Insaf Ben Othmane Hamrouni
Omar Wanas


HOUCH YGAMA’NA[1] is a participatory ‘design and build’ project piloted in 2014 that aims to create age and gender inclusive child-friendly spaces that foster children’s imagination and enhance their physical, cognitive, emotional and social development. This paper focuses on the narrative of the project implemented in the Central Public Park of New Damietta, Egypt. The project entailed applying a set of urban and design practices centred around a socially engaging mobile installation all aiming to bring the users of the park from the Egyptian community and newly settled Syrian community together to collaborate in reshaping and developing their outdoor environment with the overarching aim of Integrating the local Syrian population in their host society and linking them to one of the active local associations in the area :Terre Des Hommes . The project is a manifestation of the socio-spatial dimension to placemaking where the produced public space is ‘’both a product and producer of change’’(Gottdiener M., Hutchison R., 2011); as the created space is not only a collaborative effort by the local community, but also a tool within the overall process to achieve the project’s overarching goal.


[1]  HOUCH YGAMA’NA : Figurative translates from Arabic as ‘ A schoolyard for all’



How to Cite
Ben Othmane Hamrouni, I. and Wanas, O. (2020) “Placemaking for Coexistence: Child and Community Friendly Space: HOUCH YGAMAANA Project, New Damietta, Egypt”, The Journal of Public Space, 5(1), pp. 277–289. doi: 10.32891/jps.v5i1.1262.
Author Biographies

Insaf Ben Othmane Hamrouni, Ecumene Studio for Integrated Urban Planning and Sustainable Design

Executive director, urban development strategist, my main research interests revolve around Architecture, the dynamics of urban transformations and development of urban policies around the world and especially in the South. Working for over five years in the area of community development, urban governance and strategic planning in Egypt and Tunisia led me to initiate several projects ‘Urban Catalyst’ in partnership with local communities and various stakeholders, organizations and institutions in search of real and effective solutions to urban challenges of this century. Having heterogeneous studies steered me to be aware of the importance of multidisciplinary practice and the influence of sharing knowledge which led to the idea of founding Ecumene studio. Parallel to my work I’m teaching theory of Art and Architecture, Urban Design, History of architecture and cities and conducting several design and build workshops that aims to foster sharing knowledge and empowerment of vulnerable groups.

Omar Wanas, Ecumene Studio for Integrated Urban Planning and Sustainable Design

Architect since 2010, from the Architecture Department in the Faculty of Fine Arts in Egypt. I then perused a Master degree focusing on Integrated Urbanism and Sustainable Design in Stuttgart University (Germany) and ASU (Egypt). I engage in projects that link research to the practical field where my main scope of focuses are on: Assessing and means of enhancing indoor conditions in buildings, Alternative means of construction, and the Design of educational spaces and their link to pedagogy.


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