Conference Paper Sessions at Athens, Greece June 16-18, 2014


 5thUrban Space and Social Life: Theory and Practice Conference

Theme: City Development in Its Natural and Built Environment

Location: Athinais (previously a silk factory) in Gazi, Athens,Greece

Co-organizer: World Heritage Institute of Training and Research for Asia and the Pacific Region (WHTIRAP)

Support: Shanghai Tongji Urban Planning and Design Institute, Shanghai, China

                  Department of Sociology, DEREE-The American College of Greece, Athens, Greece

Keynote Speakers: Professor Gregory A. Katsas, DEREE-The American College of Greece 

                                     Professor Thomas J. Campanella, Cornell University 

                                     Professor Qisheng Pan, Texas Southern University

                                     Professor Thomás Sakoulas, SUNY Oneonta

Tarek Abdelsalam


 Dept. of Architecture, University of Modern Sciences and Arts (MSA), Egypt

 Sustainability in architecture has become a global concern as one of the consequences of energy crisis and the calls for reliance on renewable energy resources. In the last two decades, Arab architecture has been witnessing an increasing interest in sustainability. A large number of attempts were carried out by Arab architects to present truly sustainable design solutions. Yet, most of these attempts have failed to expand the general meaning of sustainable architecture from designing environmentally friendly buildings to architecture incorporating culture and local identity into design process. Ignoring the local cultural peculiarities, while dealing with sustainable architecture in the Arab society, deprives architecture from expressing identity of the local community. The Egyptian leading architect Hassan Fathy, who passed away 25 years ago, has successfully addressed this issue through his work and left a great wealth of buildings that reflect the prominent synthesis of culture and sustainability. These buildings that Fathy designed through his fruitful and distinguished journey include numerous significant lessons for future.

Although a large number of researches and studies were carried out to investigate and analyze Fathy’s work, yet the synthesis of sustainability and culture in his work has not been touched. Through focusing on this issue, this paper explores and analyzes the implications of integrating sustainability principles with cultural dimensions in Fathy’s work to present an appropriate paradigm of sustainable architecture that engages culture and local identity of the community. This paradigm moves away from universal and absolute technologically based design methodologies to avoid the contradiction with cultural values of the local community. This paradigm is expected to guide architects, researchers, and decision makers in dealing with sustainable architecture in particular localities. To attain this objective, this research will discuss Fathy’s thought and principles, in addition to investigate and analyze a number of his distinctive projects in Egypt.

 Keywords: sustainable architecture, culture, Hassan Fathy, eco-culture

Tarciso Binoti Simas


Doutorando, UFRJ – PROURB. Brasil

In the end of 20th century, transformation of industrial processes resulted in the fragmentation and decentralization of this production. In developed cities, it affected the industrial closing and, consequently, the industrial areas that have become obsolete. By the potential of urban infrastructure, these areas could be redirected to an industrial reconversion through strategies for structuring Urban Cluster. That could be an urban renewal for the creation of new residential areas, integrated into the workplace, leisure and education. In developing countries, these obsolete industrial areas found their particularities and major challenges such as favelization, lack of infrastructure, low environmental quality, and road transport model. Thus, this study aims to further these issues to contextualize the instrument of Urban Cluster to developing cities. It is expected, therefore, stimulate the regeneration of these damaged areas in favor of increased quality of life of the remaining population. The use of empty spaces and the brownfield and greyfield redeveloping may serve as potential for attracting jobs, new equipments and one answer for housing deficit. For the city, it could increase the infrastructure’s efficiency to develop a more compact and sustainable city rather than expanding for a remote and greenfield.

Keywords: Industrial Reconversion, Urban Cluster, Compact City, Cities in Development, Favelas

Chun-Kwok CHAN


The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Lefebvre (1991) argues that space rests upon the physical, mental and social realms, and it is fundamental to our lived experience of the world, and that all experiences are constructed of three interrelated “moments” of space: representations of space (conceived space), spatial practices (perceived space), and representational space (lived space).  This study focuses on the representational space (lived space) in the production of “lilong” space, a place-specific vernacular typology that populated the concession areas of Shanghai back in the colonial period. 

