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Title: Physical space, social behaviour and socioeconomic changes in traditional neighbourhoods:a case study of the traditional city of Nablus
Authors: Al Bishawi, Manal
Ghadban, Shadi
Keywords: Social change - Nablus - Palestine;Economic policy - Nablus - Palestine;Human behavior;Neighborhood - Social life and customs - Nablus - Palestine
Issue Date: Dec-2015
Publisher: Elsevier
Abstract: This paper investigates the relationships among socioeconomic changes, physical space and social behaviour, particularly with respect to how they are simultaneously influenced by each other in traditional neighbourhoods and how their interaction within the same context is important for the design and development of the built environment, particularly in the developing countries of the Middle-East, where traditional neighbourhoods suffer from a state of serious decline. Although theories concerning this topic focus on the relationships between social behaviour and physical space, between social behaviour and socioeconomic status or between socioeconomic status and physical space, they still do not sufficiently explain the influence between these three variables within the same context, whether traditional or modern. Particular attention was paid to women because they were the main social group in the Middle-Eastern societies who was largely influenced by the process of modernization and development in traditional neighbourhoods in terms of culture, education and behaviour. The traditional city of Nablus in Palestine was chosen as a case study. The main data collection methods were the use of questionnaires, observations and interviews. In addition, several techniques, such as the use of photographs and sketches, and cultural and SPSS techniques were employed to describe and reflect the results of the study. The primary findings of this paper are that socioeconomic changes, social behaviour and physical space are influenced by one another and that the variables produced by this interaction are not fixed and dependent on one another.
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