ISSN 1973-9702



Identity in architecture and heritage conservation in Iraq

di  Azad Hama Ahmed A.


The phenomenon of expressing cultural identity in architecture is apparent in many parts of the world. Yet, this issue is currently receiving little attention in Iraq. This paper addresses the theme of identity, regionalism in architecture in Iraq, and outlines a lack of consideration of identity-linked architectural practices, as well as an appropriate heritage policy, in the post-war city reconstruction processes. The research presented reviews the past regionalism experience in architecture and demonstrates how Iraq is moving backwards in conserving its architectural identity and heritage; this is mainly due to three factors: a) the country’s architectural practitioners and political-administrative class are more attracted by modernization perspectives, rather than conservation and the development of their own architectural culture; b) the lack of a clear, comprehensive and inclusive heritage policy; c) the inability to keep its legislative corpus updated in the matter of heritage conservation.


Azad Hama Ahmed A. (Ph.D in Territorial Planning); from 2003 to 2010, he was dean of the technology faculty at Polytechnic University of Sulaimanyah (Iraq) and founder of school of planning at the same faculty.



Against metropolitan dispersion: a multitude of recognisable situations.

di Mickeal Milocco


In cognitive psychology we encounter countless affinities between mental maps and real maps. Just think of the following keywords, derived and condensed from cognitive theories: “borders, paths, junctions, landmarks and districts” (Costa 2009). The city’s boundaries are lost in countless in-between spaces, that often aren’t re-optimized according to its most typical feature: the transit. Junctions and landmarks join together to engender networks of connections and recognisability in the city itself, making it understandable to the user. Districts, or delimited areas, offer value and mental rest to those who use them.

Whitman said: “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes)”(Whitman, 1855). These are the same multitudes of the contemporary city: the designer’s task is to overcome this diversity and combine it coherently in the urban context; to engender not dispersion, but spatial multitudes that can be emotionally circumscribed.


Mickeal Milocco was born in Palmanova in 1985. He graduated at Politecnico di Milano and obtained a Ph.D. in Architecture -Theory and Design at Sapienza University of Rome . He currently works at University of Udine as a PostDoc Researcher. He is also Editor in Chief at Uban Corporis Books. He worked in Canada (Montréal) at Relief Design Landscape studio. His research interests are: Urban regeneration, Social and public space, Architectural and urban spatial Theory, Underground infrastructures and architectures, Soil Sub-Soil and Urban Hybridization.