Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, has been witnessing rapid urban transformation processes during the 20th century,
which have had various kinds of impact on the evolution of its urban identity. This paper therefore attempts to investigate
how the new urban concepts, which were introduced by modernization and globalization, caused a conflict of
identities and how this has resulted in dividing Riyadh into opposing urban entities. The main challenge in establishing
a cohesive urban identity in Riyadh is based on the long-term conflict between traditional forms of urbanism and modern
ways of urban development. The paper thus investigates the urban transformation of Riyadh from the beginning of
the twentieth century until the present day. The main objective of this historic analysis is to capture the various ways
inhabitants have perceived surrounding urban environments and how this has been influencing urban planning activities.
The applied methodologies include the evaluation of historic documents, such as official reports and plans.
Keywords: Riyadh, Urban Transformation, Urban Identity, Urbanism, Urban History.
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