Representational space, according to Lefebvre (1991), is the space of everyday life, which can be experienced through the complex symbols and images of its inhabitants and users; it is both a real and an imaginary space, produced through the uses of symbolism and iconography as urban imageries and texts infused in the multitude of mass media outlets.  Being the space which the imagination seeks to appropriate and change, this lived space of representation is embedded with representation of significance and symbolic meanings, which are often neglected. 

To this end, this study employs films, books, magazines and other popular culture channels to discern the evolutionary spatial changes of Shanghai, to investigate how the “lilong” inhabitants, direct and indirect users cultivated meanings and attached feelings to their built environments over time, and to understand how the mass media portrayals of their everyday space can constitute to the fostering of a collective identity and transformation of culture and lifestyle, and above all, in city branding.    


Lefebvre, H. (1991). The production of space. (Donald Nicholson-Smith, Trans.). Oxford: Blackwell (original publication 1974).

Ravi Karan, ML Design


ML Design is an architectural and master planning practice based in Brisbane, Australia. Over its 25 year history it has undertaken a large body of international work. While providing consultancy services is never without complication, within the often narrow parameters of client demands exists the opportunity to bring an extra dimension to complex projects. However succeeding in providing sensitive integrated solutions that are commercially viable brings with it positive long term consequences.

This presentation is a review of two projects undertaken by the practice: Sentosa Island, Singapore, which ML Design provided consultancy services for in the late 1990s and more recently a new Chinese city along the Shandong coastline.

Sentosa Island, Singapore

ML Design was approached to provide a development strategy and master plan to convert Sentosa Island into a premier tourist destination for Singapore. The resulting master plan established key land use development and visitation targets that have been met and surpassed in recent years. The master plan addressed the “triple bottom line” aspects of sustainability: identifying the key ecological and cultural/heritage aspects of the island for preservation and enhancement, and offering a 10-year development strategy for the staged implementation of the plan. The ML Design Master Plan recognised three critical components of the island: an active tourism-based hub, the more passive heritage and eco-related green ridge and the southern beaches.

 ‘T-Bay’, Shandong, China

A concept master plan for a new waterfront city on reclaimed land at the mouth of several rivers in Shandong, is a response to a central government directive to develop a lifestyle and tourism-based destination. Dredging to create new reclaimed islands and waterways in the degraded “T-Bay” coastal zone in conjunction with the construction of upstream dams to control siltation will address seasonal flooding and restore what was historically a pristine bay. The city’s new man-made beaches are strategically placed to accommodate storm surge issues facing the Yellow Sea.

MLD worked with local government and regional planning officials to create a strategic development plan for the entire 8,000+ hectare site, then produced a more detailed design proposal for the new waterfront city core, designed to create a tourism-based, lifestyle destination for the Shandong coast. The design and its components take advantage of the opportunities to use waterways and associated frontage for public amenity and commercial opportunity, and recognises the area’s cultural and historical significance as a pre-colonial port city.

Andréa de Lacerda Pessôa Borde


Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Technical University Office (ETU), Director,

Division of cultural heritage protected buildings Preservation (DIPRIT)

Rio de Janeiro central area brings in its built environment the marks of a great contemporary urban defiance: the presence of a rich architectural heritage, witness of several historical moments; vacant lands remainingfrom urban interventions; and recent new buildingsthatbegin to occupy some of thehistorical vacant lots. How Rio de Janeiro is dealing with the forces of permanence and transformation in its building environment? Can it be understood as Koolhaas, recently, summarized: “the world should be divided now in areas that change very quickly and areas that cannot change.”

In this context cultural heritage and urban voids represent the accumulation of temporality with which the new buildings rehearse dialogue. But how this communication, mainly organized mainly by the housing market, goes on?

