Oriental-Islamic city

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The model of the oriental - Islamic city is one of the more recent city ​​models in urban research . According to the cultural earth part concept, cultural area-specific differences in the development of cities can be determined in urban development. Oriental cities have more than 5,000 years of history, making them one of the oldest cities in the world. As a result of the political, cultural and social expansion of Islam from the sixth century onwards, the oriental city was increasingly shaped by Islam . In the 19th century, the western influence led to another change in the cityscape. A distinction is therefore first made between the model of the oriental-Islamic city and the model of the oriental city under Western influence.

The model of the Islamic-oriental city

The ideal scheme of the city of the Islamic Orient was first developed in 1969 by the geographer Klaus Dettmann . It describes the essential functional and spatial structures of the oriental old towns . Characteristic elements are:

The street system of the oriental city is also characteristic. On the one hand, it has large main traffic lines that lead from the city center to the city wall and also affect the individual city districts. On the other hand, the individual quarters are criss-crossed by narrow-meshed, winding dead ends that lead to the main streets. The dead ends reflect the pursuit of privacy protection in the ancient Orient , as do the typical inner courtyard houses .

The oriental city under western influence

The model of the oriental city under western-modern influence was developed from 1975 by Martin Seger using the example of the city of Tehran . As early as the 19th century, parts of the Islamic world came increasingly under strong Western influence. This first happened in the former colonies of European rulers, later also in other countries. Urban planning elements of western cities flowed into the development of the city and thus changed its architectural and socio-economic face. The modern oriental city still had its historic old town, but also a new economic core, which is known as the Central Business District (CBD for short) and above all has tertiary economic structures (banks, large department stores , hotels). The distribution of the residential areas also changed. While the CBD settled in the area of ​​the former upper class districts, the middle and upper classes sought the outskirts. The residential areas of the poorer parts of the population are mainly in the area of ​​the old town and its surroundings, where increasing slum formation can be observed. Due to the late industrialization, industry has mainly settled on the outskirts along the entry and exit roads .

See also


  • Klaus Dettmann: Damascus. An oriental city between tradition and modernity. Erlangen Geographical Works Heft 26, Erlangen 1969.
  • Heinz Heineberg : Urban geography (= university paperbacks 2166). 2nd updated edition. Schöningh, Paderborn et al. 2001, ISBN 3-8252-2166-0 .
  • Burkhard Hofmeister: The city structure. Their expression in the various cultural regions of the world (= income from research. Vol. 132). 3rd, revised edition. Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 1996, ISBN 3-534-12998-9 .
  • Martin Seger : Tehran. An urban geography study. Springer, Vienna et al. 1978, ISBN 3-211-81368-3 .
  • Eugen Wirth : On the conception of the Islamic city: privacy in the Islamic Orient versus publicity in antiquity and the Occident. In: The world of Islam. New Series, Vol. 31, No. 1, 1991, pp. 50-92
  • Eugen Wirth: The oriental city in the Islamic Middle East and North Africa. Urban fabric and spatial order, economic life and social organization. 2 volumes, Philipp von Zabern, Mainz 2001