Yazeed Elrifai (2010), Urban Form Interrelations to Social Behaviour; Toward Humanizing Ramallah City Centre, Institute of Urbanism; 1st reviewer: Grigor Doytchinov, 2nd reviewer: Hasso Hohmann; 150 pages, English.
Rapid transformations on the city structure have become a crucial matter that impacts the human life in our modern cities. Planners have adopted techniques to deal with this dilemma, which are derived from socio-economic and diagrammatic divergence, and which overlook the form-image affirmations and its essentiality for the human integration. Consequently, urban form theories have been outlined in order to enrich planning decisions with aspect that directly influence the human sensuous relationship to the city. In this rubric, these theories attempt at extensively inquiring the human-environment relationship attribute, which is vital for understanding the form-image aspect and thus elevating architecture to the larger scale level as part of the planning decision process. Due to socio-political and economical consequences, Ramallah City has encountered rapid transformations on its city structure and urban form. As the core area of the development process, Ramallah City Center has been highly impacted by these transformations. It has witnessed rapid alterations on its urban form elements and spatial structure components. This has negatively influenced the social communications, the feeling of belonging and the human relationships with the place. The dissertation aims at revitalizing the decline of Ramallah City Center urban form, through extensive analysis of the urban forms two components. The dissertation aims at building an urban form analytical model that is capable of enhancing the planning decisions and enriching the aspects that really influence and target human beings regarding the centers urban form and that can be a basic step for the area urban design. It eventually elevates architectural theory to contribute into the large city scale level. From a different view, the study aims at bringing further insights on the theoretical level, regarding the implementation of such a model in areas with a rapidly transformed character like Ramallah City Center. Theoretically, two urban form analytical theories have been adopted in order to address the researchs main dilemma; Kevin Lynchs Mental Mapping method and Bill Hilliers Space Syntax Analysis. Significantly, the study goes beyond the other attempts of combining the two theories by shifting this combination from the theoretical sphere into the application level, and confining it within areas that have faced rapid transformations on their urban form and spatial structure.