Mapping Safety, Security and Walkability of Historical Public Open Spaces in Post-Conflict Libya: Tripoli as North African Case Study


  • Dr. Khairi Abdulla School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham NG1 4FQ, UK
  • Prof. Dr. Mohamed Gamal Abdelmonem Department of Architecture & Built Environment, University of York, UK



Urban Open Space, Liveability, Walkability, Well-being, Tripoli Libya, Historical Public Open Space


North African cities have been undergoing major transformation over the past two decades following protracted instability, civic uprising, and conflicts, changing their perception from havens to territories of displacements with social, psychological, and physical problems. Historic public spaces in those cities, in particular, form a critical part of urban environments as they have the identity, livelihoods and cross-community engagement in a healthy and fulfilling urban fabric and culture. Whilst there have been several studies on the characteristics of open spaces in urban environments, there is very limited work on the changing perceptions, use and engagement of public spaces in historic cities especially in the post-Arab Spring and its relative instability. This study aims to deploy investigative and creative methods to map, analyse and navigate through the transformation in the perceptions of historic public spaces in Post-Conflict Libya and its divided cities.  It will study the users' (locals and visitors) attitudes, movements, and reflections on how those spaces have changed over time. visitors' behaviour in open historical public spaces in Tripoli, Libya. The study explores the relationships between the characteristics of historical public spaces, physical activity, and psychological behaviour. The paper argues that safety and security in public spaces are critical and inherent qualities that inform much of the users’ attitudes in historic cities, which has continued to be the case in post-conflict Tripoli.


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Author Biographies

Dr. Khairi Abdulla, School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham NG1 4FQ, UK

Khairi Abdullah was born in Libya, where he initially studied civil engineering. After working in various positions in Libya, he decided to pursue a master's degree. He specialized in urban design for his master's studies. After completing his Ph.D. at Nottingham Trent University and working there, he became passionate about heritage preservation and studying and solving urban issues. Beyond his academic pursuits, Abdullah can often be found immersed in reading, with a particular focus on historical literature.

Prof. Dr. Mohamed Gamal Abdelmonem, Department of Architecture & Built Environment, University of York, UK

Professor Mohamed Gamal Abdelmonem is Chair in Architecture at the School of Architecture, Design and Built Environment at Nottingham Trent University. He is contributing to teaching Architecture courses and supervising of PGR students.

At Nottingham Trent University, Gamal is leading the development of the University’s Research Theme Global Heritage: Science, Management and Development a research team that aims to engage with and produce strategic research projects with evident global impact on improving Heritage Conservation and preservation strategies on the international and cross-boundary levels.

His world-leading research is currently leading partnerships and consortium teams that include several American, British, European and Middle Eastern Universities and research organisations, and specialist industries. Professor Abdelmonem advises several governments and international organisations in Ireland, Egypt and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on aspects of sustainable heritage preservation, urban planning and design.


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How to Cite

Abdulla, K., & Abdelmonem, M. G. (2023). Mapping Safety, Security and Walkability of Historical Public Open Spaces in Post-Conflict Libya: Tripoli as North African Case Study. Journal of Contemporary Urban Affairs, 7(2), 85–105.



Resilience and Built Environment