During the late 1950s and and 1960s, when most of the Arab countries gained their independence, the initial goal of many governments was to erase images of underdevelopment and poverty. To achieve this, they embarked on large-scale re-development projects, putting local historic centres and districts under continuous pressure of dereliction and demolition. In many cases, entire historic centres and districts were erased and replaced by alien environments. The few survived historic centres have experienced problems in making the necessary adaptation to present changes. Due to neglect and deterioration, today,these areas have become a refuge to low income people. Despite their fragmentary survival, these historic centres can still be a catalyst for sustaining the identity and urban life,within the city of today and tomorrow. This work intends to propose appropriate guidelines for urban conservation in North Africa and the Gulf. This book is useful for researchers, architects, and heritage stakeholders. While it can be used for academic purposes yet it provides practical measures to be used by local authorities for on site conservation interventions in historic centres.
Djamel Boussaa, an Architect since 1984, obtained his M.Phil in 1987 and PhD in 2007 from UK. He worked as an Assistant Professor at University of Blida, Algeria during 1988-1996. He taught at UAE University, during 1996-2006 and at University of Bahrain during 2006-2009.In 2009 he joined Qatar University as an Assistant Professor of Architecture.