familiar parlance to anyone who keeps abreast of urban design trends.  Part of the New Urbanism’s widespread appeal has been its invocation of “community,” a term which provides little actual practical or ideological direction, yet which is vague enough to embody everybody’s hopes.  This essay analyzes the use of this term, along with the terms “tradition” and “urban,” as expressions of New Urbanism theory.  Through the use of such value-laden expressions and criticism of rational planning, proponents of the New Urbanism have implied that social and economic integration will result from their projects.  However, the movement’s attachment to these terms is largely aesthetic and self-serving; New Urbanist designs are neither communally conceived, traditionally constructed, nor urban.  The essay demonstrates how New Urbanism’s use of the term community to imply social and economic plurality is largely symbolic, disguising continued advocacy of conventional real estate development practices.  That the movement claims to remedy complex social and economic issues without serious consideration of non-mainstream populations amounts to a willful disengagement from issues of race, ethnicity and poverty.

RECONSTITUTING TRADITIONAL URBAN VALUES: THE ROLE OF THE BOUNDARY IN THE CONTEMPORARY CITY
Mahbub Rashid
Critics have pointed out that in many contemporary cities wasteful modes of consumption, encouraged and facilitated by fantastic developments in technology, have significantly eroded the values of the traditional urban environment.  Contemporary cities very often lack the sense of placeness, vibrant public life, and harmonious relationship between man and nature characteristic of the traditional urban environment.  This article studies how the configuration of the physical boundary may be used as an important tool to reconstitute these values in contemporary cities.  It suggests that the boundary is more than an abstract pattern of lines.  Rather, it is integral to life within the city, and should possess greater significance in the design of the built environment.

HOUSE FORM AND CHOICE
Renee Y. Chow
The objective of residential design concerned with supporting American cultures needs to move beyond designing prototypical houses or neighborhoods for ethnic or subcultural groups.  The character of culture in the U.S. is woven and rewoven from many strands: to fix housing to a programmed life-style is to limit the practice of culture both in its diversity and its temporality.  The task for architects and planners is to design dwelling environments with the capacity to provide residents with choices in the use of a place.  Through a comparative study of two residential settings, this article identifies three attributes of house form which limit or contribute to choice.

TWENTY YEARS OF CHANGE IN THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT OF YEMEN
Fernando Varanda
Until the 1970s the built environment of North Yemen conveyed a general image of homogeneity, consolidated through centuries of isolation.  There were episodic partial occupations of envoys from the centers of Islamic rule, but the area was never controlled by any of the Western powers that dominated, politically or economically, the surrounding countries.  The Republican Revolution of 1962, however, introduced many changes in a short period.  This report examines a few aspects of the changes that took place in the built environment between 1970 and 1990.  These years have local political significance and may be seen as milestones in the progression of the culture of North Yemen toward exposure to the world beyond long-established natural and political limits: 1970 was the year of the “Reconciliation” between the intervenients of the Civil War that followed the Revolution; and 1990 was the year of the “Unification” of North Yemen and South Yemen.  The report attempts to describe some changes in the forms of buildings during this period and their contribution to the transformation of regional vocabularies.  It also looks at a few aspects of the country’s urbanization, understood not only in terms of physical expansion, but also as the diffusion to rural situations of values and attitudes from central areas.

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