Kheir Al-Kodmany

Kheir Al-Kodmany
University of Illinois at Chicago | UIC · Department of Urban Planning and Policy

Doctor of Philosophy in Urban and Regional Planning The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign .

About

83
Publications
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2,057
Citations
Citations since 2017
42 Research Items
1263 Citations
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Introduction
Dr. Kheir Al-Kodmany is a Professor of Spatial Planning and Urban Design at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). His research and teaching cover a wide-spectrum of topics, including vertical urbanism, sustainable design, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), visualization systems, public participation, crowd management, economic development, and skyscrapers. He has published over 100 papers and six books. He taught for 23 years at UIC and five years at UIUC. He ranks among top ten faculty according to a study titled “Faculty Quality at U.S. Graduate Planning Schools, A National Research Council–Style Study,” by Journal of Planning Literature.

Publications

Publications (83)
Article
Full-text available
Structural systems for tall buildings have gone through an evolutionary process. The rigid frame became popular in the first half of the 20th century but proved to be structurally inefficient beyond a certain height of tall buildings. The invention of the tubular structure in the 1960s allowed buildings to be built taller with low material consumpt...
Article
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This article examines outstanding “sustainable” skyscrapers that received international recognition, including LEED certification. It identifies vital green features in each building and summarizes the prominent elements for informing future projects. Overall, this research is significant because, given the mega-scale of skyscrapers, any improvemen...
Article
Full-text available
As the world moves toward becoming 70% urbanized by 2050, urban density becomes imperative in decisions on the urban environment and living quality. This paper builds on the polycentric and “rail village” development model that applies a “concentrated” density in strategic locations to create hyper-connected, socially vibrant hubs. Notably, it prop...
Article
Full-text available
Increasingly, architects and engineers are interested in pursuing sustainable design. Yet, they lack sources that summarize best practices. As such, this review paper maps out and examines prominent examples of "sustainable" skyscrapers of varying geographic locations, climates, and socio-cultural contexts. It discusses the design themes and green...
Article
Purpose This paper reviews, summarizes and pieces together scattered information on the newly completed Chicago Riverwalk in Chicago, Illinois. It explains the design process that transformed an outmoded infrastructure and disused river banks into an attractive gathering civic space, a linear urban park and a functional transportation corridor. De...
Chapter
DESCRIPTION Efficient vertical mobility is a critical component of the development and construction of tall buildings. This chapter investigates recent advances in elevator technology and examines their impact on the development of tall buildings. It maps out, organizes, and collates complex and scattered information on multiple aspects of elevator...
Chapter
This chapter investigates the Chicago Loop, the city’s Central Business District (CBD). A large concentration of tall buildings in a relatively small area (about a square mile) reinforces a powerful downtown image. The chapter first explains briefly the history of development of the Loop. Next, based on the preliminary research findings, it examine...
Chapter
This chapter examines the Magnificent Mile, one of the most popular commercial places in North America. The chapter first offers a brief history of its development and the factors that made it significant. Visual and spatial analysis indicates that tall buildings along this vital path create two remarkable clusters, the “Grand Gateway” and the “Cit...
Chapter
This chapter summarizes key methods of collecting public opinion about the urban environment. Undoubtedly, people’s needs and preferences continue to be underrepresented in the planning process and planners argue that it is essential to devise methods that allow residents to voice their opinions on existing conditions or proposed plans. Effective c...
Chapter
This chapter offers a fresh account on current tall building developments around the globe. By analyzing extensive data, the chapter contrasts building activities before and after the turn of the new century. It gives a brief review of the development of high-rise buildings in world’s continents, including Asia, Middle East, Europe, North America,...
Chapter
This chapter examines the Chicago Skyline. Read as a unit; a skyline forms a potent urban symbol that manifests citizens’ achievements, economic status, cultural ambition, and lifestyle. An imageable skyline boosts the city’s reputation, reinforces civic life, and fosters pride. It also helps residents and visitors to better orient themselves withi...
Chapter
This chapter presents the theoretical framework of this research. It proposes a placemaking conceptual model that illustrates the interrelatedness of various theories on urban imageability, likeability, symbolism, placemaking, sustainability, and public participation. It hypothesizes that participatory placemaking promotes a healthier social life,...
Chapter
This chapter presents the preliminary findings of this research. It explains the use of social media data and the role of geographic information systems in visualizing it. The produced heatmaps help in identifying ten major socio-spatial clusters in the Chicago CBD. Importantly, field surveys validated these clusters. For illustration purposes, a s...
Chapter
This extended chapter offers critical placemaking messages. Undoubtedly, individual landmark buildings and significant public spaces in the City of Chicago are already known. However, this study delineates spatial clusters of landmark buildings and public places, amenities, parks, and museums that collectively foster a unique sense of place. The ch...
Chapter
This chapter focuses on urban developments around the Chicago River, the birthplace of the City of Chicago. It offers first a brief history of important projects and forces that made Chicago a global city. Next, it examines the spatial arrangements of tall buildings along this water path and analyzes significant edges and clusters that support plac...
