The Ashar ( by Frank Heath)







LONDON:     First Edition  1956



Publisher/Year: LONDON, Millbrook Press, First Edition 1956.
Binding: Original Illstrated Hardcover, 24x18 cm.
Pages: 78
Illustrations: 46 photo illustrations, 11 Plans. [lacks plan in pocket].

   Please see book CONDITION at end    жжж

Max Lock (1909-1988)

Max Lock was a British postwar urban planner who emphasised the importance of incorporating social research in the planning process. His most notable contributions were associated with planning in Middlesbrough, where he worked with Griselda Rowntree and Ruth Glass on the 1944 Middlesbrough Survey, and Hull. Lock's Hull work achieved acclaim with a 1943 London exhibition at the Housing Centre opened by the Minister of Town and Country Planning and in The Architects' Journal. Darling and Whitworth describe Lock's approach to planning as the most Geddesian of the post-war planners in the UK. Other key features of his approach were to include considerations of a town's hinterland in the planning process, to incorporate insights from other disciplines, to blend both physical and social aspects, using surveys, interviews, community involvement, map overlays, topic reports, and photographs. This was a process involving Civic Diagnosis. The aim was to achieve workable and acceptable plans. This could be achieved by having the public closely involved in a consultation process and making presentations accessible to them and to the press. The Max Lock Centre at the University of Westminster is named in his honour and holds his archive.





the City of  BASRAH

With Many
Photograph Illustrations & Plans
from over 50 Years Ago

Limited Edition of only 500 copies printed

Only 500 Copies Printed

From Introduction ...


Town Planning is the science of `civic surgery'. Before derelict and blighted areas can be removed, new communities grafted on, traffic congestion eased, a thorough `medical examination' or penetrating `civic diagnosis' is needed. In modern practice this all-important diagnosis takes the form of a systematic series of surveys of existing conditions, which counts as much as the plan itself for it is the starting point from which all plans are made, and it remains the guide and provides the data for the far more difficult task of implementation of the plan.

The most essential and biggest of all the surveys is the inspection and record of the use of each parcel of land in the town, and the condition of properties on it. This `Land Use Survey' is mapped to a scale of 1:2500, and has been undertaken on the field by the Consultant's team in November, December and January of 1955-56, and covers the whole area of the Municipality. The use of each building, heraditament or parcel of land, whether dwelling, shop, office, school, etc., together with its condition, is shown by colour and letter symbols. Since the land use map as a whole covers some 52 square feet, it is cut up into easily handled uniform sections of 14 inches by 18 inches, and pasted
on to 30 boards for use on the field and later on for constant reference and use in the planning office of the Beladiyah. This large map has been reduced to a summarised diagrammatic form for the purposes of this report.

From this `master-survey' a second map to the same scale is abstracted, dealing solely with the condition of properties. This shows every building coloured according to its physical condition and probable economic life in four categories : (i) buildings of long life (over 20 years); (ii) buildings of limited life (5-20 years); (iii) buildings for immediate redevelopment; (iv) sarifa development (dwellings of mud and palm matting). From this map, combined with the Land Use map, the city's black spots and blighted areas can be accurately located and a practicable process of rehabilitation commenced.

In addition, of major significance, is the traffic survey, undertaken in Basrah on 4th and 5th January, 1956. The results have been plotted in diagrammatic map form (See Diag. 4, Page 10) and in conjunction with the `land use' and `condition' surveys are the indispensable guide to the location and alignment of new roads, of widening lines, and of new and improved road junctions.


Contents ...


  1. Introduction

  2. The Basis and Administration of the Basrah Plan

  3. History and Growth of the City

  4. Population

  5. Industrial and Employment Structure

  6. Transport

  7. Housing and Town Expansion

  8. Social and Religious Structure and Cultural Amenities

  9. Education

  10. Shopping and Retail Trade

  11. Public Health

  12. Utility Services

  13. Ashar: Central Area

  14. Basrah: Central Area

  15. The Faisaliyah and Subkhat-al-Arab Neighbourhoods

  16. Realisation of the Plan

  17. Planning Control and Civic Design


  1. Basrah's Function in the Geographical, National and Regional Setting

  2. The Climate of Basrah

  3. Rail Planning Proposals at Margil

  4. Concerning the Future Development of the Margil Airport

  5. Concerning Housing in Faisaliyah



Illustrations ...

