Assessing the effect of urban form on social sustainability: a proposed ‘Integrated Measuring Tools Method’ for urban neighborhoods in Dubai

S. M.Hossein Alipour, Khaled Galal Ahmed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Among the three pillars of sustainability, social sustainability has received the least attention, especially among the studies addressing the sustainable housing development in Dubai’s urban neighborhoods. Unfortunately, these neighborhoods are not showing enough vibrancy of their public spaces and amenities which seemingly undermined their social sustainability. The lack of a comprehensive tool that can assess the interlinked indicators of social sustainability in urban neighborhoods has urged the research to propose an Integrated Measuring Tools Method (IMTM), that incorporates relevant computational simulation techniques alongside the appropriate conventional qualitative tools. The proposed IMTM was utilized in assessing the social sustainability indicators within the urban form of an existing neighborhood in Dubai. The assessment revealed that various urban form characteristics including; density, land-use, mobility options, mobility networks, streets layouts, and the built environment’s safety and aesthetic qualities, are the main factors undermining social sustainability in the studied locality. The results informed a set of suggested redevelopment strategies/guidelines for this neighborhood that takes into consideration the exiting constraints and opportunities. These included; increasing density by infill development, redefining land-use to achieve diversity in housing types and decentralized amenities, diversifying mobility options, improving the spatial integration of the mobility networks while restraining the private cars movement, improving accessibility, enriching urban landscape, and finally enhancing the quality of amenities and services. A social sustainability redevelopment scenario was suggested based on these strategies. When compared to the exiting neighborhood utilizing the IMTM, it proved significantly better attainment of social sustainability principles. So, it might be claimed that the proposed IMTM and its outcomes proved to be a valid basis for assessing, redeveloping and validating social sustainability of existing neighborhoods with similar typology in Dubai, and potentially in the region.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1
JournalCity, Territory and Architecture
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Dubai
  • Housing
  • Neighborhood
  • Social sustainability
  • Urban form
  • Urban redevelopment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Architecture
  • Urban Studies


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