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Research Article
Open Access Peer-reviewed

Makkah’s Urban Modernization and the Impact of Urban Regulations

Wadia Albarqawi
Journal of City and Development. 2022, 4(1), 11-22. DOI: 10.12691/jcd-4-1-2
Received May 08, 2022; Revised June 11, 2022; Accepted June 23, 2022

Abstract

This paper aims to provide an alternative approach to dealing with traditions. In the1970s, the British firm Robert Matthew and Johnson Marshall and Partners (RMJM) was commissioned by the Saudi Government to prepare Makkah's master plan. RMJM proposed a modern transport system and urban regulations. Among those urban regulations, the setback affected the city's urban character. It heralded the imposition of modernity and the loss of a strong level of identity. This paper examines the urban regulations' impact on the modernization of Makkah. Many urban studies were conducted to identify the RMJM's master plan challenges, but they were advisory documents lacking practical suggestions. This paper focuses on analyzing sitemaps, observations, and newspapers articles through historical interpretation to understand how the previous urban regulations were diverted from responding to people's interests to merely controlling urbanization. Then, it investigates the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs' updated urban regulation by analyzing the ground floor plans of the villa typology as a case study. A comparative analysis is conducted between the previous and updated urban regulations. This paper revealed that the updated urban regulations respond to people's interests instead of controlling urban growth. The Originality of this paper is in the way of dealing with traditions as social practices that emerge from peoples' desires and requirements; Traditions are prerequisite regulations to fulfill the principles of the society in the quest of forming identity.

1. Introduction

In the early stage of the formation of Saudi Arabia, transportation was a priority in the urban development process. The country had little experience with modern materials. Thus, the Egyptian Ministry of Transport sent engineer Muhammad Hassan in 1936 to Makkah 1. Hassan suggested a transport system that required widening the inner streets to accommodate vehicle traffic (Figure 1). The process includes removing obstacles, such as the daka, the mastabah, and roken albeit; they were additions to the houses and overlay streets 2. The municipality of the Holy Makkah approved the removal of obstacles, but the people of Makkah appealed against this ruling 3. Umm Al-Qura newspaper published that the court in Makkah legalized the municipality's action 3.

By 1950, the municipality of the Holy Makkah sent tenders documents to construct the first asphalt streets for vehicles in Makkah 4. The urban fabric started to extend in different directions, mostly north, northwest, and west. 'Abdullah Al‐Suleiman, the Minister of Finance at the time, built a palace full of decorations (Figure 2). The parapet was decorated with a crown and a vehicle model (Figure 3). The vehicle model reflects the changing use of the streets. A full-page in Um Al-Qura newspaper advertised the arrival of Sudan Ltd.'s new Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, and Volkswagen cars 5. The streets' nature changed from pedestrians oriented to vehicles oriented.

In the early 1970s, the Saudi government commissioned the British firm Matthew and Johnson and Partners (RMJM) to propose Makkah's master plan (Matthew and Marshall, 1973). Robert Matthew of RMJM was one of the advocates of modernity; Picasso and Walter Gropius influenced his painting and architectural approaches 6. Around that time, there was an increase in the number of pilgrims. The central area around the Kaaba had become crowded. RMJM proposed a transport system to easily access more distant districts for residents; the transport system would decrease the population in the central area from 67,000 to 19,000. RMJM’s master plan was vehicles oriented to radiate roads from the central area to the distant districts. Then he suggested the first, the second, and the third ring road system (Figure 3). The ring roads required tunneling through the mountains and building bridges over the valleys due to the topographic structure of Makkah.

The transport system proposed by the master plan ignored Makkah's topographic structure. Makkah's topographic structure is a combination of steep mountains and watershed valleys. The limited flat areas in the valley force people to organize their houses vertically. The urban fabric was compact and extended vertically. Ibrahim's Valley is the main, and the Ka'aba is in the center of the Valley. The entrance to Ibrahim's Valley extends from northeast to southwest. The proposed transport system breached this topographic configuration. Despite these discrepancies, the Deputy Ministry of the Interior for Municipalities approved RMJM's master plan for Makkah (1971-1973) 7.

The urban fabric changed from the compact urban fabric in the Valley of Ibrahim into gridded street patterns in distant areas. People constructed autonomous buildings with a setback from four sides. There was a lack of privacy, the disappearance of traditional architectural forms, and a widespread perception of lost identity and discontinuity with the past. Although urban studies attempted to recognize the RMJM's master plan error, they were theoretical. Studies looked at the urban fabric as a product of the urban regulations but did not investigate how these regulations emerged. In the traditional urban fabric, urban regulations emerged from the social practice, thus responding to people's requirements, e.g., privacy. In contrast, the municipality of the Holy Makkah's urban regulations disregards people's requirements in the new urban fabric.

This paper examines the urban regulations' impact on the modernization of Makkah. The aim is to state how they controlled urbanization instead of responding to people's interests. Then, it investigates the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs’ update of the urban regulation. The purpose is to state to what extent the updated urban regulations respond to people's interests. The hope is to provide an alternative approach to tradition as a basis for identity formation.

