Topic Review
Tangible Cultural Heritage and Historical Monuments of Morocco
Morocco is impacted by indigenous Berber, Arab, African, and European influences , and is often referred to as Al Maghreb (Arabic meaning "West"). The kingdom, which is the region's only monarchy and is located on North Africa's western edge, has managed to transform its rich cultural heritage into a tolerant state.
  • 3513
  • 13 Jan 2022
Topic Review
Adaptive Reuse of Architectural Heritage
       Significant architectural and historical monuments become an important point of reference for the local population, increasing their sense of security, and act as a factor shaping social identity. An effort to preserve relevant objects in a city is therefore important both for retaining its unique features and for strengthening the local community. A significant role plays here the adaptive reuse of architectural heritage, which allows for the preservation of architectural objects that are important to the local community, promoting the integrity and historical continuity of the city while restoring the objects’ functional and economic value.         The introduction of a new function in architectural heritage is not only an important impulse for the tangible regeneration of urban tissue, but can also help to reconstruct the image and identity of a city. The local cultural and architectural heritage plays a significant role in the process leading to the creation of positive references and elimination of negative connotations related to an economic or social crisis. These remain an important part of the history of a city and, at the same time, its significance may be reimagined and shown in a new context, that relates to the present day. As a result, artefacts of the past gain new meanings, which are subject to a different, contemporary interpretation through the prism of current needs and ideas. Objects or even groups of objects from the past are being consciously taken into consideration in the activities currently undertaken. The contemporary scale of the phenomenon and complexity of the issues concerning the adaptive reuse of architectural heritage are a consequence of the multi-faceted transformations that have taken place in recent decades in the social, cultural and economic spheres, and, consequently, the contemporary understanding of the role and significance of the architectural heritage.
  • 3075
  • 31 Aug 2021
Topic Review
Ecological Urban Planning and Design
Urbanization is a defining feature of the modern age, yet the current model of urban development profoundly alters the natural environment, often reducing biodiversity and ultimately threatening human wellbeing. An ecologically based urban planning and design paradigm should consider a more harmonious relationship. Through a systematic literature review of 57 papers, this research identified relevant concepts and theories that could underpin this new paradigm. It revealed a noticeable increase in academic interest in this subject since 2013 and the development of concepts and theories that reflect a more holistic socio-ecological systems approach to urban planning and design based on a transdisciplinary integration and synthesis of research. Seven main themes underpin the academic literature: ecosystem services, socio-ecological systems, resilience, biodiversity, landscape, green infrastructure, as well as integrated and holistic approaches. Six of these can be organised into either a sustainability stream or a spatial stream, representing the foundations of a potential new ecological urban planning and design paradigm that applies sustainability-related concepts in a spatial setting. The final theme, integrated and holistic, includes concepts that reflect the fundamental characteristics of this new paradigm, which can be termed ‘urban consonance’
  • 2117
  • 29 Oct 2020
Topic Review
Mesoamerican Genetic Studies
Mesoamerica is a historically and culturally defined geographic area comprising current central and south Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, and border regions of Honduras, western Nicaragua, and northwestern Costa Rica. The permanent settling of Mesoamerica was accompanied by the development of agriculture and pottery manufacturing (2500 BCE–150 CE), which led to the rise of several cultures connected by commerce and farming. Hence, Mesoamericans probably carried an invaluable genetic diversity partly lost during the Spanish conquest and the subsequent colonial period. Mesoamerican ancient DNA (aDNA) research has mainly focused on the study of mitochondrial DNA in the Basin of Mexico and the Yucatán Peninsula and its nearby territories, particularly during the Postclassic period (900–1519 CE). 
  • 1829
  • 24 Nov 2020
Topic Review
Cultural Memory
Historic urban landscapes (HULs) are composed of layers of imbedded tangible and intangible features such as cultural memories. As the collective memories of city inhabitants, cultural memories can affect elements of social sustainability such as health, well-being, community identity, place perception and social engagement. This topic review points to the value of recalling cultural memory features in HULs, which can be used to achieve social sustainability.  In addition, it contributes to sustainable development through the contribution of cultural memory and its influence on the formation of place identity, sense of place, civic pride and quality of life in HULs. 
  • 1806
  • 27 Oct 2020
Topic Review
Responsive Architecture
Responsive architecture is a type of architecture, an artificial entity, that reacts to data and information collected by a variety of types of sensors. It is also defined as an interactive and collective platform where diverse computing or operating systems are executed, leading to architectural behaviors like changing forms or services.
  • 1326
  • 20 May 2021
Topic Review
Rock Art
The term ‘rock art’ defines non-utilitarian humanly made markings on natural rock surfaces, caused either by an additive (pictograms, made by the application of material) or a reductive process (petroglyphs, made by the removal of rock material). The former include rock paintings, pigment drawings, stencils, and beeswax figures; the latter term covers engravings, percussion petroglyphs, and finger flutings. Rock art occurs in nearly all countries. Its uneven distribution is attributable to differences in cultural conventions as well as a taphonomic attribute, i.e. a result of preservation bias. Prehistoric rock art represents by far the largest body of evidence we possess of humanity’s cultural, cognitive, and artistic beginnings. Through its relative permanence, it has profoundly influenced the beliefs and cultural conventions of subsequent societies up to the present. It is, therefore, an integral part of humanity's collective memory and the most significant surviving witness of our cultural evolution. 
  • 1304
  • 07 Apr 2021
Topic Review
Lexical Bundles
The term “lexical bundles” was defined as “recurrent expressions, regardless of their idiomaticity, and regardless of their structural status”. As is well documented, lexical bundles not only contribute to fluent linguistic production but also form essential building blocks of discourse. A good command of lexical bundles could be indicative of a proficient and professional academic writer and is thus considered a pivotal skill for student writers, especially EFL student writers, for achieving sustainable growth of writing competence. Appropriate use of lexical bundles in academic writing helps writers from an academic community demonstrate their research writing ability.
  • 1248
  • 17 Jun 2021
Topic Review
Shared Residential Landscapes
This paper uses the concept of urban commons to develop a conceptual framework to inform the design and management of shared residential landscapes in the UK. The framework is founded on an exploration of the implications of applying the traditional ‘commons’ idea within the urban context. Urban spatial concepts and theories, such as informal urbanism, territory, placekeeping and partnerships, are drawn upon to build these implication into a framework that provides a new urban, spatial and place perspective on the urban commons concept. In addressing the urban implications for commons through spatial theories, four preliminary concepts are developed. These include; 1) the emergent common mindset in a complex-adaptive assemblage, 2) a spatial arrangement that reflects a shared territorial perception of ‘ours’, 3) opportunities for adaption and occupation of space as placemaking and 4) the reorientation of professional roles in delivering urban commons. The framework creates a foundation for further research on the design and long-term management of shared residential landscapes as urban commons to benefit the everyday social lives of residential communities.
  • 1032
  • 06 Jun 2021
Topic Review
Autonomy as a Social Role
Personal autonomy is a crucial philosophical topic which is of great relevance for different disciplines. First I would present an introduction to the contemporary debate. Second,I’ll follow a line of thought that suggests to intend "personal autonomy" in a social sense. The urgency to undertake this move arises because of the wide variety of informational sources we are exposed which influence our behavior. Social background represents the basis for autonomy; at the same time, interaction with others (real or virtual) enlarges the possibility for autonomous judgements.
  • 1023
  • 01 Nov 2020
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