[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 and Real Estate Development
A New Dubai-Style Cairo?
Several articles are still discussing the new capital city proposed by the government for Cairo. The one featured in the title is in Al-Ahram. In this one (in Arabic), the location and plans of the future capital city are discussed. This one in Shorouk News (in Arabic) by urban planner Khaled Tarabia, defends the capital city in reply to Khaled Fahmy’s critique. In addition, Séverine Evanno reports for Orient XXI on the new capital city planned for Egypt, critiquing its confusion and lack of realism (in French).
Lebanon’s New Rent Law and Old Tenants [in French]
Journalist Muriel Rozelier publishes in L’Orient-Le Jour estimates about the cost of policies intended to help old tenants after the new rent law was passed in Lebanon, said to be $1.5 billion.
Real Estate Development in Beirut
Chloe Benoist reports for The Arab Weekly on real-estate development in Beirut, and the dire impacts on the city’s public spaces.
Mapping Turkey’s Urban Transformation
Nina Gribat interviews Yaşar Adnan Adanalı about his project “Mapping the Networks of Dispossession,” which documents Turkey’s urban transformation processes.
Oliver Wainwright reports for The Guardian on the extravagant architectural projects in Mecca that are transforming the holy city into a Las Vegas.
Local and Regional Policies and Governance
Infrastructure Problems in the Cities near Cairo [in Arabic]
A report about some of the major infrastructure problems facing new cities around Cairo, affecting around 45,000 citizens.
Housing Crisis in Egypt
Yahia Shawkat reports for the Middle East Institute on the property market crisis in Egypt, and its impacts on affordable housing.
Saida’s Urban Development Strategy (Lebanon)
Journalist Mohamed Zaatari reports for The Daily Star on Saida’s municipality urban development strategy, and how it draws from Barcelona’s experience. The project focuses on institutional development and modernization to improve basic public services.
French-style « Sustainable Cities » in Morocco
Pierre-Arnaud Barthel discusses how Moroccan planners rely heavily on French expertise in their elaboration of environmental urban projects, despite uncertainties regarding the model.
Urban Life and Practices
Street Multiplicities in Cairo [in Arabic]
An article in Al Youm Al Sabeh’ about the changing and the multiple uses of streets of Cairo’s neighborhoods.
Murals in War-Torn Yemen
Mary Atkinson reports for Middle East Eye on activists in Sanaa who are creating murals out of the pieces of shattered glass that cover up the streets, after each city bombing—resulting in mixed reactions from citizens.
Faith and Fun in Mashhad (Iran)
The Guardian reports on the city of Mashhad, which is increasingly patronized by rich Iraqis who visit for religious tourism as well as sex tourism.
Women’s Graffiti in Cairo
An article about the use of graffiti in Cairo to advocate for women’s rights.
Palestine’s Museum in Ramallah
Ahmad Melhem reports for Al-Monitor on the Palestinian Museum of Ramallah (under construction) which recently joined the International Council of Museums (ICOM).
Relocating Street Vendors in Cairo
A discussion in Al-Ahram Weekly of the plans to relocate more vendors from downtown Cairo to other locations.
Living Conditions in the Working Class Neighborhoods in Egypt [in Arabic]
A report in Al Masry Alyoum about the deteriorating conditions of working class areas in different Egyptian industrial cities.
Self-Organizing: The Zabaleen of Cairo
Alan Kadduri reports for Your Middle East on the Zabaleen of Cairo, their key role in recycling waste in the city, and their self-organizing strategies.
War and Cities
Beirut`s Bullet-Ridden Hotel
A report in The Guardian on Beirut’s once plush Holiday Inn that now stands empty as a reminder of the city’s brutal civil war, while the surrounding districts are swept up in glitzy redevelopments.
War Geographies and Mobility in Beirut
In this illustrated essay for Mashallah News, Jad Baaklini reports on his experiences of war in Beirut, through the recollection of a taxied escape.
Report and Photo Essay: Palmyra (Syria)
As ISIS threatens to destroy Palmyra, reports abound about the value of this the world heritage site. The photo essay is from The Guardian. The New York Times also investigates how the site has been threatened, and damaged on several occasions during the ongoing war in Syria.
More Settlements in Occupied Palestine
Silvia Boarini reports for Middle East Eye on the continuous expansion of settlements in occupied Palestine, which grew by 33 percent since 2011, despite all international resolutions against them.
Evictions of Bedouins in the Negev
Diaa Hadid reports for The New York Times on the planned evictions of Bedouins from Umm el Hiran in the Negev. Israeli authorities want Zionist Jews to settle in the village which will be renamed Hiran.
Public Space Issues
Photo Essay: Horch Beirut
In the light of the continuous mobilization of activists to open the park, Beirut Report reveals Horch Beirut through photos of its multiple green spaces, forbidden from public space.
Photo Essay and Video: Social Rituals in Public Space (Beirut)
Beirut Report features how Beirut’s residents celebrate Job’s Wednesday in the public beach of Ramlet El Baida, an old-time tradition in the city which celebrates the healing powers of the sea for biblical prophet Job.
No More Fishermen in Dalieh (Beirut)
The Daily Star reports on the destruction of the last fishermen homes in Dalieh.
Parks and Spatial Rituals in Algeria [in French]
In this essay for IRMC, PhD candidate Zohir Belarbi examines the relationships between the Tssili n’Ajjer Park and the Sebeiba Tileline ritual in Algeria, focusing on related stakeholders such as UNESCO.