2. Theoretical Framework

The Arabian American Oil Company (Aramco) transmitted modernity to the Saudi urban development process, including Makkah. The U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Navy placed Saudi oil a national priority during WWII 8. The Americans' Marshall Plan (1948-52) assisted the recovery of the European economy and aided the rise of the oil-producing countries' economies. The U.S provided technical support and developing projects besides exporting part of the Western culture to ensure economic stability 8, 9. Modern materials and equipment arrived in Saudi Arabia 10. Aramco then designed a campus for employees based on Western values of urbanism, a grid pattern of streets with mass-produced autonomous buildings 9. Many Saudi officials adopted Aramco's urban planning system as the basis of many Saudi cities; Makkah was not exceptional 11. With this argument in mind, I used both terms, the “setback” and “front,” for their usage in both wars and urban pieces of literature. The terms “setback” and “front” are usually found on battlefields and in wars. In urbanism, the term “setback” refers to the spaces that “set” the building “back” from the property line, and the term “front” refers to the spaces in front of the building. I used both terms to emphasize the losing battle of identity to modernity in the urbanization process of Makkah.

2.1. DETOUR

Before investigating the impact of the urban modernization of Makkah on identity, it is crucial to understand the modernity/tradition discourse in the area.

In general, the urban forms of many Muslim cities were an outcome of social practice in many cases. In some other cases, they were based on political ambitions, and in others were a result of economic changes. In all cases, Islamic principles guided the urban development process.

The social practice shaped the traditional urban fabric of many Arab-Muslim cities. Dabbour stated that the social practices had shaped many Arab-Muslim cities as they responded to people's requirements. 12, 13. Basim Hakim investigated traditional Arab-Muslim cities' formation and explained how traditions “urf” shaped the urban fabric 14. In Hakim's terminology, traditional urban regulations or “urf” were reflections of day-to-day social practice and use of the space. Hakim's study was limited to the traditional urban fabric without explaining how traditions regulate urban development. The question here is, what is tradition? Is it the past and its physical forms! Or the social practice of the past?

According to professor of architecture Saleh Al-Hathloul, traditions set the social practice framework in society 15. Nizar al-Sayyad states that traditions are the basis of modern if developed but not repeated 13. Traditions, however, started as social practice based on understanding and principles. Then, traditions become social practice without understanding and conviction, repeating the past. In this case, tradition restricts any development. There is no precise mechanism for dealing with traditions. Tradition should deal with today's conditions considering the current technical developments.

Modernity is related to modernism, a movement that emerged during the industrial age of the 19th century. Modernity means a new and better lifestyle and technology, suggesting discontinuity with the past 16. Then, modernity was associated with colonialism and western hegemony. According to Nizar Al-Sayyad, modern industrial capitalism by the mid-19th out of organized political dominance via colonial empires-British, French, Italian, etc.

Today, Western hegemony reshaped the process of urban development in many Muslim cities. Tensions between modern and traditional forms coexist and challenge the development of an environment that can represent identity. Al-Hathloul addressed the problem of many Arab-Muslim cities. He stated that the built environment of many Arab-Muslim cities today is different from the traditional one 15. Al-Hathloul studied Doxiadis's master plan for the modernization of Riyadh in Saudi Arabia and pointed out the problems of the gridded urban fabric and urban regulations 15. The lack of privacy was among the issues; thus, people started to add metal sheets from the neighborhood sides to maintain privacy in their houses. He observed the impact of modern urban regulations on the physical environment but did not investigate how these modern urban regulations were initiated 15. Al-Hathloul associates tradition with modernity as many other scholars did; in doing so, he restricted tradition to the act of the past and suggested the continuity of tradition in shaping Muslim cities. This approach requires an understanding of what version of modernity can be the basis to develop Muslim cities regarding their culture and identities.

In the Middle East, three conditions regarding urban modernity emerged. First, the imposition of western modernity by colonial enterprise and the practice of Western architects and urbanists and those who admire their approach. Second is the response by local architects and urbanists to western modernity. Third, alternative modernity in the Middle East as we move towards globalization and, more recently, smart cities and the internet of things age.

1. Western architects shaped the built environments of many Middle Eastern cities by the 20th century. The process started with a top-down approach to demolishing the traditional center of old cities. Then, rapid transformation by superimposing Western ideas onto local culture. Attaching traditional elements to modern buildings dominated the Western architects' practice. The work of Frank Lloyd Wright in Baghdad was an attempt to represent the spirit of the classic tales and adventures of A Thousand and One Nights, envisioning a fantasy of the city 8. Walter Gropius's master plan for Baghdad University in 1953 and Joseph Luis Sert's design of the American Embassy in Baghdad (1955‐61) were examples that suggest only western values can be applied 17. They were Western modernist architects who imposed their theories of modernity. They attached domes and many other traditional forms to justify their imposition of western forms. For example, Hellmuth, Obata, and Kassabaum (HOK) were commissioned to design the King Saud University campus, and Caudill, Rowlett, and Scott (CRS) were commissioned to design the University for Petroleum and Minerals in Dhahran, adjacent to Aramco's headquarters 18. Both firms were American-based and both designs featured colonnaded arcades and pointed arches 18. New building codes included setbacks (based on Western norms). The setback forced the traditional courtyard houses to disappear and autonomous houses to emerge.

2. Many theorists railed against the imposition of Western modernity. The consolidation of Islamic values in architecture and urban design approaches emerged from the above discourse. Ahmad Farid Moustapha published Islamic Values in Contemporary Urbanism, a book that reflected his vision of urbanism based on Islamic instructions and values 19. Architects and urbanists Abdul‐Baki Ibrahim's interview with Le Corbusier in 1964 left him with the perception that developing theories in architecture depends on the set of principles and values which guide the design 20. They view modernity in continuity with the past—a return to the Islamic principles. “As an intellectual trend, Islamic modernism is one response to the Muslim encounter with the West in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries” 16. However, the outcome revealed that the discourse could not reach appropriate conciliation. Their approach was ideal urbanism, a utopia in the area. A few institutions, if any, adopted their approach. The approach was theoretical, lacking a deep understanding of everyday practice.

