Re-imaging the City

A New Conceptualisation of the Urban Logic of the “Islamic city”

  • Somaiyeh Falahat

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages 1-11
  2. Somaiyeh Falahat
    Pages 7-49
  3. Somaiyeh Falahat
    Pages 51-71
  4. Somaiyeh Falahat
    Pages 73-180
  5. Somaiyeh Falahat
    Pages 181-206
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 207-216

About this book


Somaiyeh Falahat investigates the spatial and morphological logic of pre-modern Middle Eastern and North African cities, so-called “Islamic cities”. She bases her argument on the fact that the city, and consequently its form and structure, similar to other human products, have deep roots in the thought-structure of the people. Thus, to know such places properly, one has to refer to this life-world and use it as a structure to observe the city. This approach aims at opening new levels of understanding of the city by grasping indigenous concepts and structures; it puts forward claims for the possibility of a new method of analysis. The author studies the historic city of Isfahan as the case study and suggests that an indigenous term, Hezar-Too, can explain the complexity of the city, which has been interpreted as labyrinthine and maze-like, accounting for the essence of the city and its form in an appropriate way. Looking at the city from this new point of view can help in observing it in its context and subsequently in discovering its real character.




  • The Model of “Islamic City” 
  • The Idea of Labyrinth
  • Discovering the City
  • Towards a New Terminology


Target Groups

  • Researchers and students in the fields of architecture and history of urban development particularly with a focus on the Middle Eastern-North African cities
  • Architects, historian and planner of urban development



About the Author

Somaiyeh Falahat is a senior researcher and lecturer based at Technische Universität Berlin.


Islamic cities MENA cities Urban form Urban morphology Urban theory

Authors and affiliations

  • Somaiyeh Falahat
    • 1
  1. 1.Zentrum für Technik und GesellschaftTechnische Universität BerlinBerlinGermany

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 2014
  • Publisher Name Springer Vieweg, Wiesbaden
  • eBook Packages Engineering
  • Print ISBN 978-3-658-04595-1
  • Online ISBN 978-3-658-04596-8
  • Buy this book on publisher's site