The urban sustainable structure of the vernacular city and its modern transformation: A case study of the popular architecture in the saharian Region

Citations of this article
Mendeley users who have this article in their library.


The community vernacular city is the example of the popular architecture in arabmuslim world foundation to create a sense of belonging and attachment to the land. It is a reflection of people's traditions, culture, aspirations, needs, and their future. In the past, the local community with its beliefs and creative abilities was an integral part of the design and building process. As a result, the architectural product has succeeded in expressing the identity of this community and maintaining elements of continuity and distinction. There is a lot of typical historic Islamic cities, recently its urbanization has been advanced with the demolition of townscape and historic monuments under the modern European style urban planning Today, most design and construction processes are based on imported trends, and the product is foreign and does not express community values, and local urban spaces have lost their identity. This contradiction represents the key issue of the identity crisis in the contemporary Arab city.Arab architecture is suffering from the absence of values and principles derived from the architectural heritage, ignorance of local climate and materials, in addition to the lack of integrating modern technology with local values. Tradition must be respected but development is the key of our existence. Development and tradition could move in parallel. Architectural styles and techniques could also be developed with respect to their original ideals. New road construction has demolished many traditional houses in old town. This paper describes these phenomena in oriental and west world and we based on case study transformation of the city of Bechar during the last 50 years, indicating in particular how the city has moved from an introversion sustainable city (the vernacular tissue or the old ksar) to the ex-colonial and rather provincial city into a urbanisation that is open to and influenced by the financial flows of international capitalism and that is seeking further integration into the world economy. This research targets a deeper understanding of the urban structure and heritage, studying the different causes of tradition remodelling in local urban spaces and find out a way that understanding traditional design principles and sustainability materials, our object is to motivate the architects to conserving the local identity, to find an approach that blends between traditions and modernity to revive the urban sustainable vernacular city.




Benslimane, N., & Biara, R. W. (2019). The urban sustainable structure of the vernacular city and its modern transformation: A case study of the popular architecture in the saharian Region. In Energy Procedia (Vol. 157, pp. 1241–1252). Elsevier Ltd.

Register to see more suggestions

Mendeley helps you to discover research relevant for your work.

Already have an account?

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free