Some local architects started to adopt traditional approaches by reviving traditional building techniques, as in the case of the Egyptian Hassan Fathy. Architect Mohammad Makiyah from Iraq tends to synthesize more than one traditional technique from the Muslim world.58 Follower Iraqi architect Rifat Chadirji takes a different approach by embracing modern buildings techniques rather than traditional techniques. Chadirji is inspired by traditional forms but never reproduces them using traditional techniques. It is worth noting that while some architects in the Middle East adopted a traditional approach, others called for adopting Western modernity. Architectural historian Sibel Bozdogn presents a different case in which local architects become active participants in modernity rather than concerning themselves with local architecture 21.

3. Alternative modernity emerged in the area as in many third-world countries. Architectural historians and co-editors Sandy Isenstadt and Kishwar Rizvi, in their work compiled after a 2003 conference at Yale University, attribute the changes in the urban fabric of many Middle Eastern cities to the spread of modernity 9. Contributors to the book provide a wide range of studies as alternative versions of modernism. Duanfang Lu, in her edited book Third World Modernism: Architecture, Development, and Identity, takes the argument to a broader scope by examining many versions of modernity during the mid‐twentieth century in the realm of Third World nations 22. The contributors map not only Western modernity; instead, they present alternative versions of progress throughout the Third World. In the case of the architectural style of Chandigarh, this can be understood as an anti-Western modern approach 22. Modernity was viewed differentially as a way of developmentalism detached from Western influence and, in other cases, as modernism or globalism informed by Western modernity; in all cases, it was the desire to achieve “Utopia in the Third World.”

In the Gulf region specifically, the move is towards urban preservation, preserving the historic districts that hold the past, traditions, and the culture of the societies. The process called for heritage restorations 23. However, for architecture critic Abeer Allahham, the Orientalism discourse specified heritage in the region, which was about the old tangible elements of esthetic value and special meaning 24. The process has two main stages: first, the deep layer creates heritage through a continuous process of “inheritance” in the present based on the past, selected with the instruments of power of authority 24. The second layer, the manifested layer, produces that for society 24. The selective process by authority made heritage the contemporary production of an unreal image of the past or the past that never exists, or (simulacra) in Baudrillard's term of de-traditionalization 24. Heritage was represented rather than elaborated as a lived reality in an era of a nation.

Social engagement is pragmatic in dealing with heritage. In The Routledge Companion to Architecture and Social Engagement, Farhan Karim suggests an entrepreneurial mode in architecture via social engagement and public participation. The model suggests shifting from individual desires to public interests and requirements 25. It also suggests the alternative approach of dealing with modernity/tradition continuously. They believe that tradition can shape both the modern and future urban development of many Middle Eastern cities.

2.2. RETURN

Having explored the urban development process in the Middle East regarding modernity/tradition discourse, it is possible to state that the Saudi approach to urban modernization was different. Doxiadis's master plan for Baghdad suggested superblock developments. The scale and size of the blocks divided the society by class 13. In Egypt, the nationalist‐socialist regime of Gamal Abdel Nasser built public housing schemes on a vast scale 13. In contrast to the Iraqi and Egyptian governments, the Saudi government offered plots an interest‐free loan to enable residents to build their own houses. In 1976, the Ministry of Finance established a real‐estate development fund 15. This approach to urban development created space for residents to build houses according to their needs and requirements, but there were no specific regulations or guiding design principles. In contrast, modern urban regulations aim to control urban growth and prevent informal urbanity for the authority's interest. The traditional urban regulations were a bottom-up process, while modern urban regulations were a top-down process.

In the early 1970s, the British firm Matthew and Johnson and Partners (RMJM) was commissioned by the Saudi Government to prepare Makkah's master plan. In 1985, Sha'ir and associates were commissioned to prepare a comprehensive development plan for Makkah. The Al-Summit firm submitted a developing control plan for all Saudi cities, including Makkah. In 1992, Ahmad Farid Moustapha's firm was commissioned, in cooperation with Archie-Plan, to provide a detailed study of selected neighborhoods in Makkah. By 1999, the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs, the Agency for the City Planning Department, and the Secretariat of the Holy City Municipality, along with a group of experts and specialists, prepared strategic planning for Makkah aligned with the national planning policy. Although the former studies aimed to identify the difficulties that faced the implementation of the RMJM's master plan in general and to provide practical solutions for the urban development of Makkah, they were advisory documents lacking practical, strategic suggestions.

While modernism has been informed by scarcity in some parts of the world, oil revenue has been crucial to urban transformation in Makkah. On the one hand, oil production put Saudi Arabia in the global context as a significant supplier; therefore, aid and modern materials were provided. On the other, Saudis were opened to the outside world with direct access to modern materials and goods. This situation resulted in the mass production of urban spaces and traditional forms as inevitable regardless of the need to embody strong meanings and/or values.

3. Research Methods

This paper focuses on the impact of urban regulations in Makkah since the initiation in 1940 to the RMJM's proposal and the recent update in 2018. The focus is on the setback as an urban regulation and how it allows modernity to overcome identity. It analyses the villa typology to understand people's chances in the villa as a social practice. The analysis includes sites maps, observations, and newspapers articles about the new neighborhood. Photographs will provide another source of information to support the argument. Then, it investigates the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs' updated urban regulation by analyzing modern villas as case studies. The analysis includes ground floor plans and perspectives of the villas to test how the amendments considered people's desires and requirements to fulfill principles in society. This paper hopes to provide an alternative urban modernization approach to the future generation.

