||URBAN LAYOUT FOR MICROCLIMATE CONTROL
Definition characters description and diffusion
The urban ecosystem is the model of the oasis that has grown into a city. They are great caravan cities in the desert or urban agglomerations that have grown larger than the first oasis model.
General characters description and diffusion
Favourable geomorphologic circumstances are exploited to create irrigated areas in specific geographic systems. An important capital dominates each landscape unit: isolated basins in the middle of the desert; large plains among the mountain peaks; strips of oases along hydrographic networks, international and intercontinental crossroads. Along the sinuous M’zab valley, in the Algerian Sahara desert, the cities cascade from a central mosque, set at the top of the highland, down the bottom of the valley, by exploiting the topography of the hills, thus becoming an integral part of them: it is an example of how architecture can decode nature. The mausoleums and the places for the cults with their organic shapes and anthropomorphic entrances have terraces and surfaces necessary for the catchment of the smallest quantity of moisture. The urban layout of the Sassi of Matera, in the south of Italy, like a maze of small streets, stairs and underground passageways continues to follow the ancient hydraulic structure. Thus, it is still possible to understand the urban layout of the Sassi of Matera only by starting from the original matrix of the underground spaces, the cisterns and the terraced gardens, making use of the process of accumulating traditional knowledge and a concentrated use of resources which dates back to prehistory.
Advantages and sustainability
The proper management of water and other resources which is integrated into the architecture of the city as well as into the culture and ways of life are vital to a sustainable community.