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WEEF Florence Italy Conference 2015

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WEEF Florence Italy Conference 2015

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WEEF Florence Italy Conference 2015

  1. 1. Project Based Learning for Urban Design Education: Resilient Cities Under Rapid Urban Change, the case of Doha, Qatar Dr. Yasser Mahgoub, Department of Architecture and Urban Planning, College of Engineering, Qatar Unuiversity ymahgoub@qu.edu.qa WEEF 2015 World Engineering Education Forum Engineering Education for a Resilient Society Florence, Italy 20-24. 09. 2015
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION 1. Project Based Learning (PBL) approach has always proved effective in teaching and learning in engineering, architecture and urban design programs. 2. It engages learners, teachers and community in investigating and designing real life, community based projects. PBL Community Learners Teachers
  3. 3. Project Based Learning (PBL) PBL Community Learners Teachers
  4. 4. Theoretical Framework According to Thomas (2000), Project- Based Learning (PBL) is define as, “A model that organizes learning around projects.” “Projects are complex tasks, based on challenging questions or problems, that involve students in design, problem-solving, decision making, or investigative activities; give students the opportunity to work relatively autonomously over extended periods of time; and culminate in realistic products or presentations.” (Thomas, 2000) Learning Projects
  5. 5. Theoretical Framework He listed five criteria that a project must have to be considered an instance of PBL: 1- Centrality of PBL to the curriculum. 2- Driving question or problems to encounter central concepts and principles of a discipline. 3- Constructive investigations leading to transformation and construction of knowledge on the part of the student. 4- Autonomy or student-driven to some significant degree. 5- Realism and authenticity of topics, tasks, roles, context, collaboration, products, and audience, linking students to real-life challenges.
  6. 6. Theoretical Framework Architecture and urban design disciplines have a long tradition in applying Project-Based learning in education. This tradition has continued in different parts of the world since the founding of architecture of education at Académie Royale d'Architecture, Ecole des Beaux- Arts in 19th Century Paris. “The cornerstone of the Beaux Arts system was the ‘design problem’ assigned to the student early in the term and carefully developed under close tutelage.”
  7. 7. Theoretical Framework Kuhn (2001) identified the “essential characteristics” of architectural education that may be portable to education in other technically- based design fields: 1- Student work is organized primarily into semester-length projects, responding to a complex and open ended assignment. 2- Students’ design solutions undergo multiple and rapid iterations. 3- Critique is frequent. 4- Heterogeneous issues are addressed. 5- Students study precedents and are encouraged to think about the big picture. 6- Faculty help students to impose appropriate constraints on their design process in order to navigate a complex and open ended problem and find a satisfactory design solution. 7- The appropriate use of a variety of design media over the course of the project significantly supports and improves students’ insight and designs.
  8. 8. Theoretical Framework
  9. 9. Theoretical Framework Urban design education has followed the tradition of project-based learning of architectural education as a method of introducing knowledge and skills to students. It allows students to understand urban issues in cities and urban environments as integral part of the living experience of people and produce urban scale projects and solutions. Urban design problems are complex problems involving transportation, landscape, people, economy, history, individual and groups of buildings, work places, leisure activities, parking and more. They require complex design process aiming at producing sustainable and resilient solutions. Interior Space Architecture Urban Design
  10. 10. PROBLEM DEFINITION • Doha, the capital of Qatar, is experiencing rapid urban change since the second half of the 20th century. • This rapid urbanization has resulted in the remarkable transformation of its urban environment and the disappearance of traditional neighborhoods, that were replaced by modern mega real-estate developments, public buildings and infrastructure projects.
  11. 11. PROBLEM DEFINITION • Currently mega development projects are introducing new infrastructure projects; roads and metro, that are expected to impact the city in an unprecedented way. • Mega infrastructure projects provide ample opportunity to reduce car dependency and provide pedestrian walkways and cycling lanes. • Underground metro stations provide public transportation access to the city downtown that require urban transformation and changes.
  12. 12. PROBLEM DEFINITION • The students of Urban Planning Legislations course at the Master of Urban Planning and Design program were introduced to the following questions: - What is the expected impact of these mega infrastructure projects on the city, especially the city center? - What urban design strategies and legislations are needed to achieve maximum benefit from this vast investment? - And finally, what types of urban design projects are needed to achieve these goals?