4. The Setback: The RMJM Master Plan for Modernizing Makkah

The RMJM submitted the development control guidelines in 1973. The firm stated: “The western region will experience a boom in urbanization…and it is difficult for the municipality to control it” 26. RMJM advised the municipality to appoint a specialized architectural consultant to approve or reject any urban and architectural designs. The municipality did not tack the advice and approved and rejected urban and architectural designs proposals.

By 1977, the municipalities of Saudi cities were under The Deputy Ministry of the Interior for Municipalities. The Deputy Ministry approved new building regulations after revising the old regulations. The Deputy Ministry assumed modern urbanism. The old regulations were the official reference since 1940 27. There were clear instructions about building arrangements and the use of Roushans to ensure peoples' rights, e.g., privacy 6. An example of these regulations is that: Roushans did not occupy more than half of the façade; Roushans should not extend more than one meter as a maximum projection; and, if there were another Roushans at the other end, there must be a space between them 6. In the new regulations, there was an absence of any regulations supporting the traditional building methods or any indication of the use of Roshan's 28. The new regulations restricted the total built area of the plots to 60%, with a front setback equal to one-fifth of the street's width and a two-meter setback from both sides and back 7. The Deputy Ministry of the Interior for Municipalities required the setback as part of the building regulations 7. The grid street pattern was the basis of the design (Figure 5). The new building codes requiring setbacks, based on Western norms, forced the traditional urban fabric and architecture to disappear. Housni Al-Taher mourned the loss of the Roshans in the Al-Bilad newspaper:

“They are with[out]…doubt the most beautiful and comfortable and glam[orous] in appearance, cheerful if seated within…not these windows which one cannot sit in…the roushans must be preserved for the future as they are the best that Islamic civilization achieved in the blooming time” 29.

The The Deputy Ministry of the Interior for Municipalities and RMJM's master plan contributed to implementing the modern Western model of urbanism.

RMJM's master plan facilitated access to distant new districts, e.g., Al-Aziziyah, Al-Russaifah, and Al-Hijra. People moved from the traditional environment around the Holy Mosque into these new modern districts. The grid street patterns in these districts forced people to construct autonomous buildings. The villa was the most desirable residential type. Al-Naim wrote: “The need to express meaning in architecture enabled the villa type to become the device for Saudis to express their social status as modern…The villa represented modernity, and the people’s attitude was based on the stylistic association that 'modern,' as expressed in the modern villa style, is ‘good’ by being modern.” 30. The constructions of villas in grid streets pattern mark a shift from the traditional compacted urban fabric to the modern urban fabric; a shift from collectivism into individualism.

In the 1990s, people started to move to more distant areas, for example, Al-Nawariyah, Al-Sharayi'a, and Al-‘Awali, along the axial roads. The municipality approved a different planning scheme; hybrid street patterns. In Al-Sharayi'a, for example, the grid patterns were modified by shifting the axes to form a central core. The center was for public buildings, parks, and schools. The streets’ ends become cul-de-sacs, and the middle of the plot is designed for pedestrians. While the modernity approach of girded streets patterns assumed ideal urbanism, the hybrid streets patterns expected more social activities. Nevertheless, the central cores and cul-de-sacs became dark places of less legibility. The hybrid streets patterns invoked concepts such as urban legibility, streets vividly, and less social activities.

Moreover, the municipality’s regulations affected the traditional urban fabric and the architecture of Makkah. There were no clear instructions regarding the locations, size, and directions of windows, forcing people to alter the facades of their villas. The municipality did not issue any regulation regarding the openings, i.e., the openings of windows that overlooked neighbors’ villas. Many villas did not enjoy privacy. People attached historical elements to their villas. There was an attempt to develop Roushans using different materials, such as aluminum, fiberglass, and steel (Figure 7). Faisal Al‐Shareef states that: 'Most of the building elements of the Islamic and local traditional architecture are utilized only for decorative purposes…[F]ake imitations of some elements, e.g., Roushan, without understanding the essence behind their use in traditional designs usually create problems rather than solutions' 31. People’s attachment of the Roushans was part of the social practice, a tool to fulfill the principle of privacy, but the result want far from the goal. The streets in this new urban fabric were car-oriented with no social activities. There was no point in looking at the streets. The use of the Roushan in the new urban fabric was not a practical solution (Figure 8).

The RMJM's master plan and the municipality regulations permitted the emergence of villas in Makkah with a setback from all sides regardless of the principle of privacy. It is possible to imagine an entire district of villas designed with steel sheets from all four sides to ensure privacy, as it appeared in one of the provocative YouTube cartoons Masamir (Nails) by locals 32. The animator showed buildings modified by adding metal sheets because some residents sought privacy (Figure 9). This YouTube, like many others, reflects people’s concerns about privacy. People added metal sheets as a social practice, a tool to fulfill the principle of privacy (Figure 10). The irony was that the municipality did not act against adding metal sheets. Although the urban regulations aimed to control the urban growth and inappropriate developments; they did not consider the metal sheet inappropriate.

More than two decades had passed without fully implementing the RMJM's master plan. The cartography map of Makkah showed the completion of only the first ring road. The second, third and fourth ring roads were in dotted lines indicating that they were under construction. The urban regulations were merely a legal process to grant approval serving the municipality's interest regardless people interest and concerns.

