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Multi-nodal downtown as strategic key concept for the urban development vision of the city of Madinah – Diana Chekkoury Idrissi, Price Mugrin University Madinah

By on October 6, 2016
Lecturer - profile

Name
Diana Chekkoury Idrissi

Title
Ass. Prof. Dr. Ing.

Main affiliation
Price Mugrin University Madinah

email
d.chekkoury.idrissi@gmail.com

Country
Saudi Arabia

Region
Middle East

Qualifications
LinkedIn
https://www.linkedin.com/home?trk=hb_tab_home_top

CV
http://uni.unhabitat.org/index.php?gf-download=2016%2F10%2FC.V.Diana-Chekkoury-Idrissi-english-Aug.2016.pdf&form-id=9&field-id=48&hash=c54c439588dee939e034b128a0fc9f9a78561c726f879f63ede8e1a7ef866b56

Biography
Dr. Diana Chekkoury Idrissi obtained her Ph.D. from the Urban Institute SI, University of Stuttgart, Germany 2006 and her Masters Degree in Architecture and urbanism from the National School of Architecture ENA in Rabat, Morocco 1996. After pursuing her bachelor’s degree between Lille (France) and Rabat.
Her scientific journey started from the historical city of Fes with the National Agency for the Rehabilitation of Fes-Medina (ADER-Fez) where she was deeply inspired by the traditional approach to the environment conscious arts and techniques. Dealing with authentic urban fabrics raised her interest in understanding the genesis processes of human settlements and studying their primary shapes within her master thesis about textile architecture and lightweight structures, under the supervision of German pioneer architects Frei Otto and Bodo Rash. Later on, the constant evolution of living space, its perennial dynamic in usage in a diversity of forms inspired her Ph.D. thesis where she defined flexibility as major criteria of Housing sustainability in architecture and urban design.
Dr. Idrissi’s career is characterized by the continuous alternation between research and practice, her scientific principles, questions and findings were constantly experimented in research clusters, with students or in real life projects. After having early started teaching in 1997 with a course in Morocco on “lightweight structures” and giving lectures as well as launching international academic cooperation program related to “Islamic architecture” and “traditional living forms” in Germany between 2002 and 2006 she joined the universities of Taibah in Madinah, Effect in Jeddah and the National School of Architecture in Rabat and Fes as assistant professor from 2007 to 2015 where she managed “technical drawing”, “Urban Design” and “architecture studios” for computer sciences, and architecture students. She is now running “Architecture design studio” with special emphasis on Heritage and Environment to interior architecture and architecture engineering students at Prince Mugrin University of Madinah in Saudi Arabia.
Dr. Idrissi has also been involved in leading multi-disciplinary teams as well as initiating, developing and designing from initiation to completion noteworthy projects in Morocco, Germany, and Saudi Arabia. In particular the urban development plan for the old city of Fes in the 1990’s and more recently the new central area Project of Madinah in 2012 with the Development Committee of Madinah which entrusted her with the responsibility of managing the project and leading its team of consultants. Previously she participated in the Dariyiah restoration and rehabilitation project in Riyadh and was also part of the international consultant’s team for the Dev. Com. Of Makkah, Madinah and the Mashaer in 2009. Later on, she participated in the development and design of the international open project competition for the rehabilitation of Lalla Yaddouna Neighborhood in Fes, Sponsored by the US MCC (Millennium Challenge Corporation), in collaboration with the German office ISA Internationales Stadtbau Atelier in 2010.
As First woman Ph.D. urban-architect in Morocco and one of the few in Saudi Arabia, Dr. Idrissi is member of the Saudi chamber of commerce and industry of Madinah and the AFEM association of women entrepreneurs in Morocco and is passionate about the Economic Empowerment of Productive Families through Self-Employment in the area of handicraft and traditional arts. Dr. Idrissi speaks five languages: her mother language Arabic, French, English, German, and Romanian.

English Proficiency
Limited

Previous experience of recording video lectures
No

Experience of lecturing to large audiences
Yes

Experience of lecturing to large audiences
Yes

Frequency of lectures
Now and then

Recording opportunities
Habitat III attendance and availability
No

Recording preference – not Habitat III
Record via own video team

Details of video team
My son is film maker by profession, he will provide me with all the necessary equipment

PROPOSED LECTURE

Main themes
Youth
Urban Management
Urban Infrastructure
Sustainable Cities
Social Inclusion
Slum Upgrading
Reconstruction
Planning and Design
Municipal/Urban Finance
Mobility
Governance
Environment
Climate Change
Capacity Development

Title
“Multi-nodal downtown as strategic key concept for the urban development vision of the city of Madinah”

Focus
“Multi-nodal downtown as a strategic key concept for the urban development vision of the city of Madinah” aims to introduce the concept of environment-friendly sustainable downtown to be achieved by devising some of its related functions while promoting their constructive interaction.

