[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
Istanbul’s Mega-Projects [in French]
Claire Corrion reports for Orient XXI on the AKP’s mega-projects in Istanbul, and their associated financial scandals.
Micro-Cities as Mega Projects in Istanbul
Architect Jesse Honsa describes the emergence of a new typology of XL-architecture in Istanbul that negates the urban context. These “Citadels-on-Steroids” rapidly encroach on the city’s urban fabric.
Unsustainable New Cities in Egypt
Yahia Shawkat reflects for Heinrich Boell Stiftung on the unsustainability of new cities in Egypt.
Changes in Real-Estate Development Market in Beirut
Jeremy Arbid and Thomas Schellen discuss the recent developers’ turn towards more affordable real estate in Beirut, and the outlook for development in Syria.
Local and Regional Policies and Governance
Controlling the Streets of Cairo [in Arabic]
Shourouk News reports on the Governorate of Cairo’s attempts to control the streets of the city, and end unauthorized uses of the streets, sidewalks, and other spaces.
Urbanization and Informal Housing in Cairo
Al-Fanar Media reports on informal housing growth in Cairo, citing solutions that have been tried in Iraq and Morocco.
Learning from Informal Housing in Cairo
Iman Salama writes for The Cairo Observer on user-driven housing, featuring a documentary in which Dina Shehayeb from the Housing and Building Research Center reflects on how to capitalize on informal housing approaches.
A Natural Reserve without Institutional Capacity (Lebanon) [in Arabic]
Dani Al-Amine reports for al-Akhbar on the natural reserve of Wadi al-Hujair in South Lebanon, providing insights on its rich ecology, and the lack of institutional capacity that allows it to monitor the damaging building practices that endanger it.
Middle Income Housing Advocacy (Beirut)
In Executive Magazine, Mona Fawaz and Maysa Sabah advocate for middle income housing in Beirut, and show its attainability by charting practical urban policy strategies.
Water Management in Jordan
An adapted version of Eliott Ducharme`s article for Jadaliyya on water management in Jordan at the time of the Syrian crisis, and the neoliberal pressures.
Urban Life and Practices
Tahrir Square in Retrospect [in Arabic]
A historical look at Tahrir Square through the eyes of a man who worked in the area for fifty-four years.
Reopening of Tahrir Metro Station [in Arabic]
A discussion in Al Youm Al Sabeh’ of the different mains street that could be reached from the Tahrir metro station, which will be re-opened after several years of closure.
Short Urban History of the Jewish Families of Tripoli (Lebanon) [in Arabic]
Using newspaper archives and novels, Sahib Ayoub reports for Al-Modon on the history of Jewish families in Tripoli (Lebanon), and their life in the city’s old neighborhoods.
Beirut’s Public Beach
The Daily Star reports on the controversy surrounding the fate of the Ramlet al Baida beach in Beirut.
Navigating the Streets of Beirut
Jenny Gustafsson reports for The Guardian on how to navigate the city of Beirut without street names.
Street Art & Cycling Activism in Beirut
Bana Bissat reports in this photo-essay for Your Middle East on the cycling movement in Beirut, which seeks to promote biking in the city through graffiti raising awareness measures.
War and Cities
Mapping Global Terrorism [in French]
Philippe Rekacewitcz reflects for OrientXXI on how to map global terrorism which is increasingly territorialized. The essay also includes very interesting drafts of study maps preceding published maps.
Concrete Community Tent in Duheisha (Palestine)
Alex Shams reports for Ma’an News Agency on the newly constructed concrete tent in Duheisha refugee camp (West Bank), which houses a community center conceived by “Campus in Camps,” affiliated with DAAR.
Humanitarian Disaster in Syria [in French]
Geographer Fabrice Balanche presents the proceedings of a seminar held with humanitarian NGO Grotius International, on the four years of humanitarian disaster in Syria. This seminar includes a study by Roula Maya and Rémi Baudoui about the impact of the Syrian conflict on housing.