Article
Full-text available
Today, many significant factors, including massive globalization, rapid urban population increase, intense urban regeneration, extensive agglomeration, soaring land prices, and a dire need for land preservation, among others, force cities to build upward. However, many cities lack the experience of integrating vertical density into their urban land...
Chapter
This chapter reviews recent advances in greenhouse technologies, including hydroponics, aeroponics, and aquaponics, and explains how they have provided a promising future to the vertical farm concept. It argues that compact high-tech agriculture is not only applicable in dense urban areas but also in peri-urban areas. Indeed, new high-tech systems...
Book
The chaotic proliferation of skyscrapers in many cities around the world is contributing to a decline in placemaking. This book examines the role of skyscrapers and open spaces in promoting placemaking in the city of Chicago. Chicago’s skyscrapers tell an epic story of transformative architectural design, innovative engineering solutions, and bold...
Article
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This paper explores a blend of digital and traditional methods to inform about a city’s popular spaces. Using locational data from social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, along with using participatory field surveys and direct observations and combining insights from architecture and urban design literature, this study re...
Conference Paper
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Article
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The first two decades of the twenty-first century represent a major milestone in skyscraper developments. By analyzing extensive data, the research presented here contrasts building activities of skyscrapers before and after the turn of the 21st century. It examines tall buildings in the world’s major continents (Asia, Europe, North America, Oceana...
Article
Full-text available
Much of the anticipated future growth in North America will occur in suburbia. The critical challenge that we will face is how to accommodate this growth in a sustainable and resilient manner. While the past 50 years have been characterized by suburban sprawl and low-rise development, “suburban sustainability” is increasingly making its way into th...
Article
Full-text available
As cities cope with rapid population growth—adding 2.5 billion dwellers by 2050—and grapple with destructive sprawl, politicians, planners, and architects have become increasingly interested in the vertical city paradigm. Given the large-scale problems of skyscrapers, any improvements in their planning, design, and construction would be significant...
Article
Full-text available
This paper provides a summary of a recent book by the author on urban design guidelines for integrating tall buildings in urban environments. The paper discusses the placemaking problems created by tall buildings, and simultaneously attempts to harness the potential of tall buildings to enhance placemaking. The research contends that instead of con...
Book
Full-text available
Each century has its own unique approach toward addressing the problem of high density and the 21st century is no exception. As cities try to cope with rapid population growth - adding 2.5 billion dwellers by 2050 - and grapple with destructive sprawl, politicians, planners and architects have become increasingly interested in the vertical city par...
Article
Full-text available
This paper discusses the emerging need for vertical farms by examining issues related to food security, urban population growth, farmland shortages, “food miles”, and associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Urban planners and agricultural leaders have argued that cities will need to produce food internally to respond to demand by increasing popu...
Article
Full-text available
As cities cope with rapid population growth-adding 2.5 billion dwellers by 2050-and grapple with expansive sprawl, politicians, planners, and architects have become increasingly interested in the vertical city paradigm. This paper reviews and examines shortfalls of tall buildings found in the literature to inform future developments. The paper gath...
Article
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There is much architectural and engineering literature which discusses the virtues of exterior bracing and diagrid systems in regards to sustainability - two systems which generally reduce building materials, enhance structural performance, and decrease overall construction cost. By surveying past, present as well as possible future towers, this pa...
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines recent sustainable tall buildings in the Global South, mainly in the Middle East and China. These buildings are redefining how architects, engineers, and planners view skyscrapers, creating a new building typology in regards to function, ecology, technology, and user comfort, in the process. These "futuristic" buildings are sett...
Book
Much of the anticipated future growth in the United States will take place in suburbia. The critical challenge is how to accommodate this growth in a sustainable and resilient manner. This book explores the role of suburban tall as a viable, sustainable alternative to continued suburban sprawl. It identifies 10 spatial patterns in which tall buildi...
Article
Full-text available
Efficient vertical mobility is a critical component of tall building development and construction. This paper investigates recent advances in elevator technology and examines their impact on tall building development. It maps out, organizes, and collates complex and scattered information on multiple aspects of elevator design, and presents them in...
Article
Full-text available
This article explores how community-based organizations working in low-income residential neighborhoods of U.S. cities employ e-tools and social networking platforms to engage the youth. The authors interviewed representatives of community organizations that work with young adults from lower-income groups in Chicago to comprehend their actual usage...
Article
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This paper investigates innovative trends, practices and goals of tall building retrofits while illustrating green design techniques and implementation strategies. The existing building stock is substantially large and represents one of the biggest opportunities to reduce energy waste and curb air pollution and global warming. In terms of tall buil...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose – The aim of this paper is to identify the university student’s preferences for some important attributes of residence hall design. The study also attempts to highlight the differences and similarities in student’s preferences. Design/methodology/approach – The survey was distributed among students who were living in residence halls of a p...
