INVESTIGATING THE CULTURAL LANDSCAPE IDENTITY OF JEDDAH, KSA
Free (open access)
51 - 62
TAREK SAAD RAGAB
This paper is one of a series that aims to invigorate the debate over challenges to the cultural landscape identity of the primate Arab cities. Focusing on metropolitan Jeddah, the paper addresses the nature of the current cultural landscape identity and the persistent “Exoticization” of the city’s image induced by the rejection of the traditional urban vocabulary and the adoption of imported design and planning models that are mostly diversified and contextually odd. A desktop analysis provides evidence for general cultural identity confusion and identity conflict. The research attempts to answer two major questions: what are the reasons behind the city’s cultural consumerism pattern and the resulting blurring of identity? And, is there a cultural identity conflict among the society sects responsible for forming the city’s character? The research argues that the endangerment to an intact cultural-landscape-identity formation is attributed to a change in the community’s collective mindset in terms of the interpretation of “identity” and “locality” and the links between “modernity” and “Westernization”. The research documents some attempts to adopt a regionally inspired design approach that reflects local values and a sustainable model, which empowers local cultural landscape identity and, at the same time, could be accepted by most of the community.
cultural landscape, cultural identity, urban configuration, Jeddah, KSA