Architecture, Cities for People, Future planning, Jan Gehl, Muscat, Muscat Municipality, Sultan Qaboos University, Urban planning

Arabic translation for architectural book “Cities for People”

A Danish urban designer’s book on architecture and public planning has been translated into Arabic in Oman.

The book, “Cities for People”, is written by Jan Gehl. It  had its Arabic language launch under Muscat Municipality’s week-long events programme, titled “The Future of the Architectural Identity of the Muscat Governorate.”

“Cities for People” has been translated into 24 languages globally, and Arabic is its latest.

As part of the launch, the author also gave a lecture at Sultan Qaboos University,  attendees included students, academics, experts, and architects.

Gehl’s experience focuses on walkable areas, along with minimising the use of cars, and replacing them with public transport.

He said the book looks at ways of turning desolate environments that lack life and vibrant spaces, into urban environments which prioritise people.

“In the book, I identify four issues necessary for the success of planning any city: the city needs to be vibrant, safe, sustainable and healthy,” said Gehl.

“Even in the largest of cities, it is necessary to focus on these issues on a very small scale, from individual neighborhoods and streets. We should be aware of our surroundings at the speed of the person walking on his feet, rather than the perception of the speed of a car or bus or train.”

The Muscat Municipality explained why it felt the translated work was important.

“This book is one of the most important reference books in urban planning, as it discusses the historical development of the concept of cities that are built for people and their needs,” said Saif Saba’a Al-Rashidi, media advisor.

“The philosophy of this book is based on the fact that we plan our cities for people rather than cars. If we change that, then we transform cities into livable spaces, fulfil the desires and aspirations of the inhabitants and become healthy cities.”

“The aim of providing an Arabic translation was to spread knowledge for professionals in the planning of cities in the Sultanate, and in the Arab world in general. The translation has been a collaborative effort with Sultan Qaboos University’s Translation department.”