There have been various attempts to emulate traditional architecture and to experiment with the form and aesthetics of building design. However, learning from precedents of urban morphology is rare. This design study is a test at the neighborhood level using the pattern of traditional courtyard housing that is prevalent in the majority of historic towns and cities of North Africa and the Middle East. The study is undertaken at five levels of design enquiry: dwelling types, dwelling groups, neighborhood segment and community center. All of which are synthesized into a full prototype neighborhood comprising of 428 dwelling units covering an area that includes circulation and the community center, of 17.6 hectares. The test demonstrates that the traditional pattern of neighborhoods that are based on the typology of the courtyard dwelling as the initial generator of urban form may be used to develop a contemporary settlement pattern that is compatible with current necessities of lifestyle, vehicular circulation, including parking and infrastructure achieving an attractive livable environment with an overall gross density, that includes a community center, of about 24 dwelling units per hectare.
Hakim, Besim S. "Neighborhood Test Design Based on Historic Precedents," in ArchNet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research, vol. 6, issue 2 (2012).