Article
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Recently, massive urbanization, increasingly denser cities and environmental consciousness are pushing architects to build "green" skyscraper. This paper examines the emergence of a notable type of skyscrapers that depart from purely image-driven structures, and emphasizes functionality and energy efficiency. It argues that breathtaking green desig...
Article
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As our cities become denser and host larger gathering events, the need for scientific and computational approaches to crowd management increases. Today, our cities must cater to activities and places that involve massive crowds such as the Olympics, large transportation terminals and mega entertainment and shopping centers. The planning challenges...
Article
Full-text available
Globalization has supported the exportation of exotic design and construction of many buildings including skyscrapers. In the past two decades skyscrapers have proliferated across cities all over the world, particularly those in the Arabian Peninsula. Because of their massive bulk and soaring height, these skyscrapers have dramatically altered the...
Article
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Shanghai and Dubai have recently marked a new epoch in the history of skyscrapers. Through the examination of these two cities, this paper attempts to identify the key driving forces for constructing skyscrapers in newly emerging global cities. The findings indicate that in addition to economic factors, globalization, political support, tourism, br...
Article
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A skyline is the urban signature that defines the city's identity and reflects its economic and global standing. Providing visual order and harmony among tall buildings is a key factor for ensuring aesthetically pleasing skylines. Currently, a new generation of skyscrapers, constructed with innovative technologies, building materials, and computeri...
Article
Full-text available
The tall building is the most dominating symbol of the cities and a human-made marvel that defies gravity by reaching to the clouds. It embodies unrelenting human aspirations to build even higher. It conjures a number of valid questions in our minds. The foremost and fundamental question that is often asked: Why tall buildings? This review paper se...
Article
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Because of their massive bulk and soaring height, skyscrapers immensely impact placemaking. Today, skyscrapers are not exclusive to the U.S.; they have prevailed in many other countries across the world. This paper examines the role of skyscrapers in supporting placemaking in non-Western countries; mainly in China, India, and the Middle East, which...
Article
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This paper provides detailed examinations on the use of GIS in nonprofit organizations. We interviewed planners and GIS experts in key nonprofit organizations in the City of Chicago to comprehend their actual usages of GIS, faced chal-lenges, and accumulated experiences. Organizations reported on dozens of projects where GIS was used for practical...
Article
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This paper presents a comprehensive design approach to sustainable tall buildings development. It argues that the true efficiency and success of tall buildings are heightened by their overall relationship with their urban setting and infrastructure. Tall and supertall buildings are mini-cities and their social, economic, and environmental impacts e...
Article
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Despite their profound impact on our cities, research on tall buildings’ role in placemaking is scarce (Brown et al, 2009). This article attempts to fill this gap by providing a conceptual model for analyzing tall building design, spatial location and the associated public spaces. The model specifically examines the role of tall buildings in placem...
Article
Full-text available
The world population will drastically increase in the future, particularly in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Even in Europe, where some cities are experiencing a negative growth rate, on the whole the population will steadily increase. In Australia and Canada, as well, population will steadily increase, although in the United States the growth ra...
Article
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More than 2,000 people die every year due to crowd mismanagement at large gatherings, including Hajj, the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca (Widyarto and Abd. Latiff, 2007). This paper explains the planning and design process that improved public safety throughout Hajj, particularly for the Symbolic Stoning of the Devil ritual. The new design is co...
Article
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Public participation is a key component in environmental planning and design. Yet too often, architects and planners are not equipped with effective tools and visualisation techniques to generate meaningful public input. Architects and planners are increasingly turning to computer technology; computer imaging can be used to support exploration of a...
Article
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A plethora of contemporary tall building designs appear to lack genuine architecture for they employ eccentric forms to compete for attention and they poorly respond to their specific environment and the climate (Gang, 2008). However, this paper examines the emergence of a notable type of tall buildings, described as eco-iconic, which depart from p...
Article
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Spatial information is a crucial cornerstone of e-planning. This paper explains the process of constructing a mega geospatial database for the Hajj, the annual Muslim Pilgrimage to Makkah, Saudi Arabia. It discusses the complex process and influence of top-down political power on the comprehensive planning process for the Hajj. It specifically exam...
Article
