University of Leicester
2013AburbrigAIPhD.pdf (11.24 MB)

Towards a Holistic Islamic Urbanism: Planning for Tripoli in the New Libya

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posted on 2013-03-12, 10:27 authored by Ali Irhuma Abubrig
This thesis argues for the development of a Holistic Islamic Urbanism (HIU) as key to the future of a rapidly urbanising Middle East. Because Libya is currently undergoing a post-war reconstruction phase, the adoption of Holistic Islamic Urbanism (HIU) would be a remedy to the current imbalances and a strategy of sustainability, for globalisation, like urbanisation, has brought numerous challenges that have eroded Libya’s ability to contribute innovations that spring from their unique geographic setting, cultural identity and history. HIU is a concept that is deeply rooted in the principles of Islamic urbanism, where full social justice, economic freedom and human rights can be realised. During the last few decades, most countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), including Libya, have experienced rapid economic and population growth. This growth has led to a substantial increase in urbanisation in the form of new districts, towns and housing – but mainly influenced by Western planning principles. Libya’s rapid urbanisation, as in many places, has culminated in many economic, social and demographic problems, which were exacerbated by the Ghaddafi regime. The unsustainable nature of rapid urbanisation and its governance structure under the 40 year dictatorship of Ghaddafi affected various sections of society, which created the social tensions that ultimately led to the 2011 Libyan Revolution. The study adopts a mixed method approach to understanding such processes. The research emphasises the importance of housing, policy, socio-cultural and gender factors, and environmental and sustainability climate conditions, as they are all important in planning and play vital roles in reflecting religion and customs, and the people’s desire for complete privacy within the home and serenity in their public life. The research has also shown the increasing prominence of Libyan women in the urban space of Tripoli, in the context of the revolution, and the role of women in Libyan/Islamic society during a time of rapid social change.



Brown, Gavin; Cameron, Angus

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University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



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