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Thread: Islamic implications for the design of bus stops and stations

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    Islamic implications for the design of bus stops and stations

    I'm looking for research conducted on the "islamic implications for the location and design of transit stops and stations, with particualr emphasis on Arabic-Islamic cities. Or any literature on the basic principles of islamic urban design (Middle Eastern context). For example Privacy for women is one principle and it should be considerd while designing public spaces like bus stops and stations.

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    Cyburbian fringe's avatar
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    hmmmm, you mean like modesty panels for translucent bus stop enclosures?

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    yes. Actually I didn't find any study that shows exactly the relationship between Islamic values (such as privacy for women etc) and design of transit stops and stations.

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    Cyburbian
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    The only thing I could think of would be to try to get ahold of someone from a Muslim majority country* and ask them if they know anything. You might have a hard time with this because most probably aren't aware of the laws (just like most people state side probably aren't aware of the laws about public transportation)

    * The Middle East and Muslim Majority Countries are not mutually inclusive terms. Israel is technically in the Middle East, and is not Muslim majority, while Indonesia is a Muslim Majority Country in South Asia.

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    Thanks for your response. Actually I conducted my research in Abu Dhbai. I collected all the data about their transit stops and stations. I was interested to find how these facilities are deisgned in other traditional-Arabic Islamic cities. What are Islamic implications for the location and design of these facilities.

    Right now, in Abu Dhbai they are locating bus stops close to the trip generators (means economic criteria) e.g., offices, commercial, colleges, hospitals etc. They are not using any Islamic criteria for locating or designing transit stops. I talked to deptt. of transporttaion officials in Abu Dhbai and they siad they are not providing separate waiting araes for women, while during surveys some Muslim females expressed their concern for privacy in waitng areas.

    I'm looking for some research (which I know for sure is not conducted yet, in UAE) that shows the relationship between Islamic values and transit tsops and stations. or Islam and design of public spaces.

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    Cyburbian RPfresh's avatar
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    I can speak for Tunis, which I have visited twice. It is known as the most liberal Arab/Muslim country, and has no gender division in transit stops that I can see. This strikes me as sensible - if wearing a hajib is good enough for women when they are walking around in public, why would they need more privacy on a bus or subway, or waiting for such transport? I think privacy issues are more relevant in the souks (if there even is one in Abu Dhabi), where women can easily be molested by a man that slips into the crowd, than on public transit.

    As far as books I would highly recommend "The Middle East City: Ancient Traditions Confront A Modern World" edited by Abdulaziz Y. Saqqaf. It's from 1987 but talks about the modernization of these ancient cities in detailed essays, covering Sana'a, Cairo, Beirut, Islamic Jerusalem, etc. It's probably pretty dated but could give you a glimpse at what was going on in the 80s and the foundation it laid for today's cities; I was 1 when it came out but reading it today it is still helpful in its insights. Good book.

    If you're planning in the Middle East you've got a cool job. The Arab world is pretty awesome.

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    Thanks. I just read Basim Hakim book: Arabic-Islamic Cities: Building and Planning principles. I'll also look at the book you recommended.

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    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    I live in easily the most muslim neighborhoods in North America. I am also a transportation planner, and been so for over 17 years. I don't ever recall anyone even bringing this up as an issue. It seems that most muslims, at least here, find public transport to have a negative stigma. I never even recall seeing a conservative muslim woman on a bus or train and I've been on plenty of them.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

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    Yes I agree with you. I interviewed some Emiratis official from Urban planning council in Abu Dhbai during my research. They said that "public transport is a stigma, and its only for low-paid workers (expatriate in Abu Dhabi).

    I conducted surveys with 150 riders. And out of them none was Emirati, all were expatriate from Asian countries and 80% were captive riders (low-paid laborers). Only a small percentage was muslims females. And couple of them expressed the concern for separeate waiting areas.

    So, overall public transport is used by low-paid expat in UAE.

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