The Social Urban Block: A Proposed Typo-Morphological Element to Measure the Social Interactive Spaces between Blocks in the Case of an Arabian City, Benghazi, Libya
20 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2017
Date Written: October 17, 2017
Social interaction and spaces between urban blocks is a topic that has dominated recent discussions concerning urban social and cultural studies. In this paper, I argue that the study of the different types of urban block arrangements should also adopt social interaction spaces that will encourage local communities’ social bonds. I propose the use of the social block in addition to the physical block to better understand the social dimension in a spatial context, which enhances the understanding of neighbourhoods’ urban issues. I analyse the proposed social block by adopting a metric scale that was developed from Ghel’s (1987) empirical criteria from his approach to understand life between buildings as measures to realise the social process. Through a case study of the Ottoman, Italian, and Modern neighbourhoods in Benghazi, Libya, I illustrate the necessity of the complementary nature between the physical block and the social block in understanding the social life among street neighbours.
Keywords: urban block; social block; socio-cultural approach; urbanism process in Arabian city
JEL Classification: R14, Z19
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation