- Evolutionary Approach towards the Redevelopment of Historical Sites versus Complete Erasure. Case Study: Kadhimiya Historical Centre, Baghdad, Iraq    click here to open paper content1106 kb
by    Golubeva, Yana | yanagolubeva@gmail.com   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
The means of redevelopment of historical sites are to be discussed. The trend towards demolition and new construction is questioned, instead the gradual redevelopment technique is proposed. The approach is tested on the Kadhimiya centre, Baghdad.
Cities with vast amount of historical fabric have a difficult question to answer. On one hand, it is understandable, that cultural heritage is to be preserved, on the other the living conditions in historical districts might be harsh, there might be great economical pressures to demolish the whole thing and build anew with higher densities and more commercial visibility.
The preference towards demolition is explicitly sound in Asian countries and also China, where the urbanization is at its peak and cities grow too fast to bother about small scale historical leftovers. If the trend continues soon enough historical cities, such as Kadhimiya, now a part of Baghdad, will be left with no urban heritage, but uniform big boxes in its place.
To illustrate this I would like to examine the competition for the redevelopment of historical core of Kadhimiya, Baghdad held in 2009. The winning proposal offers bright images of future redevelopment accomplished according to the Asian style with great new buildings instead of shabby existing ones. The ubiquitous architecture as well as city grid and scale are not seen as worth preserving.
An alternative approach is possible. The redevelopment should happen not at once, but gradually. The evolutionary renewal will allow for old and new to function simultaneously within the initial grid. Such approach is postulated in the alternative competition proposal. To accelerate the development several spots are to be chosen within the historical city fabric and they are to be transformed into active public spaces. The network of such new spaces is offering new pedestrian connections and activating public life, the gradual transformation of surrounding buildings will follow.
redevelopment historical centre
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