Street Upgrading

Street Upgrading, Cairo (Egypt) 2016

University of Stuttgart and Ain Shams University


From about five intersections within the dense urban fabric of Ezbet Abu Qarn in Cairo, a narrow street in the heart of the area was chosen to be redesigned as a public space.
The project’s aim was to create public space awareness among the inhabitants, alter the urban experience to match that of old Islamic Cairo, and introduce new ideas to the locals through using recycled materials.
This project was about the collaboration of the community with the academia. Integrated teams from both sides of the stakeholders developed and implemented designs that fulfilled the needs of the users of the selected zone.
The urban space intervention included:
1- Modifying an arched gateway to the enclosed parts of Ezbet.
2- Renewing the wall design and introducing different finishing materials.
3- Installing a floor pattern with recycled tiles.
4- Inserting built-in seats with recycled bricks.
5- Renovating the old chickens’ nest with clay bottles instead of typical bricks.
6- Adding flower boxes to signify the importance of greenery in public spaces.
Out of the three pillars of Ezbet sustainable development; Heath, Education & Profession, the project addressed:
1- Education by introducing new materials and the process of implementation
2- Health by improving the build environment and raising hygienic level

Client: Residents of Ezbet Abu Qarn

Tutors: Dr. Manal ElShahat (Stuttgart), Dr. Sami Afifi (ASU), Dr. Mohamed El Fayoumi (ASU)

Other Facilitators: Prof. Dr. Adel Fahmy,  Ahmed AbdelWahab, Zeiad Amer, Helena Bartle, Corinna Mölkner, Islabell Enssle, Fady Magdy, Mahmoud EL-Salamouny, Maha Attia, Mohab Essam, Barihan Amr, Sandra Samy, Hussein Mohamed, Nahla Hassan, Amr Yousef

Research Question: Ezbet Abu Qarn is one of the informal areas in the heart of old Cairo. It is located behind Amr Ibn-Al-As Mosque, the oldest mosque in Africa. Like so many informal areas around the world, this neighbourhood has to deal with profound problems: such as poverty, lack of infrastructure, unpaved streets, and very poor and unhygienic conditions. Through successive observations, it was pointed out that their daily lifestyle, especially within the core of the residential area, is characterized by women sitting together with their children during the day in front of their houses communicating with other families and neighbors. This is an example of how such communities utilize their urban spaces.

Research Approach: The project targeted the following two main research approaches that reflected the participatory process based on the needs assessment of the community:
– Develop flexible designs that can be adjusted and later on managed by the community to improve the quality and the function of the urban space
– Define technical tools used in the process of achieving the highest level of community engagement and involvement in all phases of the implementation

51-100, Ain Shams Univ, Architecture, Collaboration, Egypt, Extra-curricular, Months, Permanent, Postgraduate, Sponsorship, Students with researcher, Students with tutor, Stuttgart Univ., Undergraduate