Müller, Sabine, and Andreas Quednau. Charter of Dubai: A Manifesto of Critical Urban Transformation. Berlin: Jovis, 2012.

The man-made peninsular Palm Jumeirah on the coast of Dubai is a superlative project and an exemplary model for the Gated Communities and Resorts that have developed worldwide in property bubbles. The development may be spectacular, but cannot conceal the fact that the former marketing success story is faced with serious problems. How can an isolated anti-urban exclave be opened up and integrated? Can issues concerning networking, the public sphere and affordable housing, as well as climate change adaptation, biodiversity and the supply of energy be resolved through targeted tactical interventions?The Charter of Dubai is a manifesto of critical urban transformation. It subversively encourages the conversion of isolated quarters into a socially and ecologically open urban space. The detailed catalog of the individual measures, richly illustrated with clear sketches and references, make the Charter a handbook for urban transformation that takes social and ecological aspects into account.

2 Comments on “Müller, Sabine, and Andreas Quednau. Charter of Dubai: A Manifesto of Critical Urban Transformation. Berlin: Jovis, 2012.

  1. You chose an interesting cut-in to look at the Dubaization mainly through the detailed planning and operation mode of “Palm Jumeirah” project and revealed the essence of this project is a kind of identitarian pattern and international branding to promote the Dubai-style construction and consumerism. This idea is somehow similar to the cultural exportation and image establish of dreamland. In addition, a comparison made between two similar projects mainly focused on the similarities. How about the difference? And is such a development mode a sustainable and repeatable one?

  2. From the five narratives it is clear to us that the development of Palm Jumeirah and similar islands are bold attempts to create a new city, it is a city without context and history. Given that the island, or say “the mode of Dubaization” has only rise and developed for a very short period of time, it is particularly difficult to evaluate the successfulness of it, for the understanding of urbanism here is different with what we can see in most other countries. Yet there are many articles and books evaluating the sustainability of this mode of urbanism, the book above, Charter Of Dubai: A Manifesto Of Critical Urban Transformation, being one of the most inspirational one, focuses on the reimagination of the Palm Jumeirah into a city for locals, integrating to the local culture and way of living, also self-sustainable city. In this book we are lead by the authors to see Palm Jumeirah in very different lens, without all the commercial and fanaticism, but the possibility of transforming it.

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