5. The Front: The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs new Guiding Design Regulations

In 2018 The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs announced the amendment of the existing setback regulations for residential buildings (villas) on the ground floor only in the approved residential plots. The Ministry indicated that these modifications were based on a comprehensive study. The Ministry conducted the study in coordination and participation with all secretariats in all municipalities in Saudi. The major problem occurred from the setbacks due to the unused spaces between the building and the neighbors. The Ministry increased the construction percentage on the ground floor from 60% to 70% of the property area with the possibility for the construction in the setback as follows:

• In separate villas, constructions are allowed on the setback of two sides.

• In duplex villas, constructions are allowed on the setback of one side.

In so doing, the Ministry considered the construction in the setback as a complementary space on the ground floor of the building. This allows the integration of this space with the other building spaces, such as the guest room (majlis), the dining room, the living room, and the kitchen.

Villa Fawaz in Makkah is an excellent example of the utilization of the setback; the design reflects an appropriate interpretation of the new regulations. The designer proposed a courtyard on the setback from the neighbor’s side (Figure 12). The north side of the courtyard is the wall that defines the property and the neighbor. The master bedroom and the dining room extended to the setback from the west and east. The master bedroom, the living room, the dining room, and the kitchen revolved around the courtyard; the courtyard links the spaces visually (Figure 12). It also connects the spaces with the outside, providing natural light.

The wall on the northern side (on the setback from the neighbor’s side) extends vertically with a projection towards the villa to form a canopy. The extended wall protects the courtyard from direct sunlight as part of the environmental treatment. It also protects the spaces from the gaze of neighbors as a social treatment. The extended wall redefines the setback from merely waste space into a courtyard with a high level of privacy. The designer elevated the spatial quality of the front by merging the garage with the entrance and the little garden. The front is no longer a setback of 1/5 of the street width. It is the front of the house; thus, the design should reflect this impression. The upper floor overlays the front to cast shade on the entrance (Figure 13).

The Ministry allowed the attachment of the external annex to the building. The Municipal and Rural Affairs explained that:

“This step arises to develop regulations, including building regulations, concerning the setbacks of residential buildings (villas) in a way that enables citizens to benefit from their lands in the most appropriate format.”

From an architectural point of view, the new version of the setbacks is a tactic to bring back the villas typology to the front. The frontage has become a field for architects to experiment with innovative solutions regarding environmental treatments and/or social requirements. The Ministry of housing provides examples via its websites, so benefiters from the Ministry fund program can contact the consultant and acquire the design. In this example, the architect designed a solid façade (Figure 14). The solid façade initiate reference to the city of Makkah; a symbolic representation of the wall of the Kaaba. The designer proposed semi-courtyards on the setback from the neighbor's side and spaces for services, e.g., W.C., storage, and the annex. All other rooms are inward-oriented to allow a high level of privacy (Figure 15).

The Ministry stressed the importance of adhering to the conditions and controls when building in the setbacks (for the ground floor) to separate the structure (a double wall with a structural partition) from the neighboring building. The Ministry added that the minimum dimensions for the courtyard/skylight are 2m by 2m, considering the Saudi building code. There should be no rainwater draining on the neighbors. The ground floor height from the neighbor should not exceed 305m from the land level. If there is an existing neighbor, the obligation is to finish the façade with the same materials. When building in that setback, it is not allowed to use the roof as a terrace or external balcony; and not place external air conditioners or satellite receivers on that roof. This is important for privacy and not to overlook at the neighbors.

The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs emphasized that the development of regulations concerning (setbacks) addressed the current situation and unified regulations and construction procedures in the setbacks for all municipalities in Saudi Arabia. The amendments aim to achieve justice, limit the presence of violations of building in setbacks inappropriately, and ensure access to natural light and ventilation for buildings. These amendments create a space for architects to be creative in the design and benefit from their land positively and thus to achieve a qualitative leap in the housing design process by finding creative architectural solutions. An architect tweeted: “if someone can help the plan owner as she does not like the kitchen to be adjacent to the female guestroom.” (Figure 18). The first response was conventionally advising her to switch between the kitchen and the female guestroom. The other responses were interesting, suggesting extending the kitchen to the setback on the neighbor's side. The kitchen door will be on the other side, far from the female guestroom. Another response proposed total separation of the kitchen by moving it to the corner on the neighbor's setback from the side and the back. The rearrangements sprat the kitchen entirely, fulfilling the owner's requirement.

6. Discussion

Nations experience alternative modernity architecture according to different conditions. The discourse has a broad scope from the gulf region, Arab-Muslim cities, and Middle Eastern cities and later involved the third-world nations. This paper examined modernity produced in Makkah, which went through different stages:

The traditional urban fabric emerged based on a self-organized society before 1940. Residents and local participants determined the urban regulations which shaped the vernacular urban forms. It was the bottom-up process by suggesting what is allowed, not what is prohibited. This process created a space for innovations such as the Roushan. It was a collective effort targeting to regulate the relationship between individuals. Collectivism is aligned with individualism, meaning that individual interests work to form collective interest. The compacted urban fabric is self-evidence. However, the municipality of Makkah has not perceived the social practice that produced Makkah's vernacular urban forms as urban legal regulations. As Saudi Arabia was in the modernization process, Makkah mainly aimed to cope with the yearly influx of pilgrims, forcing the traditional urban practice to retreat. Modern urban practice dominated the process gradually.

