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Silk Cities: is an independent contextual online platform which connects existing knowledge and ideas about the quality of the built environment in the Middle East and Central Asia. The platform begins its focus on the Middle East, where countries at the intersection of history (the historic Silk Roads) and geography are positioned in their regional context. We launched the beta version of the platform on 11 February 2014.


News and Events

Thursday, 1 December, 2016

Co-hosted by the Silk Cities Initiative and UCL Development Planning Unit (DPU)

The event is free and open to interested academics and practitioners.
The holy city of Makkah currently home to about 2.2 million inhabitants, witnessed massive spatial change in the...Read more

Urban Talk

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Urban Morphology as a Disciplinary Basis for Architectural Design
Dr. Giancarlo Cataldi
Thoughts on Iranian Cities in Economic Globalisation
Prof. Nigel Harris
Food Security: the Challenge of Urban Planning in the Middle Eastern Cities
Prof. Yves Cabannes
The New or the Now: Theorizing Twenty-First Century Cities
Prof. Jennifer Robinson
Geographical Aspects of Earthquake Vulnerability in Iran
Dr James Jackson
Urban Change in Contemporary Iran: Urbanisation Lacking Context Based Urbanism
Dr Parviz Piran


We encourage knowledge sharing on urban development which by its nature is multidisciplinary, forward-looking and challenging. The focus is on the following themes as the starting point:

These are presented in three formats:

This is the Beta version. Please help us to improve your experience here. Feedback & Ideas