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- PublicationAbu Dhabi public spaces : Urban encounters, social diversity and informalityAbu Dhabi Public Spaces is the result of a two-year research project on urbanity and the behavioral mapping of the inhabitants’ daily practices. Focusing on fourteen well-known public spaces – both formal and informal – throughout Abu Dhabi, the authors highlight their hidden qualities and describe how its inhabitants create an original city life for themselves. The book expertly combines sociology, urban studies and architecture to understand the city’s cultural diversity, social encounters and the interaction between formality and informality in public spaces.
- PublicationBehavioral Mapping Of Abu Dhabi's Public Spaces: Urban Research Photography And Cultural ClashesWhile the study of quotidian practices and daily experiences is now fully appreciated in western urbanism, it is still at an embryonic stage in the emerging new cities of the Middle East. is paper presents an ongoing research project of social-behavioral mapping of Abu Dhabi’s public spaces and its correlation with the existing urban morphology, in an attempt to shed empirical light and update the local public space design guidelines. Photography is one of the observation tools used. However, due to sociocultural conditions, special techniques had to be used. Time- lapse, high-contrasted, undirected street photography was key to visualize both formal and informal activities in the realm of the private.
- PublicationQuestioning Cosmopolitanism through the Biographical Trajectories of French Residents of Abu Dhabi and DubaiOwing to their diverse populations and particular social configurations, the United Arab Emirates offer a unique urban context in which to question the notion of cosmopolitanism and its daily manifestations, since the main cities of the Emirates maximize occasions for intercultural interaction while maintaining major economic divisions and social hierarchies in most parts of daily life. While national and ethnic categories in the Emirates are often presented in the literature as being rigid, this paper argues that a biographical approach allows for a finer analysis of cosmopolitan situations. The French residents of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, relatively privileged migrants, position themselves along a wide spectrum of places and activities, raising different social and urban issues. Based on 26 months of participant observation in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and 12 in-depth interviews with French residents of the UAE, this paper shows that their forms of sociability, social practices, and international mobility work together to shape diverse and sometimes paradoxical forms of openness to national, ethnic, or social “others”.