Public Space in Bahrain
TradeArabia reports on the banning of single men from the public park of Umm Guwaifa in Bahrain.
Videos: The Past and Present of Beirut
CNN visits downtown Beirut`s ancient history through the lens of architect Galal Mahmoud, Ras Beirut (including AUB) through music band Mashrou` Leila, and the food scene through “food activist" Kamal Mouzawak.
Video: Round Table on Beirut’s Planning [in French]
A video of a round table on Beirut planners’ imaginations, with architect Youssef Tohmé, and researchers Marlène Ghorayeb and Eric Verdeil. The round table was held at the Cité du Patrimoine et de l’Architecture in Paris, on 16 April 2015.
Video: Public Transportation in Lebanon [in Arabic]
Economist and former minister Charbel Nahas critically examines Lebanon’s public transportation and land use planning policies.
Video: Privatizing the Public (Beirut)
In this 2014 video, AlJazeera Arabic reports on how the public domain in Beirut has been taken over by politicians and powerful business elites.
Video: Low-Income Housing in the new Egyptian Capital [in Arabic]
A discussion about the housing alternative planned for low-income families in the new Egyptian capital city.
Ebook: Le jardinier et le citadin: Ethnologie d’un espace agricole urbain dans la vallée de l’Oronte en Syrie
This book by Thierry Boissière dates back to 2005, but has been published recently online by the Presses de l’IFPO.
Essay: Vernacular Politics in Istanbul
Lara Yegenoglu is one of the nominees for the Architectural Association’s 2015 Dennis Sharp for Outstanding Writing. She writes on the gecekondu as vernacular politics in Istanbul.
Essay: The History of Designing Baghdad
Zeina Al Derry is one of the nominees for the Architectural Association’s 2015 Dennis Sharp for Outstanding Writing. She writes on how Baghdad was designed in the eighth century as a work of art.
Photo Essay: “The City of the Dead” in Cairo
In this photo-essay, Mallika Rao reports for The Huffington Post on Cairo’s “City of the Dead”.
This tool generates three-dimensional CAD files for more than two hundred cities, in DXF. Data comes from the open source mapping project OpenStreetMap. It is free for areas up to one sq.km.
Mapping: The Yemeni Conflict [in French]
In this map by Cécile Marin for Le Monde Diplomatique, the author highlights how oil and sectarianism are not the only variables of conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Newsletter: The Built Environment in Egypt
10Tooba’s April 2015 newsletter on the built environment in Egypt is out, focusing on new towns’ projects, upgrading illegal settlements, and housing. The newsletter is available in both Arabic and English.
Book Review: Tactical Urbanism
SustainableCitiesCollective reviews Myke Lydon and Anthony Garcia’s book Tactical Urbanism which compiles urban design interventions in neighborhoods that are short-term and low-cost.
Interview: Nezar Alsayyad on Housing and Illegal Settlements in Egypt [in Arabic]
Khaled Abou-Bakr interviews urbanist Nezar Alsayyad on housing and illegal settlements in Egypt.
Archives of the World Conference Habitat II in 1996 [In French]
The library department of the French Institute for Anatolian Studies in Istanbul publishes documents and archives about its involvement in the World Conference Habitat II in 1996.
Summer Workshops: DPU’s SummerLab
The Development Planning Unit announces its summer workshops taking place in Santiago, Beirut, Chicago, Mostar and London.
Recently on Jadaliyya Cities
Revisiting Dalieh: Beirut-Based Events, 31 May - 12 June 2015
This report lists the public events organized by the civil campaign for saving the Dalieh or Raoucheh in Beirut.
New Texts Out Now: Olfa Lamloum and Mohamed Ben Zina, Jeunes de Douar Hicher et d’Ettadhamen. Une enquête sociologique
Interview with Olfa Lamloum and Mouhamed Ben Zina on their new voulume Jeunes de Douar Hicher et d’Ettadhamen. Une enquête sociologique.
Statement on the Anniversary of the Gezi Park Uprising
A statement released by the Taksim Gezi Park Association in May 2015 on the anniversary of the Gezi Park Uprisings
Then and Now: LCPS Interviews Jadaliyya Co-Editor Ziad Abu-Rish on State Institutions in Lebanon
In an interview with the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies (LCPS), Jadaliyya Co-Editor Ziad Abu-Rish discusses the history of state institutions in early independence Lebanon, and some of the legacies they left behind.
Urban Governance: Field Study in Rabat and Casablanca
This report presents the field study of Science Po Paris students in Casablanca and Rabat, and their assessment of urban governance and metropolitan development.
Farida El Gazzar’s Dream City: Drawings and Paintings from Cairo
Medrar TV reports on Gypsum Gallery’s solo show of Egyptian-Greek artist Farida El Gazzar, which features her visual memoir of Cairo and Alexandria.
The Falah School in Jeddah: Civic Engagement for Future Generations?
In this essay, Ulrike Frietag reflects on the Falah School in Jeddah, and how it fostered an urban civic spirit among future Saudi elites who built the country’s institutions.
In the Service of the Whole Community? Civic Engagement in Saudi Arabia (1950s-1960s)
Through the lens of the oil cities of Dammam and al-Khobar, Claudia Ghrawi examines civic engagement as a factor of urban modernity in Saudi Arabia.