Bagh-e Dasht area is situated in the northern part of Herat, an old city in western Afghanistan located on the Silk Road which has received a strong influence from Persian culture. Initially, the Bagh-e Dasht area was developed for gardens and palaces near Joy-e Injil canal during the Timurid Empire in the 15th century. It is assumed Bagh-e Dasht became a settlement in the 16th century during the Safavid Empire. The oldest area is the southern part around the canal bank which is characterized by Dalans, sun-dried brick arcades above which houses are often constructed. Traditional houses in this area are built with domical vault roofs constructed with sun-dried bricks. Bagh-e Dasht is one of the best-preserved settlements of traditional houses in Herat. This study examines the transformation of the Bagh-e Dasht area with a focus on Dalans, where traditional houses with domical vault roofs have been well-preserved until today. The aim of the study is to examine the extent of physical changes to the area as well as changes to houses and the community. This research paper contains original results which have previously not been published in architectural history. The roof types of houses in the area are investigated through examining high resolution satellite images. The boundary of each building and space is determined by both a field survey and aerial photographs of the study area. A comprehensive field survey was then conducted to examine each space and building in the area. In addition, a questionnaire was distributed to the residents of the Dalan houses and interviews were conducted with the Wakil (Chief) of the area, a local historian, residents and traditional builders. The study finds that the oldest part of Bagh-e Dasht area, the south, contains both Dalans and domical vault roof houses. The next oldest part, which is the north, only has domical vault roof houses. The rest of the area only has houses with modernized flat roofs. This observation provides an insight into the process of historical development in the Bagh-e Dasht area.
Kabul city has suffered a lot in 40 years of conflict of civil war and “The war on terror”. After the invasion of Afghanistan by the United States of America and its allies in 2001, the Taliban was removed from operational power, but The Taliban and other terrorist groups remained in remote areas of the country, they started suicide attacks and bombings. Hence to protect from these attacks officials surrounded their office buildings and houses with concrete blast walls. It gives a bad landscape to the city and creates traffic congestions. Our research contains; questionnaire, reviewing Kabul Municipality documents and literature review. Questionnaires were distributed to Kabul citizens to find out how people feel by seeing the T-Walls on Kabul streets? And what problems they face with T-Walls. “The T-Walls pull down commission” of Kabul Municipality documents were reviewed to find out what caused the failure of this commission. A literature review has been done to compare Kabul with Washington D.C on how they designed the city against terrorism threat without turning the cities into lock down. Bogota city of Columbia urban happiness movement is reviewed and compared with Kabul. The finding of research revealed that citizens of Kabul want security but not at the expense of public realm and creating the architecture of fear. It also indicates that increasing the T-walls do not give secure feeling but instead; it increases terror, hatred and affect people’s optimism. At the end, a series of recommendation is suggested on the issue.
Cities in Afghanistan have been rapidly urbanized; however, many parts of these cities have been developed with no detailed land use plan or infrastructure. In other words, they have been informally developed without any government leadership. The new government started the In-situ Upgrading Project in Kabul to upgrade roads, the water supply network system, and the surface water drainage system on the existing street layout in 2002, with the financial support of international agencies. This project is an appropriate emergency improvement for living life, but not an essential improvement of living conditions and infrastructure problems because the life expectancies of the improved facilities are as short as 10–15 years, and residents cannot obtain land tenure in the unplanned areas. The Land Readjustment System (LRS) conducted in Japan has good advantages that rearrange irregularly shaped land lots and develop the infrastructure effectively. This study investigates the effects of the In-situ Upgrading Project on private investment, land prices, and residents’ satisfaction with projects in Kart-e-Char, where properties are registered, and in Afshar-e-Silo Lot 1, where properties are unregistered. These projects are located 5 km and 7 km from the CBD area of Kabul, respectively. This study discusses whether LRS should be applied to the unplanned area based on the questionnaire and interview responses of experts experienced in the In-situ Upgrading Project who have knowledge of LRS. The analysis results reveal that, in Kart-e-Char, a lot of private investment has been made in the construction of medium-rise (five- to nine-story) buildings for commercial and residential purposes. Land values have also incrementally increased since the project, and residents are commonly satisfied with the road pavement, drainage systems, and water supplies, but dissatisfied with the poor delivery of electricity as well as the lack of public facilities (e.g., parks and sport facilities). In Afshar-e-Silo Lot 1, basic infrastructures like paved roads and surface water drainage systems have improved from the project. After the project, a few four- and five-story residential buildings were built with very low-level private investments, but significant increases in land prices were not evident. The residents are satisfied with the contribution ratio, drainage system, and small increase in land price, but there is still no drinking water supply system or tenure security; moreover, there are substandard paved roads and a lack of public facilities, such as parks, sport facilities, mosques, and schools. The results of the questionnaire and interviews with the four engineers highlight the problems that remain to be solved in the unplanned areas if LRS is applied—namely, land use differences, types and conditions of the infrastructure still to be installed by the project, and time spent for positive consensus building among the residents, given the project’s budget limitation.
