Cities Media Roundup (November 2014)
[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 firstname.lastname@example.org, mentioning "Roundup" in the subject line. We also welcome your submissions to the Cities Page: please check details on cities.jadaliyya.com]
Urban Development and Real Estate
Infographic: Abu Dhabi Rent Map
The United Arab Emirate’s The National reports that despite the removal of rent caps in Abu Dhabi, most increases in rent remained within a 5 percent rent range increase.
Food Crisis or Real-Estate Speculation in Beirut?
An anonymous article in Al-Akhbar suggests that the food crisis plaguing Lebanon the past weeks might have more structural reasons than mismanagement, informing about a municipal touristic project that may be replacing the slaughterhouse in Qarantina, and boosting real estate development in the vicinity.
Fighting Real-Estate Development in Beirut [in Arabic]
Saada Allaw reports in Assafir about how the civil coalition to protect public space in Beirut is suing the government, while another real-estate development project threatens the last public beach.
New Mega-Project on the Coast of Beirut
The Daily Start reports on the new Eden Rock mega-project to be built on the coast of Beirut and that has launched its advertisement campaign. The project aims to expropriate parts of the nearby public beach of Ramlet el-Beida.
Dubai’s Tram and Property Rents
Mary Sophia reports to Gulf Business on the implications of launching the tram service in Dubai on property values around the transportation line.
Mecca Under Threat
Andrew Johnson writes in The Independent about the threats Mecca faces due to a construction project including a new palace and luxury malls.
Planning a New City in Rafah (Egypt)
Haaretz reports on a recent decree by the Egyptian President for a new urban development project in Rafah, by the Sinai, on the borders of Gaza.
Local and Regional Policies and Governance
Re-Housing Settlements in Algeria [In French]
Keira Bachar posts on her blog an article published in Al Watan on 8 November about the riots in Algeria`s "cités de relogement" (re-housing settlements), which lack basic infrastructure. The article includes interviews with planners who reflect about these conflicts.
New Governor Promises New Urban Policies for Beirut
In this article in The Daily Star, the new governor in Beirut discuses several issues including the closing of the slaughterhouse of Qarantina, public transportation for the capital city, as well as the opening of Horch Beirut and other parks.
Sectarian Garbage Management in Lebanon [In Arabic]
Bassam Kantar reports for Al-Akhbar on the new plan by the Lebanese government to manage garbage collection, which subdivides contracts according to sectarian regions.
Urban Policies Against Downtown Cairo’s Unwanted Populations
Patrick Kingsley and Marie-Jeanne Berger report in The Guardian on how, three years after the uprising, the Egyptian government is cleansing downtown Cairo from unwanted populations to restore “state prestige,” clashing with street-sellers, revolutionaries, politicians, property investors, and artists.
Public Transportation in Riyadh by the French RATP [In French]
Le Monde reports in a news article on how the Paris transportation utility (RATP) is going to create and manage the future Riyadh bus network.
Masdar (Abu-Dhabi): A Utopia?
Masdar, the Abu-Dhabi carbon-neutral city is still very far from completion, reports CityMetric, with only 15 percent of it built, six years since it has been launched. The article includes a video of Masdar.
War and Cities
Archeology and Conflict
Emek Shaveh—an organization of archaeologists and community activists focusing on the role of archaeology in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—features a story on Rumeida, an archeological tell in Hebron which is being conquered by Israeli settlers using tourism and archaeology.
Antiquities’ Looting and ISIS Gains
Stephennie Mulder reports in Al Jazeera on the illegal sales of antiques in Syria and Iraq, and how these transactions are being taxed by ISIS, providing the group with sizable revenue after oil sales.
Baghdad: Everyday Life in the City
Landon Shroder reports in Fair Observer about the life of ordinary citizens in Baghdad who face the threats of terrorism, sectarianism, insurgency and dysfunctional urban services such as electricity and garbage collection.
Jerusalem’s Transformations and Divisions [in French]
The French daily Libération interviews historian Vincent Lemire on the changes in Jerusalem. Lemire discusses the Palestinians’ demographic resistance, the recent seize of Palestinian houses in Silwan by the Jewish Orthodox, the threat of building on the Haram al-Sharif, and the colonization of Jerusalem`s suburbs.
Protests in Cities
Architecture Students Strike in Algeria [In French]
In this blog article, Keira Bachar reports on the strike led by architecture students in several universities in Algeria. The protest is against recent curricular reforms that prevent graduates from enrolling in the Order of architects that regulates the professions.
Crowd-funding the Destruction of al-Aqsa Mosque (Jerusalem)
Electronic Intifada writes about the successful Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign to destroy al-Aqsa Mosque. The campaign gathered more than $100,000 to complete architectural plans for the construction of a “Third Temple” on the Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem.
