On the ground

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Public space studies in Abu Dhabi

The most interesting and active public space networks I observed were super-block interiors (shaded alleys and passageways, parking, shops, markets), the public bus network, the corniche (network of parks and public waterfront promenade), the open (sometimes green) spaces around mosques, and the malls and hotel atriums.  Practices surrounding public space in Abu Dhabi weren’t so related to formal place-making as they were to…spontaneity and immediate environmental conditions.  Workers (men) would congregate in any sidewalk that was wide enough (no shortage of wide sidewalks here) or any open space.  It was common to see them napping in any green area with shade.

Although I come at the most temperate time of the year, the heat of the majority of the year has dictated the schedule of public space usage here.  Nights are when the real people of the city come out.  The business day is later here, many shops opening from 10am to 10pm.

For more on this public space discussion, see this archinect thread.

On to Dubai….

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