We consider that the first movement towards a new urban dialogue, in which the built environment should be taken as a transformative agent to improve a new urban, is to consider about cultural heritageas contemporary built heritage. Secondly, we need to reflect on this accumulation of temporalities to preserve, but also to update, understanding them as contemporary heritage and not as frozen assets. Moreover, we need to find linkages with the categories of analysis of cultural heritage, architecture and urbanism. They can no longer remain sealed.

Analyze the possibility of building this interaction between architecture, urban voids, urban design and contemporary cultural heritage taking as a case study the President Vargas Avenue Rio de Janeiro central area.

Mennatulla Lashin (1) and Ahmed Shetawy (2)


(1) Bachelor of Architecture from Architectural Department of Engineering, Misr International University, Egypt (2) AssociateProfessor in Urban Design and Planning Department of Engineering, Ain Shams University, Egypt

 “Cities across the Middle East are currently competing with one another to attract international investment and development.”1 Where the city is a product that needs to be branded for international investors (consumers).

 To brand a city is known as urban branding. “Urban branding is how cities create a brand, or a corporate image, to be better identified, marketed and sold”2 and the GCC declares the availability of billions awaiting to be invested for real-estate developments in different countries of the Middle East like Dubai.3 This allows apotential to explore Dubai from a marketing perspective.

 Dubai, UAE is one of the key cities that has sprung massively in its urban transformation and cultural development and its influence is very strong that the term “Dubaization”4 was created to reflect Dubai’s impact on other countries. This paper aims to define what Dubaization is and what projects contribute to its strong corporate identity.

 Dubai compromises more than 10 business park projects for use by international corporations. “A business park is an area of land in which many office buildings are grouped together. All of the work that goes on is commercial, not industrial nor residential.”5

 Throughout this paper, it is planned to use the four Ps of marketing mix (product, price, place and promotion)6, as factors of measuring the brand strength of one business park project from Dubai. A set of standards and recommendations should be established towards the end of this paper on how cities can corporately brand themselves to attract international investors.

Keywords: Urban branding, marketing, corporate identity and Dubaization


  1. Yasser El Sheshtawy, editor, The Evolving Arab City: Tradition, Modernity and Urban Development (New York: Routledge, 2011), 47.
  2. Mona Helmy, “Urban Branding Strategies and the Emerging Arab Cityscape: The Image of the Gulf City” (PhD diis., University of Stuttgart, 2008).
  3. Yasser El Sheshtawy, editor,  The Evolving Arab City: Tradition, Modernity and Urban Development (New York: Routledge, 2011), 46.
  4. Yasser El Sheshtawy, editor,  The Evolving Arab City: Tradition, Modernity and Urban Development (New York: Routledge, 2011), 4.
  5. “Wikipedia,” last modified March 3, 2014,
  1. Karen Borrington and Peter Stimpson, Business Studies: Second Edition (London: Hodder Murray, 2002), 243.

Luo Li


President of International Institute of Space Art Research and Development, Beijing Gengdan College; Chair of Space Art Committee, Architecture and Culture Society of China

Occupying almost a third of life, the human aging stage, the solid strength of social activity with the rich experience and lesson, is an inexhaustible source of wisdom and wealth which should be paid attention extremely. However, the people do not have the full attention and active support to the development and use of resources, far from researching the elderly survival well and finding the excellent solutions.

There is a large population in China, entered the rank of the aging population state in 1990s. China is expected to have 0.23 billion old people in 2020. The global aging population will reach 2 billion in 2050. Full attention to the population aging, causing the complicate social problems, has become an unavoidable worldwide topic.

China is experiencing the largest scale of urbanization in the history of the world. In an era of economic globalization, the Chinese elderly problem is the world elderly problem. “Senior Project” is a kind of public welfare constructive cause to the aging China, also a new economic industry, and needs to be booming. We invited all the efficient studies and excellent results in the world, participating in discussion and action, with good design, construction investment and sustainable management, to construct the high quality elderly life, and make a contribution to the common progress of human being as well.