Palmyra’s Prison [in French]
In this article on OrientXXI, Yassin El Haj Saleh reports on Palmyra’s ruins and notorious prison, known for being a site of violent repression and torture.
Controversy Over Mubarak’s Party Headquarters [in French]
Jean-Philippe Hugron explains for Le courrier de l`architecte the controversy over the fate of the former ruling party building in Moubarak`s Egypt, which was burned down. More on this issue (in English) can be found in Al-Monitor.
Will Beit Madkour (Cairo) Be Saved?
An article in Al-Ahram about an old house in the Islamic part of downtown Cairo that might be demolished. Shorouk News also features information about a campaign to preserve it (in Arabic).
A Villa Over the Roman Hippodrome of Beirut
Beirut Report features how Beirut’s Roman hippodrome which was revealed by the Solidere real-estate project’s destruction of buildings in old downtown Beirut, and uncovered by archeologists, is going to be destroyed by a villa development.
Looting and Smuggling of Heritage Artifacts in Syria
An article that showcases the UN’s inability to stop the looting of the vast number of artifacts from Iraq and Syria by ISIS.
New Special Issue Journal: City and Cityness in the Maghreb
Saïd Belguidoum, Raffaele Cattedra et Aziz Irak edit this new issue of Année du Maghreb, including articles on housing, leisure, service provision, social mobilization and urban culture.
New Article: Territories of Beirut
Jihad Farah and Jacques Teller publish an new article entitled “Territorializing Controversies: Metropolization and De-Reterritorialization in Beirut” discussing the metropolis’ dynamics, in relation to its cities’ local, regional and transnational networks.
Book Review: Jérusalem: Building Two Cities in One
Vincent Lemire reviews Irène Salenson’s book on Jérusalem (Jérusalem: bâtir deux villes en une, Paris: Aube, 2014) which investigates how the Israeli-Palestine conflict is materialized in Jerusalem’s planning and development.
Report: Performing in Public Spaces in Beirut
Ella Parry-Davis and Eliesh S.D. review the Bodies in Public events that took place in Beirut in October 2014, on issues of public space and performance.
Principles for Rebuilding Middle Eastern Cities
In this essay, Sustainable Cities Collective offers three principles to use when rebuilding cities of the Middle East: connectedness, mobility, and public service.
Post-Doc Opportunity at the American University of Beirut
The American University of Beirut (AUB) invites applications for two Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowships in the Arts and Humanities for the academic year 2015-16. The application deadline is 30 July 2015.
New E-Platform on Humanitarian Crises in Lebanon
The Humanitarian Information Knowledge Base is a project by Lebanon Support for reflection, documentation and analysis of previous humanitarian crises. It features a case study by Lamia Moghnieh on 2006 grassroots collective Samidoun.
Online Free Course on Cities
This Coursera free e-class by Patrick Le Galès (Science Po) will review debates and present social science models to analyze and compare contemporary urban developments.
Podcasts: Beirut’s Old Souk and New Mall & Istanbul’s Yedikule Gardens
The Urbanist features two podcasts: one on Beirut’s old souk and how Solidere rebuilt it into a mall (chapter 1), and the other on Yedikule Gardens in Istanbul and the urban activists seeking to preserve it (chapter 4).
Recently on Jadaliyya Cities
حمص: مدينة اخترعها الله على مهل
Akram Alkatreb remembers narrates his socio-spatial experiences and memories of Homs.
Planning Beirut during the French Mandate: The Construction of a Modern City and its Legacy
Mona Fawaz reviews Marlène Ghorayeb’s Beyrouth Sous Mandat Français.
Un portrait de la jeunesse des banlieues populaires de Tunis aujourd’hui
Oliver Legros reviews Olfa Lamloun and Mohamed Ali Ben Zina’s Les jeunes de Douar Hicher et d’Ettadhamen.
Paradigms Lost: How Urban Mega-Projects Should Disturb Our Understanding of Arab Politics
Koenraad Bogaert examines urban mega-projects in Casablanca, and how they reveal larger processes of neoliberal economic transformations in Morocco, comparable to other cities throughout the Arab world.