Can Chaos Theory Explain Complexity In Urban Fabric? Applications in Traditional Muslim Settlements

Research paper by Mustapha Ben Hamouche

Indexed on: 01 Jul '09Published on: 01 Jul '09Published in: Nexus Network Journal


The present work is a limited analysis of the traditional urban fabric of Muslim cities in the light of this theory. Chaos theory provides better instruments for the analysis and understanding of the traditional urban fabric in old Muslim cities that have, paradoxically, long been considered as lacking order and thus “chaotic” in the pejorative sense! Beyond the analysis, our study also aims at providing a fresh approach to the built environment that shifts the architectural and planning professions from the traditional design and planning approach to a self-generating process that, once set up, would function and develop without need for intervention. However, the present study will be limited to the application of such concepts at two levels. At the urban level, it will provide evidence of the existence of chaos and fractals at the scale of the city. At the domestic level, concepts are applied to housing evolution and community spaces.