People–Place Narratives as Knowledge Typologies for Social Sustainability: Cases from Urban Contexts in the Global South

Ashraf M. Salama*, Madhavi P. Patil, Amira N. Elsemellawy, Huyam H. Abudib, Noor A. Almansor, Laura MacLean, Kristijn van Riel

*Corresponding author for this work

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In the dynamic interplay between people and their physical environments, the Global South stands as a mosaic undergoing a multitude of transformative influences in architecture and urbanism, within which examining social sustainability becomes imperative. While the prevailing attention remains on environmental and economic sustainability, this study addresses a persistent gap in the urban literature by focusing on the dynamic and manifold nature of social sustainability. Positioning itself within the context of sustainable development, the study links the pursuit of social aspects of sustainability with selected unique urban contexts from the Global South. Five cases, including Alexandria (Egypt), Tripoli (Libya), Basra (Iraq), Lilongwe (Malawi), and Accra (Ghana), are discussed through multi-layered investigations which involve attitude surveys, interviews, focus groups, participatory systematic observations, and behavioral mapping, engaging directly with inhabitants and stakeholders. Uncovering people–place narratives in the identified contexts, the cases are developed into five knowledge typologies that serve as practical tools for planning and design decision-making, policy formulation, and academic discourse. Discussions are conceived to demonstrate the transformative role people–place narratives play in fostering a more sustainable and equitable urban future. Conclusions are drawn to offer practical insights for stakeholders involved in various capacities in shaping the urban landscape of the Global South.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1001
Number of pages29
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 4 Apr 2024

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