Liu Linghong


Executive Chairman of Architecture and Culture Society of China

In China, there are 661 cities and more than 39,000 towns. Each of them has its rich cultural heritage and artistic creation potential. As everyone knows, the coexisting of Urbanization, industrialization, globalization and market reality has a great influence on the urban order in China. Every year the amount of Construction of new buildings in Beijing or Shanghai is more than the sum of the European Union. More than half of the world’s new buildings are in China. Nowadays, almost all the Chinese cities are the unprecedented and unrepeatable construction sites. They are the promising opportunities to China and the world.

Any city is a stereo instruction to its state, writing its culture and temperament on the back of the city planning and construction, as a person’s temperament related to his/her cultural inheritance and education closely. We, the Architecture and Culture Society of China, Ministry of Culture of PRC, submit “art city,” a new urbanization way to the future development, and choose the cases in practice. Emphasis on culture and art is fully involved in the overall urban planning, construction and sustainable development, far more than “city style.” “Art city” means this kind of happy city – the people enjoy the good life in where they are proud of.

Paulo Roberto Tavares Bellinha


Architect and Urban Planner, D.Sc, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Technical University Office (ETU), Director, Division of cultural heritage protected buildings Preservation (DIPRIT)

Throughout the history of cities we had innumerable big cities (both in extent and population). With the Industrial Revolution the concept of urban agglomeration has become virtually synonymous of big city. Currently the megacities congregate in its metropolitan areas more than ten million inhabitants and global cities are nodes of the global economic system. The urban fabric and built environment of these great cities express the challenges with which they are currently dealing with, as well as the choices they made over time.  We argue in this article that the political dimension of contemporary large cities urban fabric like Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and New York, founded in the last five hundred years, but also ancient cities like Paris and London, historically preponderates over other dimensions.

In this sense, political categories should be incorporate in the analytical framework as well as in the propositional framework. Thus it would be able to build a base for action on the urban fabric of these cities.

Taking Rio de Janeiro as conductor city we will rehearse to demonstrate our argument by proposing a methodological framework for intervention on the urban fabric of these large contemporary cities that consider the built environment not only as an element of interpretation, but mainly the transformation of urban life.

Mukesh Ranga and Priyanka Pradhan


Mukesh Ranga

Professor, IBM, CSJM University, Kanpur (U.P.) INDIA

Priyanka Pradhan

Project Associate, IBM, CSJM University, Kanpur (U.P.) INDIA

Destination image has been defined as an individual’s mental representation of knowledge (beliefs), feelings and overall perception of a particular destination (Crompton, 1979a; Fakeye & Crompton, 1991). World Heritage Sites belong to all people of the world, irrespective of the country in which they are located. It is a universal application what makes the concept of world heritage exceptional. This has been declared in the Convention on the Protection of World Cultural and natural Heritage of UNESCO in 1972. As travelers become more sophisticated, destinations need to become more originative in capturing those tourists. A potential tourist destination needs to create a brand image to compete in the global tourism marketplace. The methodology is based on available secondary and primary data from government bodies of India and relevant international organisations, several factors are identified that affect the implementation of marketing philosophy in area of Heritage Destination Tourism. Important initial measure would improve coordination in order to achieve more Tourist-friendly destination. Marketing philosophies cannot be understood simply but can create platform for defining business objectives and strategies, and creation of tourist products which deliver unique experience to tourist and generate profit for heritage tourism destination. It is an initiative to look over the ultimate Sources of heritage marketing – is it well worth?

