[This is a monthly roundup of news articles, and other materials related to urban issues in the region, and beyond. It does not reflect the views of the Cities Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send recommendations for inclusion in the Cities Media Roundup to email@example.com, mentioning "Roundup" in the subject line. We also welcome your submissions to the Cities Page: please check details on cities.jadaliyya.com]
Passageways in Downtown Cairo
Rowan al-Shimi reports on Egyptian and Danish artists and architects who presented design intervention concepts for two pedestrian passageways in Downtown Cairo in a workshop organized by CLUSTER.
Art from Cairo Streets
Egyptian artist Hamdi Reda aims to make art part of everyday life in Cairo’s poor neighborhoods, through a center he established called Artellewa.
Graffiti and Street Art in Iran
Rustin Zarkar discusses the state of graffiti art in Iran with Tehran-based artist Ghalamdar, as well as connections to the global street art movement, and links to artistic heritage.
On the Urban Life of Dubai
Yasser Elsheshtawy examines the diverse and vibrant aspects of Dubai`s architecture and urban life that are often not addressed or visible in mainstream reports about the city.
New Urban Toy/Tool in Beirut
Two Beirut-based architects create Urbacraft, a play set based on a system of interlocking white plastic pieces which contributes to imagining the design of future cities.
French Sustainable Planning in Morocco (in French)
Pierre-Arnaud Barthel reports on French experts and firms in Morocco, which promote a Western approach to planning the sustainable city.
Non-Tourist Istanbul (in Arabic)
Imadeldin Raef portrays in Safir al-Shabab another Istanbul, that of the poor peripheries, and its remote connections to the shiny capital.
Privatization and Neoliberal Policies
UAE`s urbanization and dying ecosystems
Michael Dickison reports on the UAE’s dying ecosystems, and how urbanization has consumed wildlife habitats.
Trees and Sidewalks Removal in Port Said (Egypt)
Cairo Observer reports on the recent systematic removal of trees and sidewalks in Port Said (Egypt), in the name of modernization.
Cleaning Cairo from Street Vendors (in Arabic)
Al-Masri Liawm reports on the current struggle between the government and street vendors in downtown Cairo.
Video: Floating Island in Greater Beirut
Video overview of the forthcoming Beirut International Floating Island which will be built across the coast of Jounieh.
World Bank supports Lebanon to Privatize Public Goods
The World Bank encourages the Lebanese government to launch the privatization of state assets, including public utilities such as electricity and water.
High-End Housing Project in Casablanca (in French)
Saham Immobilier develops a housing project in Casablanca (Morocco) off the congested city center.
New Real-Estate Investments for the Bouregreg Project (Morocco)
Wessal Capital, a new Moroccan private equity style investment fund with shareholders from the Gulf, announces €775 million investments in the second phase of the Bouregreg project.
Checkpoints and Urban Mobility in Baghdad
This article discusses the status of urban mobility in Baghdad hindered by the continued presence and proliferation of checkpoints.
Affordable Housing in Cairo
Al-Ahram Weekly interviews Hussein Al-Gibali, adviser to the Egyptian minister of housing, on affordable housing.
On the Reopening of Sanayeh Garden (Beirut)
Lara Bitar and Yazan al-Saadi report on the use of Sanayeh`s Garden after its opening in Beirut, and critique the policing mechanisms of the private security guards monitoring its space.
Mapping Apartment Prices in Beirut
Hisham Ashkar’s blog features a useful mapping of apartment’s prices in the Greater Beirut area, as well as link to a report by real-estate agents RAMCO upon which the mapping is based.
The New Rent Law in Lebanon
Mohamad Wehbeh reports on liberalizing the rent market in Lebanon and shows how real estate speculators could evict both tenants and landlords.
Labor Rights and the City
Istanbul`s Stararchitects and Labor Murders
Yaşar Adanalı reports on his blog about how Istanbul`s urban boom is built on labor murders and raises questions to “star architect” Daniel Liebskind about the workers killed in his Istanbul project due to poor safety precautions.
NYU-Abu Dhabi Campus and Migrant Labor Rights
A recap of New York University`s official response to the New York Times’ recent report on the inhumane conditions of migrant labor in the construction of the Abu Dhabi campus.
Qatar`s Migrant Workers
Qatari-born activist Aakash Jayaprakash discusses in this YouTube video, the violations, obstacles, and possibilities for change currently shaping Doha`s major labor rights struggles.
War, Refugees and Informal Dwellers
A Photo Essay on Palestinian Refugees in Amman
A photo essay by Megan Toole on the precarious conditions in which Palestinian refugees live in the Gaza Camp in Jordan.
The Amman of Refugees (in Arabic)
Abdel-Rahman Nassar reports on the densification of Al-Hussein refugee camp in Amman.
