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For centuries the garden has served as a central element in Muslim culture. In that tradition, the Aga Khan Trust for Culture has been rehabilitating existing parks and creating new spaces for more than 20 years. The results, seen in this fascinating book, show how these urban oases are catalysts for positive economic, social and cultural change--as well as encourage ethical ideals of stewardship, ecology, and beauty in the built environment. Philip Jodidio first traces the history of Islamic gardens and helps clarify the environmental and design ethos in the Islamic religion. He also discusses the beneficial sociological and economic impacts of urban gardens and parks. Succeeding chapters identify thirteen specific projects that illustrate these principles. There are historic sites, such as Humayun's Tomb Garden in Delhi and Timur Shah Mausoleum in Kabul; contemporary locations, including the National Park of Mali, and Al Azhar Park in Cairo; and settings that celebrate cultural and multi-cultural identities, such as Aga Khan Garden in Alberta and a city park Khorog, Tajikistan. Each chapter offers color photographs, plans, and brief texts about the site and its environment, and each site demonstrates how green spaces bring people of different backgrounds together to provide space for reflection, spirituality, education and leisure. Together these achievements demonstrate how parks and gardens can enhance the economic, cultural, and general wellbeing of their neighboring populations.
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