The Impact of the Built Environment on Human Behaviors

Amira Mersal Mahmoud
This study discusses the issue of the relationship between the physical environment and the behavior of its inhabitants in the traditional cities (The Old City of Al-Quds). It analyses the effects that results from that particular physical environment on the different aspects of the lives of its people, as well as their interactive influence and change on the features of the environment within which they are living in order to adapt to their different needs in this rapidly changing era of technological revolution. This is to understand how does the old urban fabric - which was originally formed as reflection and translation to a past culture - emphasize utilizing the knowledge of human behavior while designing the built environments. It also discusses the role of architects in the psychological space design and formation of appropriate and inappropriate behavioral patterns by them. This study aims mainly to shed light on the housing in the old city of Al-Quds; in particular; which has shown continuous decline in its standards and requirements of living for the functional, social, educational psychological, and health aspects of the population. This is to determine the extent to which the influence between the population and the physical environment exists through the analysis of the specific architectural style of the housing environment, with its particular formation, elements and characteristics on the people's traditions, values, and social relations. The study leads to the conclusion that the existing situation of the residential environment, in old city, had lost much of its cultural values which forms the linking joint between the cultural and social identity of the inhabitants and the architectural style of the physical fabric of housing. It also concludes that the reality of its existing situation has a negative impact on residents' characteristics and on their different life issues, while sometimes keeping part of the original features. The study recommends that upgrading the housing use within the old city in Al-Quds is one of the most important factors; not only to save the old city alive, but also to revive the cultural values associated with our cultural heritage and national identity which could be achieved by applying various programs among people to support them, promote their living conditions, raise their awareness , and strengthen their national affiliation which will also lead to arresting the decline in the historic monuments which are closely linked not only to the people own civilization but also to their historic rights in this land.


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