[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 Development and Real Estate
Wissam Hojaiban from The Guardian discusses how public spaces in Beirut are being privatized into commercial venues, and the poor are increasingly pushed to the peripheries of the city.
Egypt Unveils Plans for “New Cairo”
An article in ArchDaily on the unveiling of Egypt’s ambitious development plan for a massive new capital city. The privately funded city hopes to become the new administrative center, as well as a bustling metropolis of shopping, housing, and tourist destinations to generate economic activity. Ahram Online features the promotional video announcing the establishment of a new capital for Cairo, which will house five million inhabitants. Khaled Fahmy critiques it here.
Documenting Changes in Kanal (Istanbul) [in French]
In this blog post, the authors document the changes that have take place in the areas where the recently re-launched Kanal Istanbul project will be implemented. The post includes pictures, maps and field reports.
Economic City in Jeddah
Sylvia Smith reports for BBC News on King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), north of Jeddah, and its multiple iterations.
Rawabi Gated Community in Ramallah (Occupied Palestine)
Lyse Doucet and Jane McMullen report for BBC News on the Rawabi new city project in Ramallah.
Local and Regional Policies, and Governance
Privatization of Land in Gaza [in Arabic]
Amjad Yaghi reports for Al-Akhbar on the shady involvement of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas in matters related to private property rights in Gaza.
The Return of Buses to Beirut in 2016 [in French]
Philippe Boutros Hage from L`Orient Le Jour reports about the recent announcement by the Lebanese Ministry of Transportation’s plan for a new bus network in the Greater Beirut Area, and the construction of a rapid transit bus network along the coast to Tabarja, which will be funded by a $200 million loan from the World Bank. Also available in Al-Akhbar, in Arabic here.
Regulating Traffic in Cairo
An article in Al Ahram on the impact of banning street parking in downtown Cairo, and improving traffic flow.
Housing Challenges in Al Shourouk (Egypt) [in Arabic]
An illustrated article in Al Youm El Sabe’ about the infrastructural challenges and poor living conditions facing Madinat al-Shourouk in Egypt.
Neighborhood Governance in Cairo [in Arabic]
A report in Al Youm El Sabe’ on the financial and administrative challenges facing neighborhood governance by looking at four neighborhoods in Cairo.
Relocating Markets in Cairo [in Arabic]
An article in Al Youm El Sabe’ reports on the increasing number of plans seeking to relocate more street markets and vendors in Cairo.
Police and Marginalized Youth in Tunisia [in French]
Olfa Lamloum summarizes the findings of her co-authored book on youth in two marginalized neighborhoods in Tunisia, for Orient XXI. Despite the partial dismantlement of the surveillance and clientelism of the state, social policies still arbitrarily control and tend to exclude the youth.
Tunisian Neighborhood Floods and State Neglect [in French]
In this op-ed, Monji Ben Raies reflects on the recent flooding of Tunisian urban neighborhoods, critiquing the neglect of the Tunisian state vis-à-vis natural hazards, and the contradictory policies that accentuate their negative impacts.
War and Cities
ISIS destroys Nimrud (Iraq)
Karim Shaheen reports for The Guardian on the destruction of the Assyrian archeological site of Nimrud.
Traveling South Iraq
Matthew Teller features on his blog Quite Alone sections of the travel and the photo diary of Géraldine Chatelard to south Iraq.
Okmeydanı, Istanbul: A Targeted Territory
This is the translated blog entry by Jean-François Pérouse which analyzes the situation of Okmeydani, a Kurdish settlement targeted by political tensions in Istanbul, in the context of the Kobane battle on the Syrian border.
Driving a Bus in War-Torn Syria
Ayham al-Khalaf reports for Worldcrunch on the route taken by a bus driver commuting between Aleppo and ISIS-controlled areas.
Service Provision in Azaz, Syria
Aymen Jawad Al-Tamimi reports on his visit in the Syrian rebel-held town of Azaz, near the Turkish border, discussing how local councils manage public services (water, electricity, street cleaning, education, health, aid for the poor and refugees, food supply).
An Urban History of Aleppo through its Citadel
John Steele of The Guardian narrates the relationship between war and Aleppo’s urban development, through the city`s historic citadel.
Urban Refugees and Informality
Refugees and Aid
Louise Redvers reports for IRIN on the poor evaluation refugees make of aid agencies in the Middle East.
Palestinian Refugees and the War in Syria
Kamel Dorai reports on the situation of the Palestinian refugees from Syrian camps and settlements, who are now expelled toward to Lebanon and Jordan where they face harsh living conditions within a political deadlock.
Yarmouk Refugee Camp in Syria
John Steele of The Guardian writes about the dire living conditions in the Yarmuk`s Palestinian Refugee Camp as war continues to rage in Syria. The author provides a historic narrative of the socio-political conditions that have shaped the politics of the camp before and during the war.
Turkey`s “Little Syria”
A report in Hurriyet Daily News on the tens of thousands of refugees who have poured into the southern Turkish port town of Mersin, and their fears of never return home and yearning for a better life.