From 1940 to 1970, the transitional urban fabric started to emerge. The transitional urban fabric was a hybrid urban fabric of vernacular and modern forms. Oil production increased, thus notable an increase in the economy. During that period, the first organized urban development occurred. The first roads regulations and the municipalities' regulations were issued with the emergence of the suburbs and the basic infrastructure. It was a centralized urban process shaped by industrial urbanism. People's attachment of the Roushans to their modern buildings spread as part of their social practice. It was nostalgia in some cases and an attempt to fulfill the principle of privacy in others, but the result went far from the goals. In the gridded urban fabric, the activities of the streets were different from that in the traditional urban fabric; thus, the Roushan were functionless. The attempt to develop the Roushans using different materials destroyed their beauty and functions.

Modernity in Makkah has been associated with Western modernity since the urban intervention by Robert Mathew's master plan. The process, at first, was a utopia, a search for an ideal city far from reality and everyday practice. The early 1970-and 1985 marked the shift in the urban development process in Makkah. The Holy Makkah municipality issued the urban guidelines and developed control. The setback was one of the essential urban regulations to control urban growth. It was a top-down approach serving the interest of the municipality. The gridded urban fabric dominated most of the suburbs suggesting autonomous buildings. The villa was the most popular residential typology and some apartment buildings. Individual interest ruled collective interest. Thus, people added metal sheets between their houses and the neighbors' houses. It was a social practice seeking privacy. The discourse here was around the binary position of modernity/tradition. The process announced the change from collectivism to individualism. The built environment in Makkah was chaotic; a mixture of irregular urban fabric versus regular street patterns and a fusion of traditional and modern buildings. The RMJM's master plan and the municipality regulations permitted the emergence of villas in Makkah with little consideration for privacy. The attachment of the Roushan was a form of cultural resistance to the imposition of Western modernity. While the people in Makkah reacted strongly against modernity, at the same time, they were open to invention and discoveries.

They envisaged being the productive society they were long ago. In Makkah, collectivism produced Roushans and the unique spatial quality; people looked forward to representing their world as an ideal living society. However, the process of invention was replaced solely by reproduction. While the process in the past depended upon the reflection of meanings and values, the reproductions of Roushans in the late 1980s communicated only the arguments that hybrid societies do not necessarily produce hybrid places.

In cooperation with Archie-Plan, Ahmad Farid Moustapha was commissioned to provide a detailed study of selected neighborhoods in Makkah to ascertain the difficulties that impeded urban development. It was vital for Moustapha to argue against the RMJM's master plan for modernizing Makkah. Moustapha identified many problems: informal urban development in the mountains, lack of services, ignoring the municipality's regulations, social isolation in some areas, a high density with lack of services, and low living standards in many other areas. Moustapha's study was theoretical lacking practical suggestions.

From 1985 to 2005, the urban process was developed from merely a strategic approach to a more enabling approach. There were fewer developing controls and guidelines. Globalization has spread Western modernity as a perceived ideal lifestyle through modern means of media and telecommunications. In this sense, globalization imposes a new perception of places that become spaces for producing stereotypes, regardless of local cultures. Places are becoming undefined spaces with indeterminate identities. Consumption was the main factor in shaping the spatial qualities of many cities worldwide. In the Middle East, most architects position themselves within the global culture of designs by learning from western architects and examining modern approaches to architecture urban design. Ideas of sustainable urban developments emerged as other urban development approaches. The positions remained somewhat dichotomy without reconciliations.

Recently, the Ministry of Housing then amended the setback by observing people practice in their home environment. The amendment of the setback returned the villa typology to the front to rally against modernity. It also responded to climate and energy consumption 33. Building regulations define the relationship between buildings within their urban pattern, thus improving the urban environment 33. The update of the urban regulations was a tactic that changed the conditions from losing to winning the war against western modernity. The urban forms were developed based on modernity norms but were modified via social practice to experiment with a new version of modernity. Public participation is the key to embracing collective interests within individuals' benefits, comforts, and principles.

7. Conclusion

Tradition is an action that emerges from desires and requirements which require methods, tools, guidelines, and/or regulations to fulfill the principles of society. Any other action is not tradition; it is an experiment of the method, tools, guidelines, and/or regulations. Therefore, the equation “tradition is (not) modern” is modified to tradition as the experiment of the modern method, tools, guidelines, and/or regulations. What we do today will be the tradition of tomorrow, but not all that we do; what fulfills the common principles in society is most likely to continue to be the tradition that shapes the future.

Every society experiments with its own 'modernity' according to its principles and values; as part of its identity formation. The villa represented modernity in Makkah and most of Saudi Arabia. It was introduced by Aramco's urban plan scheme and spread across the country. In Makkah, the relatively high income of individuals made the villas more desirable. The RMJM Makkah's master plan and the Makkah Municipality's actions endorse the notion regardless of people's needs and requirements of society's principles and values. The setback was introduced to control the development process but never considered people's social practices. It assumed an ideal modern city. People expressed the feeling of a low level of urban identity.

This paper recommends updating the urban regulations to include the upper levels in the villa typology. It is also possible to examine the building on the entire plot without any setback. The concept of the courtyards will return to the front in this case, and the potential to see innovative designs will increase.

