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Personal profile

Biography

Dr. Gohar is a Senior Lecturer and Course Leader in the School of Art Design and Architecture at the University of Huddersfield. He will be starting the Masters of Landscape Architecture (MLA) in addition to teaching Landscape withint the Master of Architecture (MArch).

Prior joining University of Huddeesfield, Dr. Gohar taught the MLA courses in Kansas State University and University of California at Berkeley. He also designed taught Urban & Environmental corses in San Francisco State Universtiy. 

As a practitioner, Dr. Gohar worked as an urban & landscape and designer and sustainable urbanism expert for nearly two decades of professional experience with municipal governments, research institutes, international development agencies, private sector firms and local community organizations. He has worked extensively in public space in congested cities, coastal settlements, dense urban forms, and historic urban centers across the Middle East and Africa.

His doctorate research in the Dep. of Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning at UC Berkeley focused on understanding coastal development and its direct & relative impact on the local residents and the environment. His peer reviewed research focuses on finding the appropriate balance between the trendies of rapid urbanization and ecological integrity of open spaces in cities. He is passionate, experienced and delivered numerous lectures about community engagement in public space. He teaches landscape design studio and urban & environmental studies seminars. In addition, he is founding member of “MIDAN”, a nonprofit dedicated to placemaking and public space rehabilitation. Gohar obtained degrees in urban planning from Cairo, a Master in Urban design from Oxford Brookes, and a diploma in Land Management from Erasmus Universirty.

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Landscape Planning and Ecological Integrity - on the Macro Scale

My research has focused on the friction between urban/landscape development and environmental protection on multiple scales. This is evident in my dissertation project that builds on the significant environmental deterioration due to global development trends, urban design of resorts, and increases in economic activity. Although a significant body of literature documents this rapid loss of resources, the specific impacts of urbanization caused by tourism development remains far less examined than other forms of urban and economic expansion. International agencies, non-profit advocates, and academic researchers often promote environmentally sound tourism development as a less destructive form of economic development. Yet current research has not provided the focused scrutiny to evaluate its cumulative impacts on local environmental and cultural resources.In addition, my research addresses a significant gap in the literature that concerns the particular vulnerability of urban settlements that are vulnerable because of environmental hazards. As the case study discussed in my most recent publication “Flash Flooding as a Threat to Settlements Even in Remote Areas” in the Environment & Urbanization Journal (2016) the town of El-Sheikh El-Shazli, a previously isolated Sufi town of 1500 residents situated in a very dry arid region within the Red Sea mountain range in the Eastern Desert of Egypt, has become a destination for one million visitors a year. The location of the tomb of a 13th-century Sufi leader, a series cultural and religious festivals has attracted this large number of national and international visitors on a seasonal basis. The small local community has struggled to find the capacity to manage or control the random guest houses expansion encouraged and financed by different Sufi sects. Different from the nearby topographically complex Red Sea terrain, the village of El-Sheikh El-Shazli is situated on a flat sandy sediment landscape that encourages ad hoc, and ongoing, expansion of guest houses. Through interviews, field measurements, and satellite imagery analytics, the research documented the dangerous extent of development in the wadis which are subject to infrequent yet violent flash floods endangering the lives of both residents and visitors. The absence adequate tourism planning in El-Sheikh El-Shazli demonstrates the perilous trade-off that these types of communities are making between the promise of tourism’s short-term economic betterment and long-term damage and risk to local residents and their cultural and environmental resources. Forthcoming Research: Currently finalizing a paper on conducting a systematic assessment a systematic assessment of 37 tourism establishments across the Red Sea and measuring their impact on the environmental resources in the area. Suggested Journal is Landscape & Urban Planning Journal

  • Urban & Landscape Design – on the Micro Scale

A separate line of inquiry is directed to the interaction between people and their landscape in the urban environment, with particular focus on the public space design and how it impacts people’s daily life. My public talks, such as civic engagement in public space, draw from global professional experience in participatory planning. And my recent paper “Urbanization & Sustainable Development: Evolution and Contemporary Challenges” (2016) provides a critical overview on the concept of sustainability with a specific emphasis on social change in cities, citizen participation and immigrants influencing the city form. My most recent publication is titled: Greening and opening the public space of the Nile banks. A demonstration case study in Maadi, Cairo” (2018) examines the connectivity to the river and the potential land use changes with open access to the water front.

Forthcoming Research: Currently finalizing a paper on people use of bridges as public spaces in congested cities titled: “Bridges Over the Nile: “Transportation Corridors Transformed into Public Spaces”. Suggested Journal is the Sustainability Journal, Special Issue "Human–River Interactions in Cities" in the section of: “Sustainable Urban and Rural Development”

External positions

Visiting Scholar, University of Geneva

1 Jan 201931 Dec 2019

Visiting Scholar, University of California at Berkeley

20072008

Keywords

  • Landscape Planning
  • Urbanism
  • Tourism Planning
  • Land Use
  • Urban Design
  • Sustainable Development
  • Placemaking
  • Public Space

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Amir Gohar is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 1 Similar Profiles
public space Earth & Environmental Sciences
public access Earth & Environmental Sciences
urbanization Earth & Environmental Sciences
ecotourism Earth & Environmental Sciences
sustainable development Earth & Environmental Sciences
flooding Earth & Environmental Sciences
river Earth & Environmental Sciences
natural disaster Social Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2011 2018

  • 4 Article
  • 1 Conference contribution
  • 1 Working paper

Greening and opening the public space of the Nile banks: A demonstration case study in Maadi, Cairo

Gohar, A., 30 Apr 2018, In : The Journal of Public Space. 3, 1, p. 31-48 18 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
public access
public space
boating
community organization
riparian vegetation

Flash flooding as a threat to settlements even in remote areas

Gohar, A. & Kondolf, G. M., 1 Oct 2017, In : Environment and Urbanization. 29, 2, p. 503-514 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

natural disaster
flooding
threat
flash flood
desert

Sustainable Tourism along the Red Sea: Still Possible?

Gohar, A. & Kondolf, G. M., 1 Apr 2016, In : Civil Engineering and Architecture. 4, 2, p. 39-46 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
ecotourism
land use planning
nongovernmental organization
solid waste
waste management

Urbanization & Sustainable Development: Evolution and Contemporary Challenges

Gohar, A., 25 Dec 2016, In : J. Civil Eng. Architect. Res. 3, 12, p. 1813-1825 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
urbanization
sustainable development
sustainability
built environment
science

Connecting Cairo to the Nile: Opportunities for Public Access and Alternative Transportation

Kondolf, M., Gohar, A., Mozingo, L., Marzion, R. & Balakrishan, K., Nov 2013, Democratic Transition and Sustainable Communities: Overcoming Challenges Through Innovative Practical Solutions. Nadim, W. (ed.). Düren: Shaker Verlag GmbH, Germany

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

public access
public space
river
river bank
pedestrian

Activities 2005 2019

  • 9 Invited talk
  • 2 Publication Peer-review
  • 1 Editorial work

Sustainability (Switzerland) (Journal)

Amir Gohar (Editor), G. Mathias Kondolf (Editor), Yves-Francois Le Lay (Editor)
2019

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial work

Sustainability (Switzerland) (Journal)

Amir Gohar (Reviewer)
2019 → …

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPublication Peer-review

The Journal of Public Space (Journal)

Amir Gohar (Reviewer)
2019 → …

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPublication Peer-review

Community Engagement in Planning & Design for Tourism Destinations

Amir Gohar (Speaker)
2016

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Tourism development: Between endless potential and harsh realities. (Dialogue on Sustainable Development)

Amir Gohar (Speaker)
2015

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk