Skip to main content Skip to main navigation menu Skip to site footer

reGREENeration of Historic Cairo

Hara al-Nabawiya and Bayt Madkour in al-Darb Al-Ahmar

Abstract

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.

Published:
Pages:51 to 74
Section: Space
How to Cite
Ramírez, N. and El Habashi, A. (2020) “reGREENeration of Historic Cairo”, The Journal of Public Space, 5(1), pp. 51-74. doi: https://doi.org/10.32891/jps.v5i1.1251.

Author Biographies

Brandenburg University of Technology
Germany Germany

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 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.

References

ADAPT, C. (2015). Green spaces and corridors in urban areas (2015). [Online] Available at: https://climate-adapt.eea.europa.eu/metadata/adaptation-options/green-spaces-and-corridors-in-urban-areas [Accessed 1st November 2019].

Culture, A. K. T. F. (2005). Cairo: Urban Regeneration in the Darb al- Ahmar District. Geneva: Historic cities support programme, Aga Khan press.

Egypt, C. o. M.-A. R. o. (2016). EGYPT VISION 2030. [Online] Available at: http://www.cabinet.gov.eg/English/GovernmentStrategy/Pages/Egypt%E2%80%99sVision2030.aspx [Accessed 31 December 2019].

El-Habashi, A. &. H. Y. (2019). "nahw ihya' al-adaa' al-bi'i li-al-biyut zat al-ahwash bi-al-qahira al-tarikhiya" (towards the revitalization of the climatic performance of the courtyards houses in Historic Cairo). Sharm al-Shaykh, Second International Conference (10th Conference on Sustainabe Environmental Development) Menoufia University.

El-Habashi, A. (2012). Safeguarding of Cultural Heritage in Egypt towards a conservation plan for HISTORIC CAIRO, World Heritage Site . ., Cairo: Unpublished report submitted to UNESCO's URBAN REGENERATION of HISTORIC CAIRO.

El-Habashi, A. & all, e. (2018). Assessing the environmental performance of historic Cairo: Preserving values and improving energy efficiency.. . , Shebin al-Kom: Menoufia University publications.

Gamal, M. (2016). The architecture of home in Cairo, Socio-spatial practice of the Hawari´s everyday life. London – New York: Taylor and Francis group.

Hanna, N. (1991). Habiter au Caire Aux XVII et XVIII siecles. Cairo: Institut francais d’archelogie orientale.

ICOMOS (2011). The Valletta principles for the safeguarding and management of historic cities, towns and urban centers. Paris: General assembly.

Jeannet, M. & Shcuemperlin, N. (2010). The core of Cairo. A resistance to comprehensive gentrification. Cairo. : Studio Basel, Institut stadt der gegenwart publications.

Mubarak, A. (1987). Al-Khitat Al-Tawfiqiyya. Cairo. Cairo: al-Amiriyya Press.

Rasidi, M., 2014. The role of green corridors for wildlife conservation in urban landscape: A literature review. Singapur: University Teknologi Malaysia publications.

UNESCO, W. C. H. (2012). Urban regeneration project for historic Cairo. Cairo: Capmas.

UNESCO, W. H. C. (2013). New life for historic cities: The historic urban landscape approach explained, Paris: The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

UNESCO, W. H. C. (2015). Policy Document for the Integration of a Sustainable Development Perspective into the Processes of the World Heritage Convention. Paris: General Assembly of States Parties to the World Heritage Convention at its 20th session.

Warner, N. (2005). The Monuments of Historic Cairo, a Map and Descriptive Catalogue. Cairo: American Research Center in Egypt, Inc.

Warner, N. (2006). The True Description of Cairo, A Sixteenth-Century Venetian View. Oxford: Arcadian Library in association with Oxford University Press.

Yakan, B. (2010). TCG: Architecture, Conservation & Heritage Management / Alaa el-Habashi.

Zaky, S. (2009). 19th century houses of old Cairo quarters. the first edition ed. Cairo: The high Council for Culture.
Open Access Journal
ISSN 2206-9658