Urban regeneration of public space – Al-Alfi Street – downtown Cairo
Free (open access)
Volume 12 (2017), Issue 4
808 - 818
S. ATTIA, Z. SHAFIK, A. EL HALAFAWY & H.A. KHALIL
Urban regeneration has been an accepted strategy for reviving city centers around the globe in Western Developed settings and in developing cities for decades. In Cairo, post January 25th Revolution, the Egyptian government sought an approach to upgrade several sites in downtown classical Cairo, to set new conditions for use of public space, to redistribute the power of authority and re-define the rules for the claim of public space of the city. The Cairo Governorate officially launched many projects within the same period; mainly focusing on refurbishing squares and streets, facades face lifting, controlling vendors’ trespassing and regulating car parking space among other regulations within Downtown area. However, having accepted and acknowledged the governmental intentions of the regeneration projects a question poses itself as to ‘How the community perceives and cherishes those initiatives?’ More important questions are raised regarding the regeneration of Al Alfi Street, the case study that addresses the governmental attempt in down town Cairo in 2015. It brings to light the dynamics enacted between different stakeholders. A research is conducted by adopting participant observations, surveys, questionnaires, and interviews with the local community and different stakeholders to understand their perception and appreciation to the ‘2015’ urban regeneration attempt. The findings of the paper set the urban regeneration principles in a discussion aiming at assessing the stakeholders’ involvement versus their goals and measuring their satisfaction with the outcome of the project, while still posing the question of the meaning of urban regeneration to the local community and to alternative scenarios that could yield more successful outcomes.
downtown classical cairo, public spaces, right to the city, street vendors, sustainability, urban regeneration.