Principles of Green Urbanism: the Absent Value in Cairo, Egypt

Abstract—Cairo is considered one of the main growing cities in the Arab world today. Conventional planning has failed to direct this growth towards creating sustainable urban environments for all, and has instead encouraged lopsided development that caters only to the affluent sections. This trend has affected public urban spaces as well, which are now centered on consumption and dependant on heavy investment in real estate and technology. This has a considerable impact on the spectrum of socio-economic groups that are able to access and use them. Taking as a starting point the principles and concept of Green Urbanism, the paper questions the prevalent situation, and focuses on three aspects that have been ignored in recent approaches in recent development plans. The first (Green Urbanism) is explored as a main principles to revitalize the second (Public Spaces), in order to achieve the third (Sustainable Model) as a long term goal. This is done using analysis and design in parallel, and results in a proposal for a new design process and through it, scale specific design solutions for Cairo public spaces that will create a high quality of life for the people of the heavily populated, demographically diverse and socio-economically fragmented city.

Index Terms—Green Cairo, GCR vision, green urbanism, urban spaces, smart green city.


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