Since 2006, Afghanistan is dealing with one of the most dramatic trend of urban movement in its history, cities and towns are expanding in size and number. Kabul is the capital of Afghanistan and as well as the fast-growing city in the Asia. The influx of the returnees from neighbor countries and other provinces of Afghanistan caused high rate of artificial growth which slums increased. As an unwanted consequence of this growth, today informal settlements have covered a vast portion of the city. Land Readjustment (LR) has proved to be an important tool for developing informal settlements and reorganizing urban areas but its implementation always varies from country to country and region to region within the countries. Consequently, to successfully develop the informal settlements in Kabul, we need to define an Afghan model of LR specifically for Afghanistan which needs to incorporate all those factors related to the socio-economic condition of the country. For this purpose, a part of the old city of Kabul has selected as a study area which is located near the Central Business District (CBD). After the further analysis and incorporating all needed factors, the result shows a positive potential for the implementation of an adaptable Land Readjustment model for Kabul city which is more sustainable and socio-economically friendly. It will enhance quality of life and provide better urban services for the residents. Moreover, it will set a vision and criteria by which sustainable developments shall proceed in other similar informal settlements of Kabul.
Andarokh basin is one of the main karstic regions in Khorasan Razavi province NE Iran. This basin is part of Kopeh-Dagh mega zone extending from Caspian Sea in the east to northern Afghanistan in the west. This basin is covered by Mozdooran Formation, Ngr evaporative formation and quaternary alluvium deposits in descending order of age. Mozdooran carbonate formation is notably karstified. The main surface karstic features in Mozdooran formation are Groove karren, Cleft karren, Rain pit, Rill karren, Tritt karren, Kamintza, Domes, and Table karren. In addition to surface features, deep karstic feature Andarokh Cave also exists in the region. Studying Ca, Mg, Mn, Sr, Fe concentration and Sr/Mn ratio in Mozdooran formation samples with distance to main faults and joints system using PCA analyses demonstrates intense meteoric digenesis role in controlling carbonate rock geochemistry. The karst evaluation in Andarokh basin varies from early stages 'deep seated karst' in Mesozoic to mature karstic system 'Exhumed karst' in quaternary period. Andarokh cave (the main cave in Andarokh basin) is rudimentary branch work consists of three passages of A, B and C and two entrances Andarokh and Sky.
The global trend indicates that more and more people live and will continue to live in urban areas. Today cities are expanding both in physical size and number due to the rapid population growth along with sprawl development, which caused the cities to expand beyond the growth boundary and exerting intense pressure on environmental resources specially farmlands to accommodate new housing and urban facilities. Also noticeable is the increase in urban decay along with the increase of slum dwellers present another challenge that most cities in developed and developing countries have to deal with. Today urban practitioners, researchers, planners, and decision-makers are seeking for alternative development and growth management policies to house the rising urban population and also cure the urban decay and slum issues turn to Smart Growth to achieve their goals. Many cities across the globe have adopted smart growth as an alternative growth management tool to deal with patterns and forms of development and to cure the rising urban and environmental problems. The method used in this study is a literature analysis method through reviewing various resources to highlight the potential benefits of Smart Growth in both developed and developing countries and analyze, to what extent it can be a strategic alternative for Afghanistan’s cities, especially the capital city. Hence a comparative analysis is carried on three countries, namely the USA, China, and India to identify the potential benefits of smart growth likely to serve as an achievable broad base for recommendations in different urban contexts.
Traffic congestion is a worldwide issue, especially in developing countries. This is also the case of Afghanistan, especially in Kabul-the capital city, whose rapid population growth makes it the fifth fastest growing city in the world. Traffic congestion affects not only the mobility of people and goods but also the air quality that leads to numerous deaths (3000 people) every year. There are many factors that contribute to traffic congestion. The insufficiency and inefficiency of public transportation system along with the increase of private vehicles can be considered among the most important contributing factors. This paper addresses the traffic congestion and attempts to suggest possible solutions that can help improve the current public transportation system in Kabul. To this end, the methodology used in this paper includes field work conducted in Kabul city and literature review. The outcome suggests that improving the public transportation system is likely to contribute to the reduction of traffic congestion and the improvement of air quality, thereby reducing the number of death related to air quality.
This research is a very essential towards transportation planning of Kabul New City. In this research, the travel demand of Kabul metropolitan area (Existing and Kabul New City) are evaluated for three different target years (2015, current, 2025, mid-term, 2040, long-term). The outcome of this study indicates that, though currently the vehicle volume is less the capacity of existing road networks, Kabul city is suffering from daily traffic congestions. This is mainly due to lack of transportation management, the absence of proper policies, improper public transportation system and violation of traffic rules and regulations by inhabitants. On the other hand, the observed result indicates that the current vehicle to capacity ratio (VCR) which is the most used index to judge traffic status in the city is around 0.79. This indicates the inappropriate traffic condition of the city. Moreover, by the growth of population in mid-term (2025) and long-term (2040) and in the case of no development in the road network and transportation system, the VCR value will dramatically increase to 1.40 (2025) and 2.5 (2040). This can be a critical situation for an urban area from an urban transportation perspective. Thus, by introducing high-capacity public transportation system and the development of road network in Kabul New City and integrating these links with the existing city road network, significant improvements were observed in the value of VCR.
