Natalia Ramírez
Alaa El Habashi


In historical contexts like Cairo with rapid informal growth, the role of open spaces as Haras or courtyards are no longer seen as components of a very particular ecological system or centres of social encounters. The demand for housing and the relative cost-benefit has unleashed vast and illegal densification in height within neglected and dilapidated urban areas, where any available space represents an opportunity for investments and to accommodate the immediate needs.
The research explores the on-going disfiguration in the al-Darb al-Ahmar of Historic Cairo, and investigates the results along with the current international calls for the respect of the integrity of the environmental and socio-economic characteristics of tangible and intangible heritage in the World Heritage Site. The objective is to profit from the remaining courtyards of historic buildings and Haras spaces in Historic Cairo to propose urban strategies that would restore such historic attributes, reformulate an ecologically passive urban fabric and generate means for community development. This proactive approach is hopefully a necessary step for stopping the demolition, deterioration, and obsolescence of districts of high historical values.


How to Cite
Ramírez, N. and El Habashi, A. (2020) “reGREENeration of Historic Cairo: Hara al-Nabawiya and Bayt Madkour in al-Darb Al-Ahmar”, The Journal of Public Space, 5(1), pp. 51–74. doi: 10.32891/jps.v5i1.1251.
Author Biographies

Natalia Ramírez, Brandenburg University of Technology

Natalia Ramirez is a Colombian architect with a Masters of ¨Urban Design: Revitalization of Historic City Districts¨ at the Brandenburg University of Technology, Cottbus - Senftenberg, Germany, a collaborative program between Germany and Egypt, with Cairo University and Alexandria University as the Egyptian partners. She has been involved in several academic and professional activities: working at the Institute of Cultural Heritage in Bogotá (IDPC) as part of the work team for a special management plan and protection for the historic city center; two research projects with the architecture faculty of Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (Colombia) in topics related to urban peripheries, housing deficit, and local territory planning for informal settlements with a presence of armed conflict; and collaborated in the regional and territorial proposal for the infrastructure of the United Fruit Company in Magdalena/Colombia and its consideration to be included on UNESCO's World Heritage List.

Alaa El Habashi, Menoufia University

Alaa el-Habashi is an Egyptian professor of architecture and heritage conservation, and chairs the Department of Architecture in Menoufia University. He received his MS and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. His researches and practices aim to found a preservation framework that respects the specificities of local history and traditions. He has many conservation projects in Egypt and in other Arab countries whereby he attempted to develop heritage conservation approaches appropriated to different local values, identities and specificities. He assisted in registering, managing, and evaluating sites listed as World Heritage. He is a member of the editorial advisory board of the Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development. He established Turath Conservation Group specialized in conserving and managing heritage sites, and founded a Center in Historic Cairo for the Revitalization of Historic Cities. He has been promoting for Arab culture through various venues as selectively and briefly described throughout three venues, each with a complementary goal.


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