Emerging Middle Eastern knowledge cities: the unfolding story

Emerging Middle Eastern knowledge cities: the unfolding story

Ali A. Alraouf (University of Bahrain, Kingdom of Bahrain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-720-1.ch014


Examination of the knowledge cities’ contemporary status reveals tangible developments and collective efforts for declaring and building such cities around the globe. On the contrary, Middle Eastern cities are building technologically isolated entities with the hope that they are promoting the knowledge city concept. An analysis of projects like Egypt’s Smart Village, Dubai’s Internet City and Knowledge Village, and Qatar’s Educational City and Science and Technology Oasis is insightful in the evaluation of emerging Middle Eastern Knowledge Cities. The purpose of this chapter is to explore the knowledge city concept in depth to relate it to the ongoing processes of creating knowledge-based economy developments in major Middle Eastern cities, particularly in Arab Gulf Cities. It discusses the principles of a knowledge city, and portrays its distinguishing characteristics and processes. In addition, the chapter introduces the concept of ‘urban creativity engines’ in the context of Middle East, and present examples of various types of creativity engines. Although this concept and its related terminologies are relatively new, the chapter proves that there are many historical examples of ‘knowledge cities’ and ‘creativity engines’ both regionally and internationally. A focus on the traditional built environment of the Middle Eastern cities is included to support the main argument of the chapter.

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