[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
UAE-Backed Egyptian Capital
Mohamed Elshahed discusses in Architectural Record the controversies around the master plan for a new Egyptian Capital designed by Skidmore Owings, & Merrill. The proposed capital is almost the size of Singapore.
Sulukele’s Project Halted (Istanbul)
Hurriyet Daily News reports on the cancelation of the Sulukele’s controversial urban transformation project in Istanbul, although the relocation of its original dwellers had already occurred. The new housing project is now being rented to Syrian refugees.
Evictions of Protestors of Istanbul’s Bazaar’s Renovation
Hurriyet Daily News reports on the riot police’s eviction of eighty renters of shops in the Grand Bazaar who were protesting the renovation project.
Real-Estate Developers on Beirut’s Shore
Matt Nash from Executive reports on real-estate developers’ strategies to purchase plots along Beirut’s waterfront.
Opaque Urban Policies in Saida (Lebanon) [in Arabic]
Amal Khalil reports for Al-Akhbar on the opaque decree seeking to privatize the waterfront of Saida in Lebanon.
Local and Regional Policies, and Governance
The Ankara Mayor’s Robot
City Metric ironically reports on the robot statue built by Ankara’s mayor, which has provoked the ire of the city’s architects’ chamber.
New Metro Line for Cairo
Ahram Online reports on the new metro line the Egyptian government wants to build to link Cairo to its new satellite districts.
Silent Bread Revolution in Egypt? [in French]
Moina Fauchier-Delavigne reports for Le Monde about the transformation of the bread subsidy system in Egypt from subsidized flour to a system of subsidized individuals with a smart card.
New Pedestrian Bridge in Tehran
Ted Regencia reports for AlJazeera on the Nature (pedestrian) Bridge (Pol-e-Tabiat) designed by Iranian architect Leila Araghian and Alireza Behzadi, which opened in 2014, and was celebrated by several awards, including New York’s Architizer. News was also featured in The Guardian.
Beirut’s Municipality Budget [in Arabic]
Rula Ibrahim from Al-Akhbar reports on Beirut’s large municipality budget which favors infrastructural development at the expense of a sustainable urban vision for the city.
No Affordable Housing in Lebanon
Elise Knutsen reports for The Daily Star on the new rent law and the shortage of affordable housing in Lebanon. Also, Skynews features a video [in Arabic] about the activists’ campaign to claim the right to affordable housing.
Housing Project for Palestinians in East Jerusalem
Nir Hasson reports for Haaretz on a 2,500-units housing project for Palestinians located in Eastern Jerusalem.
Regional (Under-)Development in Tunisia [in French]
Salsabil Chellali reports for OrientXXI about the Dhiba southern town in Tunisia, which suffers from severe economic decline and social tensions.
War and Cities
Israel’s Destruction of a Home in Galilee
Haaretz reports about the Israeli authorities’ razing of a house in Galilee for the first time in years, resulting in generalized calls for a strike.
Donors’ Aid and the Reconstruction of Gaza
Al-Jazeera reports that donors that have only paid only 26.8 percent of the $3.5 billions they pledged for rebuilding Gaza after the Israel’s 2014 war on the strip. This lag in repair and reconstruction is causing new forms of conflict to surface.
Anatomy of a Gaza Smuggling Tunnel
Al-Jazeera examines the economic impact of the destruction of tunnels linking the Gaza Strip to Sinai Peninsula in Egypt.
Challenging Ecologies of Occupation in Palestine
EnviroSociety (a new blog from Environment and Society) features an entry on the ecological challenges facing the establishment of a small community anthropological-archeological museum in Shuqba and Birzeit University.
Yarmouk Refugee Camp Hardships (Syria)
The Associated Press reports on the suffering as a result as ISIS’ take over the Palestinian Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus.
Urban Refugees and Informality
IKEA’s Shelters for UNHCR
Elif Koc reports for Mashable on IKEA’s weatherproof and sustainable shelters for refugees, which UNHCR will use in its Syrian refugee camps as of this summer.
US Military Bases and Foreign Laborers
From India to Dubai and Afghanistan, Al-Jazeera examines the channels through which foreign laborers are recruited to work on US military bases abroad.
Urban Culture and Public Space
Street Art in Casablanca
Abdul-Hasanat Siddique report for Fair Observer on street art in Casablanca.
Cemeteries as Public Parks in Gaza [in Arabic]
Omar Bachir documents for Raseef22 on the colonial cemeteries of Gaza that are used as public parks.
Ramallah’s Urban Culture
Christina Ganim reports for The Guardian on Ramallah’s cultural life showcasing her favorite radio, local artist, music, arts place, photographer, comedian and street art.
Call for Papers: La ville et les tuyaux (Cities and Pipes) [in French]
The e-journal Urbanités is calling for papers for its sixth issue La ville et les tuyaux (Cities and Pipes). Deadline for abstract submission is 1 June 2015.
