Subscribe to our newsletter
Picture of Urban Planning in the Middle East

Urban Planning in the Middle East

Case Studies

Author(s): John Yarwood

Book Description

This book describes diverse urban planning projects in Turkey, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (Dubai and Sharjah) Kuwait, Afghanistan, Albania, Syria and Yemen. One thing in common between these countries is that the author has personally worked on all of these projects, and thus the book is a partial professional autobiography.

Each chapter tackles not only a different country but also a different aspect of urban planning and development, as follows: upgrading or improving recent illegal or informal slums, including detailed local planning and strategic planning; urban conservation of Al Muharraq, a historic Gulf city; traditional building construction as a reference point for modern design; urban design of new city centre areas in three prosperous Gulf cities – Kuwait, Dubai and Sharjah; the recreation – post-war – of an urban planning system in Kabul; a historical account of urban planning in the Zog-Mussolini period in Albania, which is contrasted with the currently collapsed system; an account of urban economic regeneration in Syria; and local planning aiming at economic revival in Aden.

These essays articulate eight themes: tradition versus modernism; regionalism and identity; the property market in the urban economy; privacy, the family/tribe etc.; arts and crafts, industrialised construction; the impact of the motor car, and urban infrastructure; the courtyard house; and public administration, local politics and corruption.

The book will be of interest to urban and regional planners, infrastructure engineers, urban economists, architects, urban managers and local government experts as well as those with an interest in the region itself. The book will be useful as an academic textbook in the region, because it presents a wide range of views of the topic, and a wide spread of countries and backgrounds.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-3187-1
ISBN-10: 1-4438-3187-5
Date of Publication: 01/09/2011
Pages / Size: 260 / A5
Price: £39.99


John Yarwood graduated in Architecture from the University of Edinburgh and in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Sheffield. His doctoral thesis concerned Islamic urbanism. After an early career in Local Government, he was for five years the Head of Architecture at Telford New Town Development Corporation. After two years as Head of Urban Renewal in the Ministry of Housing in Bahrain, he worked as a consultant in Turkey, Philippines, Kuwait, Jamaica, Dubai, Germany, Finland, Britain, Russia, Poland, China, Ireland, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Sudan, Afganistan and Albania. He has worked for the EC, the EU and the World Bank. Subsequently, he worked as an academic at University College Dublin. He was awarded an MBE after his work in Bosnia. His last book on urban planning after war, was published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing. He is a fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society. He used to be a Quaker. He is married to an ex-children’s psychiatric social worker, who is now a counsellor to refugees and torture victims. They have three grown-up children.