Describing a Unique Urban Culture: Ibadi Settlements of North Africa

Date

2018-09

Advisors

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

ISSN

2190-3018

Volume Title

Publisher

Springer

Type

Book chapter

Peer reviewed

Yes

Abstract

Abstract. This paper examines the urban structure and architecture of the North African regions, which are characterised by the historical presence of Ibadism. This topic has a definite cultural frame, albeit with some differences across three geographical areas located in the Mediterranean Maghreb: the Island of Djerba in Tunisia, the region of Mzab in Algeria, and the Djabal Nafusa mountains in Western Libya. Although similar configurations can be found in different parts of the Mediterranean territories, in these particular regions, the need for protec-tion and defence, such as the balanced use of natural resources, has played an emblematic role. From the 10th century onwards, in fact, Ibadi communities chose the hard conditions of these lands to preserve their cultural identity, even at the cost of their isolation. Guided by the desert climate and scarcity of natural resources, these peoples developed specific urban solutions, architectural forms and construction traditions. The objective of this research is to define and compare the main facets of settlements and architectural forms, with the purpose of understanding and verifying the cultural continuity.

Description

Keywords

Djerba, Mzab valley, Djabal Nafusa, vernacular settlements, Ibadism

Citation

Polimeni B. (2019) Describing a Unique Urban Culture: Ibadi Settlements of North Africa. In: Calabrò F., Della Spina L., Bevilacqua C. (eds) New Metropolitan Perspectives. ISHT 2018. Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies, vol 101. Springer, Cham

Rights

Research Institute

Institute of Architecture