[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]
Urban and Real Estate Development
Redevelopment of Beirut Downtown
Oliver Wainwright from The Guardian discusses how two decades after civil war blew the Lebanese capital to rubble, the city center boasts immaculately rebuilt streets lined with Gucci and Prada stores – but the whole place is strangely deserted.
Renovating Downtown Cairo [In Arabic]
Government plans to renovate downtown Cairo and to “rediscover the treasures in Cairo.”
Creative Economies in Dubai
Feargus O’Sullivan from The Guardian reports on the Dubai Design District (D3), which plans to house the city’s creative community, comparing it to Shoreditch district in London and describing it as upside down gentrification.
World’s Largest Vertical Maze in Dubai
Dubai lays claim to yet another Guinness World Record, with the new fifty-five story Maze Tower that boasts the world’s largest vertical maze.
Qatar-led Bid for Canary Wharf Rejected
The board of Songbird Estates—the majority owner of London’s Canary Wharf—advised shareholders to reject a £2.6 billion takeover bid from Qatar Investment Authority and Brookfield.
Urban Transformation in Khartoum Post-Sudan’s Division [in French]
In this essay, geographer Alice Franck and photographer Claude Iverné offer a portrait of recent urban transformations of Khartoum, after the splitting of Sudan into two countries, and the exile of part of the Southern Sudanese.
Local and Regional Policies and Governance
Housing in Algeria [in French]
Architect Bachar Keira warns that public land allocation in cities from the Hauts Plateaux region in Algeria might favor uncontrolled construction rather than alleviate the housing crisis. He reminds of lessons from past failed experiences and advocates a more participatory process of collective action.
Housing Evictions in Cairo
Mada Masr reports on the eviction and relocation of dozens of families from the informal settlement of Duweiqa to satellite cities around Cairo.
Giza Museum Plans and Housing Struggles [in Arabic]
Al-Shorouk reports on the appeal of the residents living close to the Giza pyramids to stop plans to relocate them in order to create a new open museum in the area.
Political Bickering Stalls the Rebuilding of Gaza
Megan O`Toole writes in Aljazeera English about the political bickering that has stalled reconstruction of tens of thousands of homes that were damaged during Israel`s latest assault on Gaza in 2014.
Waste Management in Lebanon
The Daily Star features an article discussing the pros and cons of landfills vs. incinerators to manage waste in Lebanon.
Public Transport in Lebanon [in Arabic]
Joelle Boutros from Legal Agenda reports on the public transportation sector in Lebanon, the causes of its collapse, and its economic costs.
Water Management in Lebanon [in Arabic]
Roland Riachi discusses how to better manage water policies in Lebanon in as-Safir.
Oil Prices and UAE Real-Estate Economy
Lucy Barnard analyzes in The National why the fifty percent slump in oil prices over the past six months—which will likely fuel a property boom in non-oil producing countries—will cause a relative slowdown in Dubai, where real estate investments and buyers traditionally come from oil-funded economies.
Urban Refugees, Poverty and Informality
Renovating Cairo’s Informal Settlements [in Arabic]
A report in Al Youm Al Sabeh’ on the governor of Cairo’s tour of informal settlements in the city, where the renovation of forty homes and their infrastructure is ongoing.
Inside One of Cairo’s Informal Settlements [In Arabic]
An article in Al-Shorouk about the demands of the Manshiet Nasr informal settlement in Cairo and the challenges facing its residents.
Rockslide in Moqattam, Cairo
An article in Al-Ahram reporting on the impact of a rockslide when a boulder from the Moqattam Plateau crashed down on an informal settlement in Cairo.
Living Among Gaza’s Dead
Aljazeera English reports ont the dozen of families who live in el-Sheikh Shaban cemetery in Gaza, calling for international intervention.
Poverty in Tripoli [in Arabic]
A report in Al-Akhbar on poverty in Tripoli based on a recent study by the UNDP.
Syrian Refugees in Lebanese Towns [in French]
Journalist Pierre Prier from Orient XXI reports about the initiative of the mayor of the town of Qaraoun (South Bekaa, Lebanon) to shelter Syrian refugees, in the absence of public policy and foreign donors’ assistance. He shows, however, that political interests are not absent from this initiative.
Gardening in Zaatari Camp (Jordan)
Jessica Elgot reports for The Huffington Post on the small gardens Syrian refugees in the Zaatari camp (Jordan) are developing.
