The conflicts between economic growth, social well-being and ecological environment have frequently been highlighted. There is evidence that rehabilitation projects, while generating economic activity and improving the physical environment, also lead to many serious social problems, such as forced eviction and gentrification. Other issues include conflicts involving the cultural role of heritage and loss of social continuity and community neighborhood, exclusion of community participation, property speculation, loss of sense of place, urban sprawl and social exclusion. Thus, there is an urgent need to address the concept of socially sustainable development in the rehabilitation of urban historic districts. The case of Souq Waqif provides a unique opportunity for the topic where there was no previous relevant research. In addition, its urban context and the city are unique considering the architectural components, and environmental, cultural and social context. Lessons learned from studying social sustainability in Doha are expected to add remarkable input to the understanding of the city urban development and the resulting social change. The complexity and the novelty of the research topic required a combination of methods or what the research sources refer to as 'triangulation'. The study evaluated a large amount of literature related to social and cultural values connected directly or indirectly to the built environment, particularly historical districts. Four main stages were done starting from literature review to collecting data, conducting surveys, analyzing them and arriving to solid results and recommendations. Interviews were conducted in three modes; face-to-face (F2F), telephonic, and online. Three main experts on the project participated during the research to reflect on different points studied over a carefully designed questionnaire. The experts represented the project designers, the development management and the academic perspective on the topic. Results were able to identify the strengths and weaknesses in the development of Souq Waqif and the direct and indirect impacts of the project on the overall social life of the space users - whether they are tourists, labourers or business owners. The study has resulted in important messages for planning and social sustainability of similar projects, management recommendations and necessary practices to avoid anticipated decay.


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