References

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In article      
 
[2]  Abkar, A. Souar Min Turath Makkah Al-Mukaramh, Beirut: ‘oloum Al-Quran, 2004.
In article      
 
[3]  Um Al-Qura (1956), 6 Jnurary.
In article      
 
[4]  Um Al-Qura (1950), 30 December.
In article      
 
[5]  Um Al-Qura (1929), 30 August.
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In article      View Article
 
[7]  Al-Hathloul, S. A. and Anis-ur-Rahmaan S. “The evolution of urban and regional planning in Saudi Arabia.” Ekistics (1985): 206-212.‏
In article      
 
[8]  Wright, G. “Global ambition and local knowledge.” Modernism and the Middle East: Architecture and Politics in the Twentieth Century. Seattle: University of Washington (2008): 221-254.‏
In article      
 
[9]  Isenstadt, S. and Kishwar R. eds. Modernism and the Middle East: architecture and politics in the twentieth century. University of Washington press, 2011.‏
In article      
 
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In article      
 
[11]  Al-Naim, M. “Identity in transitional context: open-ended local architecture in Saudi Arabia.” International Journal of Architectural Research 2.2 (2008): 125-146.‏
In article      
 
[12]  Dabbour, L. “The traditional Arab Islamic city: the structure of neighborhood quarters.” Journal of Architecture and Urbanism 45.2 (2021): 107-118.‏
In article      View Article
 
[13]  AlSayyad, N. (2008) From Modernism to Globalization: The Middle East in Context, Modernism and the Middle East: Architecture and politics in the twentieth century, pp. 255-266.‏
In article      
 
[14]  Hakim, B. S. “Arabic-Islamic Cities; Principles of Urban Development and Construction.” (2002).‏
In article      
 
[15]  Al-Hathloul, Saleh Ali. Tradition, continuity and change in the physical environment: The Arab-Muslim city. Diss. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1981.‏
In article      
 
[16]  Tariq, M. M. “Islamic Modernity It’s significance in current scenario Philosophy.” Balochistan.‏ 2014‏.
In article      
 
[17]  Magnus T. Bernhardsson, “Vision of Iraq, Modernizing the Past in 1950s Baghdad,” in Modernism and the Middle East : architecture and politics in the twentieth century, ed. Sandy and Rizvi Isenstadt, Kishwar (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2008). P.88.
In article      
 
[18]  Al-Hathloul, S. “Continuity in a changing tradition.” Legacies for the Future: Contemporary Architecture in Islamic Societies (1998): 18-31.‏
In article      
 
[19]  Moustapha, A. F. Islamic values in contemporary urbanism. ISOMER (Islamic Society of Melbourne Eastern Region), 1986.‏
In article      
 
[20]  Ibrahim, A. “The Islamic Perspective of Architectural Theory.” Cairo: Centre for Planning and Architectural Studies, no date (1986).‏
In article      
 
[21]  Bozdoğan, Sibel. “Modernism and nation building: Turkish architectural culture in the early republic.” (2001).‏
In article      
 
[22]  Lu, Duanfang, ed. Third world modernism: architecture, development and identity. Routledge, 2010.‏
In article      View Article
 
[23]  Fabbri, R. and Al-Qassemi S. S. Urban Modernity in the Contemporary Gulf: Obsolescence and Opportunities. Taylor & Francis, 2022.‏
In article      View Article
 
[24]  Allahham, A. The Discourse of Islamic Urban “Heritage”: A Foucauldian Governmentality Perspective. College of Design, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arab. 2021.
In article      View Article
 
[25]  Karim, F. & Ferdous, F. (Eds.). The Routledge companion to architecture and social engagement. New York: Routledge.‏ (2018).
In article      View Article
 
[26]  Matthew, R. and Marshall, J. “The Master Plan for Makkah,” (Saudi Arabia: The Municipality of Holy Makkah. (1973).
In article      
 
[27]  Nizam Al-Toroq Wa Al-Mabani [Roads and Building Regulation] (1972), Makkah: Government Print.
In article      
 
[28]  The Municipality OF the Holy Makkah website: www.holymakkah.gov.sa, retrieved 12, March, 2008.
In article      
 
[29]  Abkar, A. Souwar Min Turath Makkah. Makkah: Dar Al-Turath. (1999).
In article      
 
[30]  Al-Naim, Mashary. “Identity in transitional context: open-ended local architecture in Saudi Arabia.” International Journal of Architectural Research: ArchNet-IJAR 2.2 (2008): 125-146.‏
In article      
 
[31]  Al-Shareef, F. M. Natural light control in Hadjazi architecture: an investigation of the Rowshan performance by computer simulation. Diss. University of Liverpool, 1996.‏
In article      
 
[32]  [Masamir] (2012) available at: http://www.youtube.com/user/nejercom?feature=results_main.
In article      
 
[33]  Kotbi, Mohammad Ghazi, and Saleh Mubarak Baharetha. “A STUDY OF THE IMPACTS OF THE DEVELOPED BUILDING REGULATION ON THE THERMAL PERFORMANCE OF RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS IN RIYADH-SAUDI ARABIA.” Journal of Al-Azhar University Engineering Sector 15.54 (2020): 376-393.‏
In article      View Article
 

Published with license by Science and Education Publishing, Copyright © 2022 Wadia Albarqawi

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Wadia Albarqawi. Makkah’s Urban Modernization and the Impact of Urban Regulations. Journal of City and Development. Vol. 4, No. 1, 2022, pp 11-22. http://pubs.sciepub.com/jcd/4/1/2
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Albarqawi, Wadia. "Makkah’s Urban Modernization and the Impact of Urban Regulations." Journal of City and Development 4.1 (2022): 11-22.
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Albarqawi, W. (2022). Makkah’s Urban Modernization and the Impact of Urban Regulations. Journal of City and Development, 4(1), 11-22.
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Albarqawi, Wadia. "Makkah’s Urban Modernization and the Impact of Urban Regulations." Journal of City and Development 4, no. 1 (2022): 11-22.
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[1]  Umm Al-Qura, 1936. p.4.
In article      
 