Urban Heritage and Spatial Practices
The Lost Beirut Center [in Arabic]
Three articles by Rida Hariri, Sabah Jalloul, and Malak Fakih in Safir al-Shabab about everyday life in Beirut`s downtown.
Gentrification in Cairo [In Arabic]
A story in Al Masry Alyoum about the gentrification pressures old residents of a neighborhood in Cairo known for its urban heritage are facing.
Documenting Street Life in Cairo [In Arabic]
Al-Shorouk reports on one hundred young men and women who tour Cairo every Saturday to documents life on its streets and alleys.
Khalidi Library in Jerusalem
The Economist reports on the Khalidi library in Jerusalem, and its future cultural role in the city.
Jeddah’s Historical District Chosen as First Green Zone
Saudi environmentalists team up with the Jeddah municipality to turn the city’s historic district into an eco-friendly zone, in order to raise environmental awareness among governmental and non-governmental bodies in the country.
Summer Course Announcement: “Creative City” at the University of Amsterdam
The University of Amsterdam announces its summer course on Amsterdam entitled “Amsterdam Creative City: Media, Art and Architecture.”
Essay: If Women Built Cities
The Guardian features an essay by Susanna Rustin about the role of women in cities’ design, with an overview of reflections about gendered city planning.
New Report: Rethinking Public Space
Prince Claus Fund issues the report that documents the results of its 2013 CFP “Rethinking Public Space.” The report features the thirty-nine selected projects including projects in Lebanon, Morocco, Egypt, Palestine and Iran.
New Article: The Right to the Village in South Lebanon
Spatial Justice publishes a special issue on "The Right to the Village," featuring an article on the concept and history of the village in South Lebanon by Saker El Nour, Cynthia Gharios, Martha Mundy and Rami Zurayk.
Book Review: Urban Margins and Neoliberalism [in French]
Geographer Eric Verdeil reviews in Rumor the edited volume by EMAM geographers team at the University of Tours, which deals with the urban margins produced by neoliberal policies. The book highlights the legacy of the French approach towards urban margins, and offers a critical analysis of neoliberal policies as an operating concept for reading urban transformation.
Book Review: Ziad Majed, Syrie, la révolution orpheline
Leila Vignal reviews in La Vie Des Idées the new book of Ziad Majed on the orphan Syrian revolution (Actes Sud/Sindbad, 2014), which attributes its failure to the absence of international intervention.
Book Review: White City Black City
Owen Hatherley from The Guardian reviews Sharon Rotbard’s White City Black City (Pluto Press, 2015), which discusses the UNESCO’s preservation of modern heritage of Tel Aviv, and the ethnic cleansing of Jaffa.
Book Review: Women in the City of Rabat [in French]
Elsa Carvalho reviews Safaa Monqid’s book which provides a gendered approach to public space in Rabat, Morocco.
Reading Notes: Modernizing Lebanon versus Jordan and Iraq in 1960s [in French]
Eric Verdeil shares his reading notes of Stéphane Malsagne edited Father Lebret`s diary and the insights it provides about Fouad Chehab`s attempt to modernize Lebanon during the 1960s, and how this relates to other modernizing attempts in Jordan and Iraq.
Photo-Essay: Leather Tanning in Fes (Morocco) [in Arabic]
A photo essay in Al Masry Al Youm about leather tanning in Fes, Morocco.
Photo Essay: Waste Management in Cairo [in Arabic]
A photo essay in Al Masry Al Youm on garbage burning and its environmental impact near several Egyptian cities, including Cairo.
Video: Pre-Solidere Beirut
Footage taken in 1991 by George Boustany of the destroyed post-war “downtown” Beirut well before the Solidere project took way.
Video: Reconstructing Gaza
Morning Joe of MSNBC reports on the reconstruction efforts in Gaza with Ayman Mohyeldin.
Recently on Jadaliyya
Jabra Ibrahim Jabra: Jerusalem, Time Embodied
In this translated excerpt of Jabra Ibrahim Jabra’s twenty-page essay on Jerusalem, published in 1967, we read about Jabra’s memories and stories, key historical events and the importance of time in understanding Jerusalem as a place.
Tripoli’s Unseen Faces
Moe Ali Nayel tells of the unseen faces of Tripoli. He reports on people’s daily lives in different parts of the city focusing on al-Saeh library, as well as on schools and streets.