Most developing nations face energy production and supply problems. This is also the case of Afghanistan whose generating capacity does not meet its energy demand. This is due in part to high security and risk caused by war which deters foreign investments and insufficient internal revenue. To address the issue above, this paper would like to suggest an alternative and affordable way to deal with the energy problem. That is by converting Solid Waste to energy. As a result, this approach tackles the municipal solid waste issue (potential cause of several diseases), contributes to the improvement of the quality of life, local economy, and so on. While addressing the solid waste problem in general, this paper samples specifically one municipality which is District-12, one of the 22 districts of Kabul city. Using geographic information system (GIS) technology, District-12 is divided into nine different zones whose municipal solid waste is respectively collected, processed, and converted into electricity and distributed to the closest area. It is important to mention that GIS has been used to estimate the amount of electricity to be distributed and to optimally position the production plant.
This paper evaluates oil displacement by water in Hauterivian sandstone reservoir of Kashkari oil field in North of Afghanistan. The core samples of this oil field were taken out from well No-21st, and the relative permeability and fractional flow are analyzed. Steady state flow laboratory experiments are performed to empirically obtain the fractional flow curves and relative permeability in different water saturation ratio. The relative permeability represents the simultaneous flow behavior in the reservoir. The fractional flow approach describes the individual phases as fractional of the total flow. The fractional flow curve interprets oil displacement by water, and from the tangent of fractional flow curve can find out the average saturation behind the water front flow saturation. Therefore, relative permeability and fractional flow curves are suitable for describing the displacement of oil by water in a petroleum reservoir. The effects of irreducible water saturation, residual oil saturation on the displaceable amount of oil are investigated through Buckley-Leveret analysis.
Recent discoveries of Bronze Age artefacts, tin slag, furnaces and crucibles, together with new geological evidence on tin deposits in Tosham area of Bhiwani district in Haryana (India) provide the opportunity to survey the evidence for possible sources of tin and the use of bronze in the Harappan sites of north western India. Earlier, Afghanistan emerged as the most promising eastern source of tin utilized by Indus Civilization copper-smiths. Our excavations conducted at Khanak near Tosham mining area during 2014 and 2016 revealed ample evidence of metallurgical activities as attested by the occurrence of slag, ores and evidences of ashes and fragments of furnaces in addition to the bronze objects. We have conducted petrological, XRD, EDAX, TEM, SEM and metallography on the slag, ores, crucible fragments and bronze objects samples recovered from Khanak excavations. This has given positive indication of mining and metallurgy of poly-mettalic Tin at the site; however, it can only be ascertained after the detailed scientific examination of the materials which is underway. In view of the importance of site, we intend to excavate the site horizontally in future so as to obtain more samples for scientific studies.
High population and irregular urban development in Kabul city, Afghanistan's capital, are among factors that increase its vulnerability to earthquake disasters (on top of its location in a high seismic region); this can lead to widespread economic loss and casualties. This study aims to evaluate earthquake risks in Kabul's 13th district based on scientific data. The research data, which include hazard curves of Kabul, vulnerability curves, and a questionnaire survey through sampling in district 13, have been incorporated to develop risk curves. To estimate potential casualties, we used a set of M parameters in a model developed by Coburn and Spence. The results indicate that in the worst case scenario, more than 90% of district 13, which comprises mostly residential buildings, is exposed to high risk; this may lead to nearly 1000 million USD economic loss and 120 thousand casualties (equal to 25.88% of the 13th district's population) for a nighttime earthquake. To reduce risks, we present the reconstruction of the most vulnerable buildings, which are primarily adobe and masonry buildings. A comparison of risk reduction between reconstructing adobe and masonry buildings indicates that rebuilding adobe buildings would be more effective.
The purpose of this research is to upgrade a pleasing, sustainable and safe shelter in the Afghan urban community. It also aims to maintain traditional housing, which is fitted to its environment, while attempting to upgrade it with new, traditional standards. The three main objectives of this study are to upgrade the traditional courtyard house to become safe and sustainable today and tomorrow; to fit the contemporary house environmentally and culturally, and to suppress or reduce the broad gap between traditional and contemporary housing. The paper tries to exhibit and analyze the sustainably best practices available in both traditional and contemporary courtyard housing in Afghanistan. For instance, the use of thick walls and Tawa-Khana (floor heating system) shows the best sustainable practice in that context.
Passing the entrance exam to a university is a major step in one's life. University entrance exam commonly known as Kankor is the nationwide entrance exam in Afghanistan. This examination is prerequisite for all public and private higher education institutions at undergraduate level. It is usually taken by students who are graduated from high schools. In this paper, we reflect the major educational school graduates issues and propose ICT-based test preparation environment, known as ‘Online Kankor Exam Prep System’ to give students the tools to help them pass the university entrance exam on the first try. The system is based on Intelligent Tutoring System (ITS), which introduced an essential package of educational technology for learners that features: (I) exam-focused questions and content; (ii) self-assessment environment; and (iii) test preparation strategies in order to help students to acquire the necessary skills in their carrier and keep them up-to-date with instruction.