Road infrastructure has been essential to the rapid urban development of GCC cities. While it can be used to create opportunities for more sustainable urban lifestyles, it has often taken priority over urban planning, creating barriers to connectivity within cities, and promoting car dependency.
While literature on the topic exists, the different factors that have led to this trajectory of urban development across GCC cities is under-researched. With Abu Dhabi as example, this project contextualises the city's urban development and investigates the impact of road infrastructure on urban life. It analyses the integration of roads in urban planning processes, as well as the effect of existing road infrastructure on mobility and the environment.
This project looks at existing and alternative design approaches that could help with the possible integration of new mobility services in the city, and aims to engage with international and local initiatives to understand local perspectives and draft recommendations for policymakers and relevant institutions.
This project forms part of the Academic Collaboration with Arab Universities Programme, funded by the Emirates Foundation.
[press interview] Why Dubai Metro may signal way forward for Gulf urban rail growth, The National, 20 March 2023.
Abu Dhabi (Dis)connected: An Evening of Art and Research, LSE Middle East Centre Seminar, 10 March 2023.
A. Gomes, A. Kyriazis, C. Montagne, K. Blackmore, K. Livingston, E. Shahin, P. Schwinger (org). Abu Dhabi (Dis)connected Exhibition, LSE Arts, 27 February - 24 March 2023.
Kyriazis, Gomes, Montagne and Schwinger (org.), Special Session on ‘The street as a barrier to better health on Middle Eastern cities’, at the 58th ISOCARP Brussels, October 2022.
Rethinking Streetscapes for Abu Dhabi: A Roundtable on the City’s Past, Present and Future, LSE Middle East Centre Blog, July 2022.
(Re)thinking Streets in Low Urban Densities, Roundtable series, LSE Middle East Centre Blog, January 2022.
Roads as Tools for (Dis)connecting Cities and Neighbourhoods: An Opening, LSE Middle East Centre Blog, November 2020.
Alexandra Gomes | Principal Investigator
Alexandra is Research Fellow at LSE Cities.
Dr Apostolos Kyriazis | Co-Principal Investigator
Apostolos is Associate Professor of Architecture and Urbanism, Department of Architecture and Design, Abu Dhabi University.
Peter Schwinger | Consultant
Peter is a transport economist and planning consultant.
Nour Al Ali | Research Assistant
Nour is an architecture student at Abu Dhabi University.
Haya Omar Al-Baiti | Research Assistant
Haya is an architecture student at Abu Dhabi University.
Juman Sebai | Research Assistant
Juman is a third year architecture student at Abu Dhabi University, with an interest in urban planning.
Eiman Shahin | Research Assistant
Eiman is completing a BA in Social Anthropology at the LSE. She plans to continue onto an MSc in Urban Planning, focussing on post-conflict planning in the Middle East and spatial inequalities in Gulf cities.
Branwen Spector | Research Assistant
Branwen is a lecturer in Research Methods at Brunel University and teaches in Anthropology and Political Geography at University College London. Her research focus is refugee mobility and infrastructure.
Hiba Syed | Research Assistant
Hiba is a student at Abu Dhabi University, with a focus in architecture and urbanism.
Sepehr Zhand | Research Assistant
Sepehr is a PhD candidate at the Space Syntax Laboratory, UCL, where he investigates how development policies intensify informal growth through applying machine learning.