Call for Papers: The Rebel
Middle East–Topics & Arguments (META), an online peer-reviewed journal, is calling for submissions for its sixth issue, which will be entitled “The Rebel.” Deadline for abstract submissions is 15 June 2015.
Call for Papers: Public Spaces in the Maghreb
The IRMC of Tunis, the University Ferhat Abbas of Setif, and the GREMAMO of the University Paris Diderot have issued a call for papers for an international conference on public spaces in Maghrebian cities. Deadline for submissions is 25 May 2015.
Call for Workshops: InterAsian Connections V (Seoul)
InterAsian Connections V has launched its call for workshops for its international conference to be held in Seoul on 27-30 April 2016. Deadline for workshop proposals is 5 June 2015.
Documentary: Alexandria [in Arabic]
In this Al-Jazeera Documentary, the historical cosmopolitan urban features of Alexandria are put forth.
Documentary: Non-Space: The Collapse of the City as Commodity (on Istanbul)
This short documentary by Imre Azem explores the ways in which AKP’s real-estate driven economic growth strategy has turned Istanbul’s neighborhoods into investment tools of foreign and domestic capital.
Essay: Michel Ecochard in Beirut and Damascus [in French]
The text of Eric Verdeil`s 2015 conference about Ecochard’s work in the small Mediterranean French city of Martigues and his master plans in Damascus and Beirut in the 1960s is now available online.
Essay: On Civility and Urbanity in Amman [in Arabic]
Hicham al-Bustani reflects in 7iber on issues of civil and urban practices in Amman.
Essay: Neil Brenner on Tactical Urbanism
Neil Brenner writes for Post an essay reflecting on tactical urbanism as an alternative to neoliberal urbanism, commenting on the MoMA exhibition Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Cities, which features Istanbul among other megacities.
Essay: Risks and Urban Resilience in Algeria
Eric Huybrechts explains in Villes en Développement how the Algerian government and local authorities have developed effective institutional coordination and crisis management methods for dealing with climatic events, such as the 2003 earthquake of Boumerdes or the 2001 floods of Bab el Oued (see p.4).
Urban Egypt’s March Media Roundup
Les Carnets du CEDEJ issued the March 2015 issue of their media roundup on Egyptian cities, with entries on public space, environment, transportation, housing, and heritage.
New Book: Colonial Maghrebian Cities [in French]
Edited by Charlotte Jelili, the edited volume is entitled Villes maghrébines en situations coloniale (Paris: Karthala, 2015).
New Article: Heritage Production in Turkey [in French]
The European Journal of Turkish Studies published the second part of its special issue entitled “Heritage Production in Turkey, Actors, Issues, and Scales (Part II): “Alternative Heritages” against Dominant Neo-Ottomanism,” edited by Muriel Girard.
New Report: Urban Crises and Humanitarian Responses
The Bartlett’s Development Planning Unit has published its report on urban crises and humanitarian responses, which reviews the literature on the topic, and includes a discussion of the Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon.
New Sources: AUB’s Libraries
The American University of Beirut’s libraries has a new page featuring its library and online collections including archives manuscripts, maps, photographs and postcards, posters, theses and dissertations.
Photo-Essay: Sudan’s Pyramids
Al-Jazeera English features photos of the Nubian Meroe pyramids of Sudan, located 200km south of Khartoum in Bagrawiyah.
Le Monde reports in this photo-essay by Hien Lam Duc on everyday life in Baghdad, with a focus on youth.
Workshop Findings: La Ville par Addition (The Incremental City): Bethleem [in French]
In this blog, Versailles School of Architecture’s students share the morphological analysis of the hawch in the old city of Bethleem (Beit Lahem)
Recently on Jadaliyya Cities
Water Management in Jordan in Response to the Syrian Crisis: Between Neoliberal Pressures and Social Tensions
Eliott Ducharme reveals how the Jordanian government is using the Syrian crisis to request more international aid, while stalling the reform of the water sector in Jordan requested by donors, in fear of social tensions.
Reflections on Public Spaces in Revolutionary and Post-Revolutionary Tunis
In this review, Denis Bocquet reflects on questions of public spaces in Tunis brought forth by Chiara Sebastiani’s book and a team of Italian researchers’ webdoc.
Okmeydani: A Targeted Territory
Jean-François Pérouse explains why the media and politicians stigmatize the neighborhood of Okmeydani, challenging their binary representations and unraveling the spatial, religious, political, ethnic, economic and legal complexities of this territory.
Imre Azem on ‘Ecumenopolis: City without Limits’
Imre Azem’s Ecumenopolis: City without Limits was featured at CUNY on 16 April.
New Report: Lebanon Crisis Response Plan (LCRP) 2015-16
The Lebanese government issued a joint plan with UN agencies to organize the humanitarian response to the Syrian crisis entitled the Lebanese Crisis Report Plan.
What Brings them There? Reflections on the Persisting Symbolism of Tahrir Square
In this richly illustrated essay, Hazem Ziada investigates why Tahrir Square has acquired a central symbolic place in Egyptians’ collective memory for decades.