Ashar (Frank Heath) Front Cover

The Main Canal, Ashar (Max Lock)  Frontispiece

  1. Ashar Creek in Basrah (John Pantlin)

  2. A residential street in Basrah (Frank Heath)

  3. Ornamental detail on a house in Basrah (John Pantlin)

  4. Part of Basrah's shopping centre (John Pantlin)

  5. Site of the proposed Wholesale Market and Flatted Factory project in Ashar (Frank Heath)

  6. Delapidated building in front of the Makam Mosque (Frank Heath)
    Proposed redevelopment of area in front of the Makam Mosque (sketch by Lewis Jones)

  7. Part of the Mutasarrifiyah Road junction (John Pantlin)
    Proposed design for the Mutasarrifiyah Road junction (Lewis Jones)

  8. The Makam Mosque Bridge (John Pantlin)
    Proposed road junction in front of the Makam Mosque (Lewis Jones)

  9. Barge congestion in Khandaq Creek (John Pantlin)

  10. Barges alongside the Corniche (John Pantlin)

  11. Unloading barges in Khora Creek (Rusi Khambatta)

  12. Open storage areas alongside Ashar Creek (John Pantlin) 

  13. A new Municipality Road (Frank Heath)

  14. Turkish houses in Basrah (Frank Heath) 

  15. Sarifa development in Ashar (John Pantlin)

  16. The Armenian Camp between Ashar and Basrah (John Pantlin)

  17. Minaret of a Mosque in Basrah (Frank Heath) ...

  18. Entrance to a Mosque in Basrah (John Pantlin)

  19. The Makam Mosque in Ashar (Frank Heath)

  20. A river scene from the Corniche (Rusi Khambatta)

  21. A riverside cafe on the Corniche (Frank Heath)
    An impression of the proposed City Social and Cultural Centre (sketch by Lewis Jones)

  22. Ashar Creek (Max Lock)

  23. Ashar Creek (Max Lock)

  24. Housing under flood (Max Lock)

  25. Housing under flood (Max Lock)

  26. Ashar Creek in Ashar from the Makam Bridge (Rusi Khambatta)

  27. The Makam Mosque seen across Ashar Creek (Max Lock)
    Proposed waterfront redevelopment scheme on Ashar Creek (sketch by Lewis Jones)

  28. Pedestrian entrance to Ashar Suq (Frank Heath)

  29. Site of proposed Office Buildings beside Ashar Creek in Ashar (Frank Heath)
    Impression of the proposed block of Office Buildings seen across Ashar Creek (sketch by Lewis Jones)

  30. Blighted buildings in the area forming part of the Waterfront Reconstruction Scheme (John Pantlin)
    Proposed piazza behind the Makam Mosque (sketch by Lewis Jones)

  31. Part of the residential waterfront to Ashar Creek in Basrah (Frank Heath) 

  32. Part of the centre of Basrah (John Pantlin) ...

  33. Strand Road outside the Basrah Law Courts (John Pantlin) ...

  34. King Hussein Road, Basrah (Max Lock)
    An impression of the New Square proposed in Basrah Centre (Lewis Jones)
    Impression of the Proposed Office and Business Square in Ashar (Lewis Jones)

  35. Roads in Faisaliyah (Rusi Khambatta) ...

  36. Roads in Faisaliyah (Rusi Khambatta)


  1.  National and Regional Setting of Basrah

  2. Existing Land Use

  3. Condition of Buildings

  4. Traffic Survey

  5. Proposed Land Use

  6. Detail of Redevelopment in Basrah

  7. Faisaliyah Roads

  8. The Proposed Staging of the Development and Redevelopment of Faisaliyah and Subkhat-al-Arab

  9. Volume of World Shipping Entering Basrah (1953-54)

  10. Record of Wind Observations at Margil Airport (1953)

  11. The Master Plan (folding map in back pocket)


  1. Basrah City's Employment Structure

  2. Numbers of Population living in sub-standard conditions

  3. Residential densities measured in various types and classes of City development

  4. Existing and planned population by districts

  5. Proposed new and extensions to existing schools required

  6. Estimated number of existing shops in relation to population served

  7. Proposed new shopping centres, together with their assessed population catchment

  8. Suggested proportions of food to non-food and specialised shops

  9. Proposed staging of development at Faisaliyah and Subkhat-al-Arab














Condition ...

Corners rubbed exposing boards, lacks a folding plan in back pocket, otherwise book in very good condition. Scarce limited edition of 500 copies only.




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