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The Hajj is an annual Muslim pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia. This article describes the politics and planning involved in building a geographic information system (GIS) that can help in the planning of this massive event. Hajj involves 3 million people moving to multiple sites over a large region at different times. More than 20 agencies are involved i...
Article
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While community-based organizations (CBOs) increasingly seek to utilize geographic information systems (GISs) for neighborhood planning and development, many have serious misconceptions about what GIS can and cannot do and what is needed to make effective use of it. This article describes the problems and opportunities in utilizing GIS as a tool fo...
Article
Full-text available
Computerized visualization methods offer planners and architects some new ways to support and facilitate democratic decision-making. However, the uses of this technology in public participation are just beginning to be explored. This paper describes a community planning process in which a combination of high- and low-tech visualization methods—a Ge...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter addresses the growing interest in using screen-based maps on the Internet for collaborative planning and design. Specifically, it introduces six prototype web interfaces that invite users to read maps of their community and then make selections and type in comments in order to provide feedback into a planning process. Each of the six p...
Article
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As new computerized visualization tools become available, planning professionals who engage in public participation planning must have a practical understanding of the benefits and drawbacks of each tool in order to choose the ones appropriate for a given context. This article reviews both traditional and computerized visualization tools and attemp...
Article
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This paper describes an interactive Web-based survey tool that was developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago to advance a community planning process. The team used a process taken from the work of Jack Nasar (1998) that involves surveying residents to create an “evaluative image” of the community that could guide future desi...
Article
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In this paper I examine the potential of the World Wide Web to augment traditional urban design methods and theories. Specifically, I describe how I used new web-based technologies in a university - community collaborative planning process to assist participants and planners in visualizing a community in Chicago. Lynch's five elements of city image...
Article
Full-text available
Planners and designers have recently shown a renewed interest in community-based planning. Planning theorists have developed new paradigms arguing that they are not technical analysts but, instead, communicators who generate plans through give-and-take dialogues with the public (Innes, 1998). This paper describes several visual communication tools...
Article
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This study examines women 's desire for visual privacy in two middle-class residential neighborhoods in Damascus. One hundred women between the ages of 18 and 40 were interviewed in each neighborhood, one traditional, the other modern. Results strongly indicated that, at home, women's visual privacy from outsiders, including neighbors and passersby...
Article
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Landscape architects have been using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) primarily for large-scale applications such as regional, environmental, ecological and natural resources planning and management. GIS applications are explored for the smaller-scale urban landscapes of communities and neighbourhoods. It is described how a community-based GIS...
Article
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Colonial rule in the early to mid 1900s brought to the Middle East, as to other non-Western cultures, a deluge of Western values, new technology and urban design. This study examines residential visual privacy in two middle-class neighbourhoods in Damascus, one, based on its architecture and urban design, considered to be 'traditional', and the oth...
Article
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This paper describes three different visualization tools employed during a participatory planning process in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. These tools were used during different phases of the planning process to encourage maximum public input and participation. In the initial neighborhood design workshops, a Geographic Information System (GIS) was...
Article
Full-text available
A key principle of neighborhood planning is that residents know what is best for their communities. All too often, however, community residents are put in the position of reacting to the visions of 'outsiders,' planners and designers whose understanding of the neighborhood is less immediate and comprehensive. This can result in an incomplete meetin...
Article
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Printout. Vita. Thesis (Ph. D)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1995. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 172-196). Available on microfilm from University Microfilms International.

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Much of the anticipated future growth in North America will occur in suburbia. The critical challenge that we will face is how to accommodate this growth in a sustainable and resilient manner. While the past 50 years have been characterized by suburban sprawl and low-rise development, “suburban sustainability” is increasingly making its way into the planning and urban design policy realm. This research investigates the spatial patterns of tall buildings in 24 suburban communities of three different regions including, Washington, D.C., Miami, and Chicago. The study identifies 10 different spatial patterns that prevail in suburbia and provides a concise summary of these patterns and reflects on their spatial and urban design aspects. The research concludes that the Tall Buildings and Transit-Oriented-Development (TB-TOD) model, an urban design approach that refers to vertical mixed-use clusters centered on mass-transit nodes, is one of the sustainable options for large regions going forward. The paper also discusses the challenges to the TB-TOD model implementation, mainly limited transit lines and community resistance. It ends by offering directions for future research.