MCTspaceLab was established in October 2017 as a platform targeting young scientist, researchers, students and lecturers to share their impressions, knowledge and practical experience on the development of the city’s urban fabric and public spaces within the city of Muscat. The platform aims towards developing innovative and practical ideas of a more sustainable and human-centered urban spaces in Muscat that empowers the citizens.
Prior to the establishment of the online Platform (Launched on July 2018) the formulation of the project began as a research topic in October 2017. During this period, the structuring of the working framework, action plan, and Hayi Al Maarifa Public Space Development as a mock-up was outlined.
Information regarding small scale public spaces in Muscat are limited in terms of public documentation. Books describing the city during the 1970’s-1980’s such as: Muscat: Now and then by Fred Scholz and Urban Oman, the most recent publication, by Sonja Nebel and Aurel von Richthofen, are steps towards sharing and documenting the urban fabric of the city.
The discussion of small scale public space is a critical issue as it affects the vulnerable groups for the community from children, woman, and low income families and individuals. Public spaces with high quality within proximity to residential areas are no longer a luxury for new developments, rather it should be demanded as a necessity for improving the quality of existing neighbourhoods for a better livelihood.
However, to start a discussion that involves all stakeholders, a change within the current planning proceeds needs to arise. One can take a more traditional path in progressing with change, however, we choose the sustainable-high-impact path. We choose to theorize, test and document the potential of improving public spaces within the existing urban fabric for the rest of the citizens to gain knowledge of the available development options within the legal framework of planning.
Vision and Aim
MCTspaceLab’s vision is ‘to provide high quality public spaces that promote socio-economic interaction along with the empowerment of the community.’
Our aim is ‘to enhance and develop existing neighborhood through vibrant and sustainable public spaces.’
The online platform was developed as a response to the limitation of data on ‘Public Spaces’ and ‘Urban development’ of the city of Muscat. Hence, the themes that are covered within the MCTspaceLab are within the realm of Sharing Knowledge, Open discussion, and finally Practice & Implementation subdivided into: