ArchitectureArchitecture & urbanism in the global south

The Cluster for Research in Architecture and Urbanism of Cities in the Global South (CRAUCGS) at the University of Strathclyde includes research expertise in the socio-spatial practice of migrant and minority communities, lifestyle trends and housing transformations, urban traditions and user-centred assessment, and architectural design pedagogy.

Our goal is to develop quality research and to maximise impact through dissemination and research-led teaching, while influencing policy and decision-making. We strive to respond to critical questions, central to the global south, on urban growth, continuity and fragmentation; regenerating historic cities; the quality of urban life, health and liveability; architectural identity and multiculturalism.

Our research

The Cluster was established in 2014 by Prof Ashraf Salama to address architecture and urban transformations in the global south including Africa, Central and Latin America, most of Asia and the Middle East, and North Africa (MENA).

We examine the sharp dichotomies within the global south where architectural and urban spectacles are developed in tandem with environmental degradation, ethnic and regional conflicts and displacements and political and economic instability. Our research addresses the severe dualities of urban transformations and place production towards enhancing decision making and improving peoples’ lives.

Key research areas

Addressing various scales of the built environment in the global south, CRAUCGS is interested in the following topics:

Knowledge Economies & Sustainable Urbanism

CRAUCGS develops and validates frameworks for investigating sustainable urban qualities in emerging knowledge economies focusing on major cities in the Gulf region.

Socio-Spatial Practices of Migrants & Minorities

CRAUCGS investigates urban dynamics and socio-spatial experiences in relation to migrant and minority communities.

Lifestyle Trends & Housing Transformations

CRAUCGS explores the relationship between lifestyles and housing choices, cultures and typologies, and the role of mega projects and affordability in rapidly urbanising contexts.

Cultural Identity, Spectacles & Global City Image

CRAUCGS studies architectural identities in the MENA region, attempting to understand the impact of flows and geo-cultural politics place typologies.

Urban Traditions & Designed Environments

CRAUCGS examines urban traditions in the context of nationalist particularism and the modern state. Learning from traditions we assess urban open spaces from users’ perspective.

Architectural Education & Design Pedagogy

CRAUCGS develops dynamics for knowledge integration in design architecture pedagogy while testing transformative approaches into various learning settings.

To learn more about CRAUCGS, download the Architecture & Urbanism of Cities in the Global South Research Booklet.

Our team

We have a transdisciplinary ethos and engage in global partnerships. CRAUCGS has attracted researchers from

various countries around the globe. Our expertise involves partnerships in Europe and the MENA region.

Academic Leader

  • Prof Ashraf Salama

Collaborating academics

PhD students

PhD studentTopic
Huyam Abudib Housing formation and transformation in North African cities: The case of Tripoli, Libya
Amira Elsemellawy Urban space in port cities of the eastern Mediterranean: The case of Alexandria, Egypt
Kristijn van Riel Socio-spatial practices of youth population in urban spaces in Accra, Ghana
Laura MacLean Quality of urban life in the Africa city: the cases of Lilongwe, Malawi and Lusaka, Zambia
Saleh Ragab Place attachment in postcolonial neighbourhoods in Greater Cairo
Noor Almansor Social sustainability in residential environments in Al-Basra
Mohammad Almahdi Urban fragmentation and continuity of Saudi cities: the case Riyadh, KSA
Yasin Abdur Collaborative urban governance for sustainable development in Dhaka
Asser Bakhaty Compact development for informal settlements in Cairo
Monthian Nguitragool Spatial design parameters for Buddhist meditation in Thailand
Saleh Almogrebe Rapid urban development in post-conflict contexts in Benghazi

Research grants & projects

  • Re-Enterprising the ‘Forgotten Villages of Greater Cairo’
    Funded by: GCRF pump priming, Hunter Centre For Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Strathclyde Business School
  • Sustainable and Resilient Built Environment Knowledge Labs (KLABS)
    Funded by: Erasmus+, European Commission, with 10 EU and Western Balkans HEI Partners
  • Investigating Housing Typologies in Multicultural Societies of the Gulf Region
    Funded by: Qatar National Research Fund, Qatar Foundation, with Qatar University
  • Architecture and Urban Planning
    Funded by: Erasmus+ KA107, with University of Belgrade
  • BC-SDBE: Building Capacity for Sustainable Development of the Built Environment
    Funded by: Newton Fund, British Council Institutional Links Project, with University of East London
  • Characterisation of Architecture and Urbanism of Cities in the Global South and The Quality of Urban Life in Sub-Sharan African Cities
    Funded by: Leadership Fund, University of Strathclyde

Selected Publications

  • Salama, A. M. (2019). Methodological Research in Architecture: Philosophical positions, frames of reference, and spheres of inquiry. Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research, 13 (1), 8-24.
  • Wiedmann, F., & Salama, A. M. (2019). Building Migrant Cities in the Gulf: Urban Transformation in the Middle East. Bloomsbury (I.B. Tauris Imprint), London, UK.
  • van Riel, K., & Salama, A. M. (2019). Using auto-photography to explore young people’s belonging and exclusion in urban spaces in Accra, Ghana. Open House International, 44(1), 62-70.
  • Salama, A. M., Wiedmann, F., & Ibrahim, H. (2018). Migrant knowledge workers’ perceptions of housing conditions in Gulf cities. Journal of International Migration and Integration, 19(1), 15-33.
  • Salama, A. M., Azzali, S., & Wiedmann, F. (2017). The everyday urban environment of migrant labourers in Gulf Cities: the case of the old centre of Doha, Qatar. City, Territory and Architecture, 4, [5].
  • Salama, A. M., Wiedmann, F., & Ibrahim, H. G. (2017). Lifestyle trends and housing typologies in emerging multicultural cities. Journal of Architecture and Urbanism, 41(4), 316-327.
  • MacLean, L., & Salama, A. M. (2019). Towards a context specific and multidimensional quality of urban life model. Open House International, 44(1), 25-33.
  • Salama, A. M., & Remali, A. M. (2018). Urban traditions in the midst of the Chinatown of Liverpool and the quasi-enclave of Glasgow. Traditional Dwellings and Settlements, WP Series, UC-Berkeley, 292, 1-22.
  • Shehab, N., & Salama, A. M. (2018). The spatiality of segregation: narratives from the everyday urban environment of Gothenburg and Glasgow. ArchNet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research, 12(1), 71-90.
  • Salama, A. M. (2019). Reflections on architectural education of the Muslim world within a global world. International Journal of Islamic Architecture, 8(1), 33-41.
  • Salama, A. M. (2018). From the global south: pedagogical encounters in architecture. Charrette: Journal of UK Association of Architectural Educators, 5(1), 1-7.
  • Salama, A. M. (2018). Post-professional architecture and academia: foreword. In H. Sadri (Ed.), Neoliberalism and the Architecture of the Post Professional Era (pp. 271-277). Springer: Switzerland.
  • Salama, A. M., & MacLean, L. (2017). Integrating Appreciative Inquiry (AI) into architectural pedagogy. Frontiers of Architectural Research, 6(2), 169-182.

Discover more about architecture

Our galleries

Take a look in the image gallery to see the range of award winning work that is produced in the Department

Architecture studio

Our experts


Students Andrea Hickey and Neal Hemingway created ChalkTalk for their Masters project, to encourage discussion and stories about architecture and design within the city during the Merchant City Festival.

Future Architecture Workshop: Merchant City Festival

We invited prospective students of architecture to participate in a day long workshop as part of the Merchant City Festival. Explore our city with them!