Critical analysis of the deficiencies for the urban problems in the historic centre of Najaf city

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Submission Summary
The holy city of Al-Najaf is one of the most sacred cities in Iraq and the Islamic world. The city was founded and built around the shrine of a central Islamic spiritual personality. Despite the veneration in which it is held, the Holy City has been through a long period of neglect and distortion through demolition and removal, as well as the construction of wide boulevards that do not fit with its historic urban fabric. It is necessary to find creative ways in which to preserve the vitality of the old city and help it to perform its functions and roles while preventing any prejudice in the form and context of the structure and function. Therefore, this research aims to study and analyse deficiencies for the urban problems in the historic centre of Najaf city and find a better way to deal with it. This study is based on reports such as The Urban Renewal Of the City Centre of Najaf The Old Town report by the Ministry of Municipalities and Public Work in Iraq in 2011, which provides insights and ideas about the urban fabric of the historic city centre of holy Najaf, as well as other reports of Najaf master plans in different periods and the Authors Field and practical study . this research states that dealing with the existing religious buildings as edifices in the adoption of strange and alien concepts may detract from the spiritual function of the historical centre and dismantle the compact urban fabric. The most significant determinant of the physical structure and urban fabric of the old Al-Najaf is determined by the influence of religious values, and these must be the underlying consideration in modern urban development. Keywords: critical analysis, the urban problems, Al-Najaf, historic centre. Research Methodology: This article is based on a descriptive and analytical method. By gathering data from various references, such as previous studies, formal statements and official information, there is a guide to show the deficiencies for the urban problems in the historic centre of Najaf Holy city. The Governorate of Najaf Holy city and the municipality of Najaf also provided materials: namely the two main master plans of Najaf and Kufa post-2003. The first study was conducted in 2007 by the World Research Centre, in association with the Ministry of Municipalities and Public Works. The study attempted to set out the master plan of Najaf city, including the historic city centre. In 2011 the Ministry of Municipalities and Public Works / General Directorate of Physical Planning contracted Dewan Architects and Engineers to set out the urban renewal of the historical centre of Najaf. The Najaf archives had insufficient materials. Interviews have proved to be one of the most powerful ways of gathering information to understand specific approaches to the urban problems in the historic centre of Najaf city. Therefore, this paper depends on the theoretical the investigation, spatial analysis and analytical discussions with local authorities (provincial councils), architects, planners, decision-makers (government officials), religious scholars, residents and people who have visited the city frequently. The information was gathered through talking with experts in the city and asking about their experiences, perceptions and practices. This methodology offers the opportunity to answer the question about the deficiencies for the urban problems in the historic centre of Najaf Holy city.
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5: Uniqueness and connectivity. Al-Baraha: unlocking urban futures
Chair in Architecture & Director, Centre for Architecture, Urbanism and Global Heritage
Nottingham Trent University
Nottingham Trent University

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