Journal of City and Development
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Journal of City and Development. 2022, 4(1), 11-22
DOI: 10.12691/jcd-4-1-2
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Makkah’s Urban Modernization and the Impact of Urban Regulations

Wadia Albarqawi1,

1Department of Islamic Architecture, Umm AlQura University, Makkah, Saudi Arabia

Pub. Date: June 23, 2022

Cite this paper:
Wadia Albarqawi. Makkah’s Urban Modernization and the Impact of Urban Regulations. Journal of City and Development. 2022; 4(1):11-22. doi: 10.12691/jcd-4-1-2


This paper aims to provide an alternative approach to dealing with traditions. In the1970s, the British firm Robert Matthew and Johnson Marshall and Partners (RMJM) was commissioned by the Saudi Government to prepare Makkah's master plan. RMJM proposed a modern transport system and urban regulations. Among those urban regulations, the setback affected the city's urban character. It heralded the imposition of modernity and the loss of a strong level of identity. This paper examines the urban regulations' impact on the modernization of Makkah. Many urban studies were conducted to identify the RMJM's master plan challenges, but they were advisory documents lacking practical suggestions. This paper focuses on analyzing sitemaps, observations, and newspapers articles through historical interpretation to understand how the previous urban regulations were diverted from responding to people's interests to merely controlling urbanization. Then, it investigates the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs' updated urban regulation by analyzing the ground floor plans of the villa typology as a case study. A comparative analysis is conducted between the previous and updated urban regulations. This paper revealed that the updated urban regulations respond to people's interests instead of controlling urban growth. The Originality of this paper is in the way of dealing with traditions as social practices that emerge from peoples' desires and requirements; Traditions are prerequisite regulations to fulfill the principles of the society in the quest of forming identity.

architecture urban design modernity identity Makkah

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