Issues which the lecture addresses
Over the past quarter century, economic activity and employment in Madinah have been centralized within the 10sq km wide central area. While the central Prophets Mosque district is the main destination for all major routes, mass transit systems are generally still oriented only to serving downtown. While revitalization of the entire city with decongesting the central core is a major goal, the encouragement of the development of dense, diverse outer-city centers would contribute to the future viability of area-wide transit systems to the large city region. This article first defines the multi-nodal city concept. It then considers various factors favoring, as well as encouraging, undertaking such urban development strategy. Progress toward the establishment of strategic focal mixed-use centers outside the central area is described. Finally some of the major technical, social and ecological problems involved in the creation of an eco-system of multi-nodal downtowns network interconnected to the central hub of Madinah are discussed, along with the prospects of achieving the country’s vision goals by 2030.

Short analysis of the above issues
Over the past quarter century, economic activity and employment in Madinah have been centralized within the 10sq km wide central area. While the central Prophets Mosque district is the main destination for all major routes, mass transit systems are generally still oriented only to serving downtown. While revitalization of the entire city with decongesting the central core is a major goal, the encouragement of the development of dense, diverse outer-city centers would contribute to the future viability of area-wide transit systems to the large city region. This article first defines the multi-nodal city concept. It then considers various factors favoring, as well as encouraging, undertaking such urban development strategy. Progress toward the establishment of strategic focal mixed-use centers outside the central area is described. Finally some of the major technical, social and ecological problems involved in the creation of an eco-system of multi-nodal downtowns network interconnected to the central hub of Madinah are discussed, along with the prospects of achieving the country’s vision goals by 2030.

Propositions for addressing the issue
As for the normal growth process of any living organism, a natural evolution of a city occurs by beginning as a single cell and growing up, preserving its basic structuring order, into multicellular tissue with several nucleuses. Most cities in the world are multi-nodal, all having evolved naturally, induced by economic, social or political factors.
Madinah is a city that has hosted high numbers of visitors from all over the world for centuries, coming for the pilgrimage or for visiting the holy Prophet’s Mosque. The city is accommodating up to three hundred thousand visitors per night during peak periods, which amounts to almost 1 million per month, all living and moving inside a less than 1 km radius perimeter … Saudi Arabia’s second largest city with 1.3 million, Madinah is due to grow to 2.6 million by 2040 and is expected to attract 12.2 million visitors per year.
Authorities and local planners are rethinking the entire urban plan of the city and becoming aware that mass mobility and hosting issues with reference to the central area have to be solved before undertaking any other development decisions for the city. The strategic vision for the development of the city must surpass the problem-solving attitude by adopting an anticipatory approach. Considering the expected pilgrims and visitors’ flow rates for the next decades, a specific and conscious planning development approach must be implemented. An approach taking into consideration mass tourism issues and dealing with the challenging concern of managing the mass mobility of hundreds of thousands of worshipers heading the Masjid al-Haram within the few peak minutes preceding the daily five Prayer calls…
Local authorities have launched massive expansion projects as a step to decongest the central area. Stunning new cities inside the city are planned and are supposed to accommodate about 400.000 inhabitants and visitors. With Madinah having a concentric structure, the new cities are designed to be connected with the central Prophet’s Mosque by two main roads of about 5km east and west of the city and served by all necessary public transport. Additionally, a huge pedestrian corridor of about 3km, the “Sunnah Path” stretches from the south of the city to the other main pilgrims station of Quba Mosque. These are all remarkable steps towards mastering the concern of mass mobility management, but holding back a situation does not exempt from solving it…
The initial problem of human crowding in the central focus point of the Prophet’s Mosque will only be controlled if the large central area surrounding the mosque is judiciously planned and designed according to an integrated, comprehensive, sustainable and walkability-focused strategy, and converted into a large scale multi-nodal pedestrian hub…

Additional Reading Materials
Transformation of Istanbul from a monocentric to a polycentric city, Research article, Vedia Dökmeci Mimarlik Fakultesi , Istanbul Teknik Universitesi , Takim, Istanbul, 80191, Turkey; Subcentres and Satellite Cities: Tokyo’s 20th Century Experience of Planned Polycentrism, André Sorensen Department of Urban Engineering, University of Tokyo , Japan 2010; Commuting in Multi-Nodal Urban Systems: An Empirical Comparison of Three Alternative Models, L. van der, J., R. Laan Vogelsang Schalke, November 1998

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