Urban transformation through creativity : applying the creative city concept to Makkah

Alamoudy, SA 2017, Urban transformation through creativity : applying the creative city concept to Makkah , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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Abstract

During the last decade, the rapidly growing prestige of so-called Creative Cities has inspired many other cities to enhance their attractiveness, creativity and success. However, the concept of a creative city is an elusive one because it reflects a set of distinct ideologies which apply ideas of creativity to the physical and economic urban development.

The main aim of this study is to discover the extent to which the concept of the Creative City can be usefully and practically employed in the development of urban services and global identity, specifically in the case of Makkah in Saudi Arabia. The city of Makkah is famous as the focus of religious devotion for one and half billion Muslims globally because of its holy sites, with millions visiting annually on pilgrimage.

This thesis builds understanding of the concept of a Creative City and its relation with the urban environment based on the main prior academic contributions on Creative City theory that have addressed key aspects of this concept. An analysis was also performed of the most influential theory and practice of Creative City models and of the development strategies of five case studies: Vancouver, Yokohama, Glasgow, Barcelona and Sydney. A new model, referred to by the acronym CREATIVE, was developed with the following key elements: Concept, Resources, Events, Attractiveness, Technology, Involvement, Vision and Enthusiasm. Expert opinion was sought on the model after presentations at five international conferences.

This case study-based qualitative research uses semi-structured interviews with stakeholders, academics and experts responsible for developing the holy city of Makkah as the primary source for data collection. In addition, a substantial number of documents about Makkah were reviewed. The CREATIVE model guided the process of data collection via interviews, documentation and field notes, and analysis of the data.

The findings indicate that Makkah has great potential to become a Creative City, with some unique resources. Hajj and Umrah are global religious events, and huge construction projects are seeking to improve its attractiveness along with a Smart City plan, and comprehensive 30-year plan. However, a low level of citizen involvement in decision-making was also identified. The value of this study is tripartite. It contributes as the first to explore the Creative City concept in a Middle Eastern context. Second, it proposes a revised model of the Creative City that could function as a check list guide for decision makers and experts charged with implementing urban development. Third, using the CREATIVE model will increase awareness of the economic benefits of Hajj and Umrah to Saudi Arabia.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media > Arts, Media and Communication Research Centre
Depositing User: SA Alamoudy
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2018 11:53
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2018 11:53
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/42276

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