Living Cemeteries in Cairo
Zeina El Cheikh reports on Cairo Observer about her visit to the cemetery dwellers living in tombs in Cairo.
Video: Students Design Carts for Syrian Refugees
BBC reports in this video how architecture students at the American University of Beirut designed user-friendly carts with recycling materials, to provide Syrian refugees with a source of livelihood.
Syrian Refugees in Lebanon in Pictures
War artist George Butler documents through compelling drawings the spaces, and possessions of Syrian refugees living in tent-camps in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon.
Water Crisis and War Profiteers in Aleppo
Suhaib Anjarini reports on the role of relief organizations in Aleppo attempting to bring in diesel for a water pumping station through negotiations with armed groups.
Featured Reports and Resources
Report: Izbet Khairallah (Cairo) (in Arabic)
Tadamun reports on the urban history and evolution of Izbit Khairallah in Cairo, providing rich maps, and ethnographic details.
Report: Informal Housing in Daraya (Damascus) (in French)
Etienne Lena examines the typology of informal housing in Daraya (Damascus) based on fieldwork conducted in 2008.
Report: Collapsing Buildings in Egypt
The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) launched an interactive website visualizing data documenting 392 residential building collapses in Egypt, resulting in 192 deaths and 824 families made homeless.
Fieldtrip Report: New Towns in Istanbul (in French)
Presents the critical reflections of urban planning students from France on a fieldtrip to the new towns of Istanbul.
Fieldtrip Report: Bio-Istanbul (in French)
Presents the critical reflections of urban planning students from France on a fieldtrip to the smart city project of "Bio-Istanbul" in Basaksehir, Istanbul.
Performance Data for Comparing World Cities
Citiscope reviews the new ISO standards for measuring world cities performance.
Book Review: Jerusalem 1900 (in French)
Musa Srour reports on Vincent Lemire`s book on Jerusalem during the last decades of the Ottoman rule, which is based on local archives and pilgrims` accounts, arguing it is an important contribution to the history of the then shared city.
Book Review: Gouverner les pauvres [Governing the Poor] (in French)
Julien Lévy reviews Elisa Chelle`s Gouverner les pauvres, offering a dense and detailed analysis of social policies that address poverty, based on the observation of urban policies in France (the RSA), and New York (Opportunity NYC).
Book Review: À travers le mur [Across the Wall] (in French)
Charlotte Millepied reviews the new edition of Jean-Charles Depaule`s classic book published in 1985, À travers le mur. The book discusses housing practices in Cairo and other Arab cities, privileging the varying architectural interventions different dwellers make in their homes, especially in relation to openings and limits.
Analysis: Merrifield on Lefebvre
Open Democracy features an essay by Andy Merrifield about Henri Lefebvre’s revolutionary citizenship.
Open Access Journal: Megaevents, and the City
Accompanying the World Cup frenzy, Society and Space journal provides open access to a virtual theme issue on "Megaevents and the City" investigating how festivals, sporting events and urban politics impact urban space.
Website: AUB City Debates Conference
The annual conference of the graduate programs in urban planning, policy, and design at the American University of Beirut, "City Debates" launches its website, including archives, and links to conference publications.
Recently on Jadaliyya Cities
Popular Neighborhoods and the Arab Spring
Eric Denis reviews Barthel and Jaglin’s book Quartiers informels d’un monde arabe en transition. This is an English translation of the review published first in French on Jadaliyya.
The End Rent Control in Lebanon: Another Boost to the "Growth Machine?"
Bruno Marot reports on the battle over rent control in Lebanon during the last two decades and current attempts to phase out “old rents” contracts in the city.
CFA: The School of Public Affairs at American University (Deadline: June 30)
The School of Public Affairs at American University announces a call for applications from scholars in the Social Sciences from Arab Universities.
نقاش - لهذه الأسباب أصبحت المدينة متوحشة وبهذه الشروط نوقف التوحش
يستعرض محمد فواز الأسباب والقوانين اللتي آدت الى تدهور مدينة بيروت وترددات سوء التنظيم المدني على مستقبل المدن في لبنان
Dodging City Archive / Beirut Chapter
Giulia Guadagnoli photographs different trails in her daily trips in Beirut, often focusing on steps, alleyways, ladders, and benches.
NEWTON: Gülçin Erdi-Lelandais, Understanding the City: Henri Lefebvre and Urban Studies
Gülçin Erdi-Lelandais is interviewed about her new book, Understanding the City: Henri Lefebvre and Urban Studies.
Decentralization in the Arab World Must Be Strengthened to Provide Better Services
Mona Harb and Sami Atallah report on the role of decentralization in the Arab world, drawing from the historical, social, and political implications of such policies.