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The Segregation in Access to Spaces for Urban Activities during COVID-19 Pandemic in Relation to Gated Communities in Egypt


Despite the long history of physical and social segregation by various types of gated communities in Egypt, they are attracting more residents. This is a result of the sense of privacy, security, access to proper services and the quality of green areas and public spaces that they offer. In most cases, such privileges and spaces for urban activities have restricted access to users who do not own residential units in such gated communities. With the current COVID-19 pandemic, starting in early 2020, and the Egyptian government’s preventive measures, people’s daily lives have been affected both economically and socially. Regulations such as the application of a curfew, and the closure of public services and facilities have had a considerable impact on population’s urban activities and the use of the public spaces. Yet, it could be argued that urban activities within gated communities have increased as the residents were forced to stay at home, or within the gated compounds’ walls. Thus, this paper investigates the use of the spaces for urban activities inside the gated communities; whether residential or beach destinations, in Egypt during the pandemic. It then studies the segregation in the rights of use of open urban spaces inside and outside gated communities, during the pandemic.

Pages:123 to 134
Section: Space
How to Cite
Aziz, H. and Ellakany, S. (2021) “The Segregation in Access to Spaces for Urban Activities during COVID-19 Pandemic in Relation to Gated Communities in Egypt”, The Journal of Public Space, 6(1), pp. 123-134. doi:

Author Biographies

Technical University of Berlin
Egypt Egypt

Hellen Aziz is a master student at TU Berlin, Urban development department in her last semester and she is currently writing her thesis about the governance of street markets, on the case study of the Egyptian street markets. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and Urban Planning from the Faculty of Engineering, Mansoura University, with general cumulative grade excellent, ranked third in her class. She worked as a teaching assistant at the Department of Architectural Engineering, Mansoura University since September 2016 and as a part time junior architect at Mimar Engineering Consultancy, under direct supervision of Prof. Dalila El Kerdany for 2 years till October 2018. She is the author os “Revitalization of historical public gardens through soundscape: The case study of Mansoura zoological garden”, published in “Towards a Better Quality of Life Conference (QOL)”, and co-author of “Not Our Land: an analysis of a socially dysfunctional community in el Fayrouz, Red Sea Region, Egypt” published in REAL CORP conference 2019 in Karlsruhe, Germany. Furthermore, she participated in several international workshops and summer schools such as “The refugee shelter rooftop” in Berlin with collaboration with Cambridge University (August 2019) and “The city as commons” in Pavia, Italy (September 2019). She has been appointed as a member of the youth steering committee of EauMega conference, about the water, the Mega cities and the climate change, which will be hold in December 2021 in Paris, organized by UNESCO.

Technical University of Berlin
Egypt Egypt

Salma Ellakany is a student of TU Berlin, Campus El Gouna, studying Urban Development and currently writing her master thesis on: “Social Enterprises and Collaborative Local Participation for the Development of Marginalized Communities in Egypt”. She has previously studied Architecture Engineering at the American University in Cairo, with minors in Community Development and Organizing, Film and Digital Media. Other than previously working in RiseUp, a platform for entrepreneurship in the MENA region as its Chief Experience Officer, she works part-time and freelances in the fields of User Experience Design, Quality Assurance and Organization Development. In addition, she is a partnerships and community engagement volunteer in an NGO called Mashrou ElSaada that works on uplifting marginalized communities in Egypt through color therapy as well as Urban development interventions and human empowerment activities.


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