  13. 13. Project 1 The area of the first project, known as Old-Mushaireb, is located near the under construction Msheireb Downtown Doha and the renovated touristic attraction Souq Waqif, was the residence of many old Qatari families. It has a strategic location in the heart of Doha surrounded by main roads, namely; the A-Ring Road, Wadi Musheireb Street and Abdul Aziz Bin Ahmed Street. It contains large number of traditional houses, historical and modern buildings.
  14. 14. Project 1 • The aim of this project was to study the old Masheireb area and introduce strategies to preserve and enhance the quality of its built environment that would consequently enhance the human experience and use of space. • The goal was to make the area a national and tourist attraction representing a stage in the physical evolution of the built environment in Doha. Environment EconomyEquity Sustainability 3E Sustainability
  15. 15. Project 1 Groups of 3 to 4 students carried out surveys and site visits of the assigned areas, studied precedents in other countries around the world, and conducted literature review of urban planning strategies and legislations. They also studied best practice projects constructed in similar contexts. The work was performed by the groups of students and the progress was reviewed weekly with the instructor.
  16. 16. Project 1 For the first project, the area was surveyed and documented applying urban planning and design methods and practices. The team members analyzed the area and a proposed a preservation and improvement strategy that addresses the following components: Historical preservation: Historical preservation, Safety and security, Children, Senior citizens, Walkability, Territoriality and Streets and parking. (More in the full paper.) Hotel Masjed Historical Buildings Under Construction Metro Station Location of Future Bus Station Relatively New Buildings Old Buildings Key Map: Hotel Masjed Historical Buildings Under Construction Metro Station Location of Future Bus Station Relatively New Buildings Old Buildings
  17. 17. Project 1 Proposed Strategies Historical Preservation Safety & Security Territoriality Children Senior Citizens Wallkability Streets & Parking
  18. 18. Project 2 The second project objective was to propose urban corridors to provide linkage for the dispersed developments in the downtown area. Urban corridors are linear system of urban organization which acts as a linkage between city parts through transportation and economic axes. They spark business and change the nature and function of urban areas, towns and cities, not only promoting economic growth but also reinforcing urban primacy and balanced development.
  19. 19. Project 2 Groups of 3 to 4 students carried out surveys and site visits of the assigned areas, studied precedents in other countries around the world, and conducted literature review of urban planning strategies and legislations. They also studied best practice projects constructed in similar contexts. The work was performed by the groups of students and the progress was reviewed weekly with the instructor.
  20. 20. Project 2
  21. 21. Project 2 The teams proposed three different approaches to retrofit urban areas located close to proposed underground metro stations. 1- The first approach called for the transformation of streets to be car- free and dedicated only for pedestrian use. 2- The second approach called for the transformation of downtown streets to be cultural parks providing green space for downtown dwellers. 3- The third approach called for generation of pedestrian streets accessible by public transportation and limited vehicular access. The projects provided a model for a comprehensive strategy to retrofit, improve and preserve traditional built environments that represent important stages of Doha’s urban development. (More in the full paper.)
  22. 22. Project 2
  23. 23. Conclusions - Doha While providing opportunities for urban development, mega projects threaten the resilience and sustainability of cities. There is a need to tame the changes imposed by these projects and preserve some of traditional environments for future generations and at the same time provide opportunities for economic and social development, in order to achieve a resilient city capable of adapting to rapid urbanization changes. Educating urban designers equipped awareness, skills, and practical experience to propose appropriate solutions is required.
  24. 24. Conclusions - PBL The paper supports the application PBL approach in engineering, architecture and urban design education. It encourages the application of this approach in a more interdisciplinary and integrated approach. The major challenge of PBL is communicating its results to decision makers and officials. Alas, these efforts continue to be perceived as merely academic exercises and not of relevant practical values. PBL continues to be perceived as progressive learning method, yet it requires platform for recognizing its value and benefits to society.
  25. 25. THANK YOU

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