Amidst chaotic growth of Asian cities, the expansion of urban infrastructure in the Middle East's Gulf region is arguably outpacing any other region on the planet. Yet we have a limited understanding of the types of urban form or the extent to which this rapid urbanization is giving rise to sustainable patterns of growth. We ask, what is the pace and character of urban growth in one Middle East city, Doha, Qatar. By using remotely sensed imagery from 1987 to 2013, we examined the pace, quality, and characteristics of urban growth. We further use the results to create a typology of urban growth that integrates historical and spatial dimensions for describing the qualitative aspects of growth and its implications on regional landscapes. Our results suggest that Doha is creating development patterns similar to many Western cities, and that planners may need to consider whether the emerging urban form offers opportunities for more sustainable growth in the future.
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