Defying Transience: Urban Landscapes in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Tuesday, February 25, 2020 - 12:00pm
PCPE 200 (Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics), 133 S 36th Street
Philadelphia, PA
United States

This talk examines temporality and transience as an urban condition in the cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. While these are presented as the main driving force behind the spectacular structures that dominate their cityscapes, there is a resistance among its citizens — locals and expatriates alike. Refusing to succumb to the label of transients they are seeking ways to establish a sense of connection to the cities they live in, setting down roots and for a brief moment of time counter the force of the ‘Temporary City.’  

Yasser Elsheshtawy is an independent scholar, an Adjunct Professor of Architecture at Columbia University, GSAPP and Non-Resident Fellow at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, DC. He was a Professor of Architecture at United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain, where in addition to teaching he also ran the Urban Research Lab. He was appointed as the curator for the UAE Pavilion at the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale in 2016. Considered an authority on urbanism in the region, his scholarship focuses on urbanization in developing societies, informal urbanism, urban history and environment-behavior studies, with a particular focus on Middle Eastern cities. 

International Relations
Foreign Policy/Diplomacy