Urban Form and Insecurity: A Case Study of Three Districts in Baghdad

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Smart, James

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Sipe, Neil

Tomerini, Deanna

Fard, Tooran Alizadeh

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The research examines three districts in Baghdad, Iraq and poses three hypotheses: 1) urban form and structure impacts on the ability of residents to defend themselves; 2) adopted social behaviour of residents during times of terrorism affects social activity and hence urban structure; and 3) counter-terrorism measures used during times of terrorism affects urban form. The research used a combination of fieldwork, surveys and interviews to confirm that the daily life and behaviour of residents of the three case study areas were significantly influenced by terrorist acts and counter-terrorism measures. However these influences varied by district and the results confirm that these differences were related to urban form. The results also show that the impacts of counter-terrorism measures are diverse and their impact is also dependent on urban form. The research shows that despite the magnitude and scale of terrorist attacks within the case study areas, Rusafa (traditional form) and Falestin (mixed traditional/modern form) were more secure than Haifa (modern form). The research is significant in two ways. First, at the local level it provides the evidence to inform individuals about the appropriate building materials, housing style and neighbourhood form and structure that will minimise the impacts of terrorism Second, it provides research on previously unknown challenges and responses within diverse urban districts. This can bridge the knowledge gap regarding what happens within different urban forms during periods of insecurity and terrorism.

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Thesis (PhD Doctorate)

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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Griffith School of Environment

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The author owns the copyright in this thesis, unless stated otherwise.

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Social conditions, Baghdad

Urban geography, Baghdad

Counter terrorism measures, Baghdad

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