Keywords: Heritage, Innovation, Planning, Unique, Tourist, Destination

 Lan Wang


PhD, Associate Professor

Department of Urban Planning, College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Tongji University

Creative city, a new model of urban development aiming to promote creative industry, has gained popularity among global cities such as London, New York City and Shanghai. In Shanghai’s Twelfth Five-Year Plan, creative industry has been determined as one of the high value-added economic engines. Shanghai municipal government has designated about 80 creative industry parks to accommodate design studios, galleries and boutiques. Some of the creative industry parks such as Tianzifang were identified after their own evolution from residential and industrial areas to creative industry clusters; some of them such as Hong Fang were completely planned and developed by local governments; some of them such as Mo Gan Shan were triggered by artists and facilitated by state-owned corporation. Creative industries, therefore, have become significant economicengines for urban transitions. Many researches focus on the internal network and spatial demands of creative class. Various creative industry parks have designated in Chinese cities. The relationship between creative industry parks and the surrounding communities, however, lacks theoretical and empirical exploration. This paper adopts the concept of creative community with an emphasis on the integration of creative class and residents in communities. With empirical examines of these three creative industry parks in Shanghai as cases, social influences of creative industry parks on the surrounding communities and vise verse are identified and evaluated. It is concluded with the possibilities, principles and approaches to make plans for creative communities.

Keywords: Social influence, creative industry park, urban transition, Shanghai

Weiqiang Wang and Mengyong Wang


Weiqiang Wang: Professor of College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Tongji University; Deputy Director, Institute of Architecture & Urban Space, Tongji University. Research interests: Urban Planning Urban design, Urban History and Heritage Preservation

Mengyong Wang: PhD. candidate of College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Tongji University. Research interests: Urban Morphology; Urban Design; Urban Planning; Architecture

Relative to the external mechanism as social, economic, political processes, self-centered evaluation of individual environmental perception and emotional structure is the formation of the geographical environment of endogenous mechanism of urban morphogenesis. And the subject – object interacting, mapping and binding within the built environment makes unique cultural geography to the regional process. From the residences’ evaluation of environmental perception perspective, by using structural equation modeling (SEM) of the conceptual framework for community identity, and taking Caoyang Xincun in Shanghai as the study case, the paper discusses the emergence, impact and adaptation (or adjust) of community identification in the living environment. The causal relationship hypothesized by the model is tested with data acquired from Caoyang Xincun and validity of the model is established based the structural equation modeling. The results indicate that attitude recognition about urban living environment for residents, as well as the present behavior identification of interaction positively influences community identification. And the relevance of the relationship between them is also positive but is transforming to the potential structure. Group analysis of social stratification indicates that among the social classes in different emotional structure of community identity, environmental mechanisms there are structure differences, thus in urban residential communities it forms multiple differentiation of social renewal, urban renewal in the bottom of the power source. The research not only enriches subject-object interaction theory of cognition in urban living communities, but also has great significance to urban form and urban morphogenesis.

Keywords: Perceptive Evaluation; Community Identity; Emotional Structure of Environment; Morphogenesis; Caoyang Xincun

Yu-Huan Wang


University of Michigan

Despite their reputation for narrow alleys and messy streets, urban villages in China are crucial to the stability of many big cities such as Beijing and Shanghai. Urban villages not only provide affordable living spaces for an enormous floating population that illegally moves to China’s big cities from rural areas, but they also provide a safe and comfortable social setting for them. The urban villages, however, are under constant threat from continued government pressure as China’s major cities become even larger and more modernized, resulting in the replacement of low- and mid-rise buildings with high-rise buildings. The government, on the other hand, must proceed carefully with how it handles the urban villages to avoid the dangers of unrest or potentially even riots should the villages be torn down too quickly. Separated by major roads, expressways, or tall walls and surrounded by neighborhoods with different physical, social, economic, and political characteristics, China’s urban villages are like islands, distinct from the surrounding urban environment and featuring different ecosystems. This presentation will focus on a comparison of the ecosystem of one of Beijing’s typical urban villages with the surrounding high-rise area (the Central Business District) using drawings, diagrams, and photos from my research.