[2]  Abkar, A. Souar Min Turath Makkah Al-Mukaramh, Beirut: ‘oloum Al-Quran, 2004.
In article      
 
[3]  Um Al-Qura (1956), 6 Jnurary.
In article      
 
[4]  Um Al-Qura (1950), 30 December.
In article      
 
[5]  Um Al-Qura (1929), 30 August.
In article      
 
[6]  Watters, D. “MILES GLENDINNING, Modern Architect, The Life and Times of Robert Matthew, RIBA, London, 2008, ISBN: 9781859462836, £ 49.99.” (2010): 112-117.‏
In article      View Article
 
[7]  Al-Hathloul, S. A. and Anis-ur-Rahmaan S. “The evolution of urban and regional planning in Saudi Arabia.” Ekistics (1985): 206-212.‏
In article      
 
[8]  Wright, G. “Global ambition and local knowledge.” Modernism and the Middle East: Architecture and Politics in the Twentieth Century. Seattle: University of Washington (2008): 221-254.‏
In article      
 
[9]  Isenstadt, S. and Kishwar R. eds. Modernism and the Middle East: architecture and politics in the twentieth century. University of Washington press, 2011.‏
In article      
 
[10]  Hicke, C. “American Perspectives of Aramco, the Saudi Arabian Oil Producing Company, 1930s to 1980s.” (1995).‏
In article      
 
[11]  Al-Naim, M. “Identity in transitional context: open-ended local architecture in Saudi Arabia.” International Journal of Architectural Research 2.2 (2008): 125-146.‏
In article      
 
[12]  Dabbour, L. “The traditional Arab Islamic city: the structure of neighborhood quarters.” Journal of Architecture and Urbanism 45.2 (2021): 107-118.‏
In article      View Article
 
[13]  AlSayyad, N. (2008) From Modernism to Globalization: The Middle East in Context, Modernism and the Middle East: Architecture and politics in the twentieth century, pp. 255-266.‏
In article      
 
[14]  Hakim, B. S. “Arabic-Islamic Cities; Principles of Urban Development and Construction.” (2002).‏
In article      
 
[15]  Al-Hathloul, Saleh Ali. Tradition, continuity and change in the physical environment: The Arab-Muslim city. Diss. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1981.‏
In article      
 
[16]  Tariq, M. M. “Islamic Modernity It’s significance in current scenario Philosophy.” Balochistan.‏ 2014‏.
In article      
 
[17]  Magnus T. Bernhardsson, “Vision of Iraq, Modernizing the Past in 1950s Baghdad,” in Modernism and the Middle East : architecture and politics in the twentieth century, ed. Sandy and Rizvi Isenstadt, Kishwar (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2008). P.88.
In article      
 
[18]  Al-Hathloul, S. “Continuity in a changing tradition.” Legacies for the Future: Contemporary Architecture in Islamic Societies (1998): 18-31.‏
In article      
 
[19]  Moustapha, A. F. Islamic values in contemporary urbanism. ISOMER (Islamic Society of Melbourne Eastern Region), 1986.‏
In article      
 
[20]  Ibrahim, A. “The Islamic Perspective of Architectural Theory.” Cairo: Centre for Planning and Architectural Studies, no date (1986).‏
In article      
 
[21]  Bozdoğan, Sibel. “Modernism and nation building: Turkish architectural culture in the early republic.” (2001).‏
In article      
 
[22]  Lu, Duanfang, ed. Third world modernism: architecture, development and identity. Routledge, 2010.‏
In article      View Article
 
[23]  Fabbri, R. and Al-Qassemi S. S. Urban Modernity in the Contemporary Gulf: Obsolescence and Opportunities. Taylor & Francis, 2022.‏
In article      View Article
 
[24]  Allahham, A. The Discourse of Islamic Urban “Heritage”: A Foucauldian Governmentality Perspective. College of Design, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arab. 2021.
In article      View Article
 
[25]  Karim, F. & Ferdous, F. (Eds.). The Routledge companion to architecture and social engagement. New York: Routledge.‏ (2018).
In article      View Article
 
[26]  Matthew, R. and Marshall, J. “The Master Plan for Makkah,” (Saudi Arabia: The Municipality of Holy Makkah. (1973).
In article      
 
[27]  Nizam Al-Toroq Wa Al-Mabani [Roads and Building Regulation] (1972), Makkah: Government Print.
In article      
 
[28]  The Municipality OF the Holy Makkah website: www.holymakkah.gov.sa, retrieved 12, March, 2008.
In article      
 
[29]  Abkar, A. Souwar Min Turath Makkah. Makkah: Dar Al-Turath. (1999).
In article      
 
[30]  Al-Naim, Mashary. “Identity in transitional context: open-ended local architecture in Saudi Arabia.” International Journal of Architectural Research: ArchNet-IJAR 2.2 (2008): 125-146.‏
In article      
 
[31]  Al-Shareef, F. M. Natural light control in Hadjazi architecture: an investigation of the Rowshan performance by computer simulation. Diss. University of Liverpool, 1996.‏
In article      
 
[32]  [Masamir] (2012) available at: http://www.youtube.com/user/nejercom?feature=results_main.
In article      
 
[33]  Kotbi, Mohammad Ghazi, and Saleh Mubarak Baharetha. “A STUDY OF THE IMPACTS OF THE DEVELOPED BUILDING REGULATION ON THE THERMAL PERFORMANCE OF RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS IN RIYADH-SAUDI ARABIA.” Journal of Al-Azhar University Engineering Sector 15.54 (2020): 376-393.‏
In article      View Article