Citizen Protests Against Nuclear Projects in Turkey [In French]
Özgür Gürbüz reports in Reporterre about citizen’s mobilization against the nuclear projects being implemented in Mersin, and the ones under study in Sinop, denouncing the opaque policies of the Prime minister.
Urban Refugees and Poverty
Garbage Collectors in Cairo [in Arabic]
Al Shorouk News discusses in this piece garbage collectors in Cairo and the challenges they face.
Palestinian Refugees in Jordan
FAFO publishes two reports documenting and analyzing living conditions of Palestinian refugees in Jordan.
Urban Poverty in Palestinian Jerusalem
The Nation reports on the economic siege on Palestinian neighborhoods in Jerusalem, and their chronic poverty due to its systematic impoverishment by Israeli authorities.
Camps/No-camps for Syrian Refugees in Lebanon
Executive Magazine reports on Syrian refugees in Lebanon and the government’s debate on housing them in camps or not.
The Forgotten Palestinians of Nahr el-Bared (Lebanon)
Electronic Intifada reports on the lives of Palestinians of Nahr al-Bared since their camp was destroyed in 2007. Less than half of the houses in the camp were built to date, and reconstruction is slow due to the lack of funds.
NGOs and Sustainable Development in Cairo
Abeya El-Bakry reports in Al Ahram on the Remal Foundation in Egypt, founded by a group of planners and architects after 25 January to envision a more sustainable future, especially with regard to the use of energy, land and water.
Beautifying Cairo’s Walls
Mai Samih interviews for Al Ahram young artists who are beautifying the walls and bridges in Cairo with colorful drawings.
Patrick Kingsley writes in The Guardian about the potential of the initiatives of two cyclists in Cairo who have established “Ain Bicycles,” a shop that promotes cycling in the city.
Architecture Projects for Garbage Collectors in Beirut
AUB News reports on architecture students who designed more efficient carts for waste-pickers from Beirut`s northern suburbs. Some of their designs won awards. They are trying to get NGOs to fund the building of their carts.
CFP: Borders and Circulation in the Middle East
L’Espace et Politique announces its CFP for its special issue on borders and circulation in the Middle East, coordinated by Veronique Bontemps, Philippe Bourmaud and Cyril Roussel. Deadline is 31 January 2015.
Interview: Mohamed ElShahed (Cairobsever)
MERIP interviews the founder and blogger behind Cairobserver.
Pecha Kucha: Beirut Presentations
The presentations of Pecha Kucha Beirut (September 2014) are now available to watch online, and include presentations on issues related to design, architecture and public space.
Photo Essay: The Rose House of Beirut
Habib Battah from Beirut Report reports on the Rose House of Beirut with a series of pictures and paintings by artist Tom Young.
Photo Essay: Tahrir Square Beautified [Arabic]
Al-Yawm al-Sabeh reports in this photo essay on the beautification works of Cairo’s Tahrir square.
Photo Essay: Istanbul’s Lost Urban Heritage
Murad Sezer reports to Reuters on the gentrification, urban heritage, and minorities in Istanbul.
Recently on Jadaliyya Cities
The Making of Ferguson: Public Policies at the Root of its Troubles
Jadaliyya Cities re-posts a report by Richard Rothstein of the Economic Policy Institute discussing how Ferguson’s riots related to explicitly segregationist governmental policies.
Le Père Lebret, chroniqueur de l’Etat libanais en construction
Stéphane Malsagne writes about the key role of Father Louis-Joseph Lebret, in the making of modern Lebanon. Lebret is the founder of a humanist approach to economics, founded on the principles of balanced development.
A French Atlas of the Gulf States
Eric Verdeil, Jadaliyya Cities co-editor, reviews Philippe Cadène and Brigitte Dumortier’s Atlas of the Gulf States.
CFP: International Conference of Critical Geography (Ramallah, 26-30 July 2015)
The ICCG 2015 will be organized in Ramallah around nine main themes that connect to and expand the conference underlying subject, that is “Precarious Radicalism on Shifting Grounds: Towards a Politics of Possibility.”
Exhibiting the War in Syria: Interview with Khaled Malas
Mona Harb, Jadaliyya Cities co-editor, interviews Syrian architect Khaled Malas about his project excavating the sky recently featured at the Venice Architecture Biennale.
New Texts Out Now: Elisabeth Longuenesse et Cyril Roussel, Développer en Syrie. Retour sur une expérience historique
Elisabeth Longuenesse et Cyril Roussel discuss their new book on the history of development in Syria.
Promoting a Rare Breed: Private Nonprofit Housing Developers in the GCC
Maysa Sabah, an affordable housing consultant working in the GCC, reflects on how private nonprofit housing developers could bridge the gap and provide affordable housing for both citizens and non-citizens in the GCC
هذا بحر ربنا
Rana Jarbou discusses the right to the sea in Saudi Arabia, focusing on the city of Jeddah.