Imagining Syrian Refugee Camps in Turkey
An article in Reclaim Istanbul that discusses the particularities of Syrian refugee camps in Turkey with regards to the dynamic nature of politics within and outside the camp boundaries.
Illegal Construction in Tunisia [in French]
A report in Kapitalis on illegal constructions in Tunisia where more than 250,000 buildings were recorded as illegal since the Revolution (2011-2013). This links well to this blog entry by Khalil Gdoura, who uses data provided by the Ministry of Interior, to highlight how the Ben Ali regime also implemented very few of the demolition orders against illegal constructions.
Urban Heritage and Public Space
The Public Maritime Domain in Lebanon [in Arabic]
Joelle Boutros reports for Legal Agenda on the public maritime domain in Lebanon, reviewing their history prior and during to the civil war, as well as the failed legal projects attempting to protect their status.
Beirut: A City without a Shore
Habib Battah reports for The Guardian on the real-estate development forces that privatized the coastal front of Beirut, and are now hitting on Dalieh.
Ministry of Environment to Protect Beirut’s Seacoast?
Lebanese Ministry of Environment drafts a law to protect coast of Dalieh and the Coalition to protect Dalieh launches its ideas competition on its website.
Destroyed Heritage in Beirut [in French]
May Makarem reports for L’Orient-le-Jour on the destruction of the Houssami old house in Ain el-Mreisse—a recurrent practice vis-à-vis urban heritage in Beirut.
Cairo’s Urban History through the Pyramid of Zoser
Patrick Kingsley tells for The Guardian the story of the 4600-year old Pyramid of Zoser as a structure that ushered an instance of "nation-building" using new construction techniques and materials.
CFA: N-Aerus 2015 Conference
The 16th N-AERUS conference will take place from 19-21 November 2015 in Dortmund (Germany) under the theme “Who Wins and Who Loses: Exploring and Learning from Transformations and Actors in Cities of the South.” Deadline of abstracts’ submission is 30 April 2015.
Photo Essay: Policing Cairo [in Arabic]
A visual essay about the recent attempts by the policy to regulate traffic, maintain order, and “beautify Cairo.”
Photo Essay: Mulid al-Husain in Cairo [in Arabic]
A photo essay jn Shorouk News about Mulid al-Husain (the annual celebration of Husain’s birth), a major annual event in Cairo.
Photo-Essay: Erbil [in Arabic]
Raseef22 reports on everyday urban life in Erbil (Kurdistan) in this photo essay.
Video: Horsh Beirut Public Debate
The Lebanese NGO Nahnoo features in this video its public debate held on 17 January 2015 during which its executive director Mohammad Ayob discussed the re-opening of the public park of Beirut with the vice-president of Beirut Municipality and architect Naji Assi.
Video: Activist Architecture
In this documentary from Al Jazeera, architects from Vietnam, Pakistan, Israel, Occupied West Bank, and Brazil discuss how they use design as a form of activism.
Podcast: Spatial Politics of Jaffa
The Funambulist features an audio interview with Dena Qaddumi on the spatial politics of Jaffa-Tel Aviv, and the logic of ethnocracy in the city.
Online Courses in Urbanism and Architecture
ArchDaily features a list of sites that provide free online courses on architecture, design and urbanism.
Featured Articles: Climate Change and Urbanism [in French]
A release of a sample of articles on climate change and town planning by researchers from the French Institute of Social Sciences Research. The release also includes research on four Arab cities.
Conference Report: City Debates 2015: Gentrification in Beirut
AUB News reports on the yearly conference of the graduate programs in urban planning, policy and design at the American University of Beirut.
Report: Southern Cities in the Digital Era
The French association of professionals planning for development releases its latest bulletin dedicated to digital cities of the South.
Media Round Up: Planning in Egypt
The Carnets du CEDEJ on cities and territory planning in Egypt. The entries include information on construction, housing, urban policies along with environmental and developmental issues. Older posts and a special edition devoted to the project of a new capital city for Egypt, launched during the Sharm el Sheikh Conference, are also featured .
Recently on Jadaliyya Cities
The Right to Housing Instead of a Liberalizing Rent Law in Lebanon [in Arabic]
The Legal Agenda deciphers different aspects of the ongoing debate on housing in Lebanon in the light of the new rent law, underscoring the need ot frame it in relation to the issue of rights.
Istanbul 2023 [in French]
Arik Elvan reviews Istanbul 2023, a book authored by Yoann Morvan and Sinan Logiet, which investigates the metamorphosis of the Turkish metropolis through a socio-urban understanding of the recomposition of the urban peripheries.
Capitalizing Urbanism: On David Kilcullen’s "Out of the Mountains"
Ahmed Kanna reviews David Kilcullen’s Out of the Mountains: The Coming Age of the Urban Guerilla.
New Texts Out Now: David McDonald, Rethinking Corporatization and Public Services in the Global South
David McDonald, editor of Rethinking Corporatization and Public Services in the Global South, discusses his new edited volume with Jadaliyya Editors.