[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
Aladdin City in Dubai
Todd Reisz writes on Dubai’s Aladdin City for Ibraaz, seeking to debunk the stereotypes associated to such projects, uncovering instead their potential meanings by going back to the city’s urban and economic history.
Capital Cairo: A Regime of Graphics
Adham Selim analyzes in Madamasr the announcement of a new capital for Cairo which utilized a wealth of make-believe images as a way of ruling and producing the State’s power.
War and Cities
Walls and Boundaries in the Middle East
Mary Atkinson reports for Middle East Eye on the walls securing Middle East’s national boundaries and the history of their making.
The Wall between Tunisia and Libya [in French]
Geographer Habib Ayeb warns on his blog Demmer about the dangers of the Tunisian government’s initiative of erecting a wall aimed at stopping incoming ‘terrorists’ from Libya. He argues that such a wall would destroy the economics of the border region between the two countries.
The Situation in Turkish Kurdistan [in French]
Writing on Turkey for the Observatory of the Political Life blog, Geographer Jean-François Pérouse compares Turkey’s military intervention in the Kurdish region to that of its 1990s intervention, and discusses, among other issues, the urban dimension of the new insurrection.
The Mastery of Non-Mastery
Michael Taussig has recently spent some time among the Kurdish resistance fighters in northern Syria. His detailed, insightful and poetic report on this situation in this region addresses the state of political Islam, the policies of the United States in the Middle East, and the lived experience of emancipatory and progressive movements worldwide.
The Syrian Economy Damaged by the War
Journalist Fehim Tastekin reports for Al Monitor about the looting of the industrial area of Aleppo that many industrialists blame on Turkey.
The Syrian Banking Sector between Downturn and Resilience
Saint Andrews scholar Rashad al-Kattan writes on the Monkey Cage blog about the resilience of the Syrian banking sector. He predicts that local businessmen who are close to the regime will play a key role in the future reconstruction of the country.
Local and Regional Policies and Governance
Old Rents in Beirut [in Arabic]
Hadeel Farfour reports for Al-Akhbar on the workshop organized by Public Works in Beirut assessing old rents and the situation of tenants in the working-class neighborhood of Tarik al-Jadideh.
State Support for Housing in Lebanon [in French]
Head of the Lebanese State-owned Public Corporation for Housing explains to L’Orient-Le Jour its institution’s support half of the new homebuyers in Lebanon, currently around 6000 families.
Management of Public Space in Tunisian Cities
Journalist Elyes Zammit reports for BusinessNews about the infringement of restaurants, bars and other outlets on the public space in L’Ariana, a middle class suburb of Tunis.
Highlight: Lebanon’s Garbage Crisis
Municipalities and Waste Management in Lebanon
In the context of the garbage crisis in Lebanon, Blog Baladi reports on how some municipalities are starting to adopt recycling as a mode of waste management in alliance with civil society activists and the private sector.
The Failure of the Lebanese Political Elite to Deal with the Garbage Crisis
LCPS director Sami Atallah recalls the story of the garbage crisis in Lebanon and indicts the political elite for having failed to imagine solutions to it for a long time.
The Government Policy to Deal with the Garbage Crisis in Lebanon [in French]
As many other newspapers in Lebanon, L’Orient-Le Jour extensively covers the garbage crisis in Lebanon supporting it with infographics about the stages of the crisis.
The Garbage Crisis: beyond the Critic of the State [in French]
Many bloggers on the Lebanese scene, like Alexandre Medawar and Bakhos Baalbaki, call for a change in the way people deal with their garbage and urges them to start recycling them.
Lebanon’s Rubbish Crisis
Hassan Al-Qishawi reports in Al-Ahram on the garbage crisis in Lebanon and its political ramifications.
Hebron’s Urban Renovation
Harriet Sherwood reports for The Guardian on how the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee renovated the old city and brought Palestinian residents back to their homes.
Alexandria’s Industrial Heritage [in Arabic]
Basma Saif argues in Cairo Observer about the need to preserve the industrial architectural heritage of Alexandria focusing on Mina Al-Basal. The article provides a history of Mina Al-Basal and proposes possible approaches to preserving and revitalizing the neighborhood.
Informality in Tunis’s Margins after the Uprising [in Arabic]
Jihad Al-Hajj Salem discusses in Al-Safir the informal sector that emerged since the uprising in the city of Tunis. He described the different informal sectors (transportation, recycling, food, etc.) and shows how the urban poor has staked claims to urban space after the revolution.
Cairo: A Divided City
A video produced by Australian Broadcasting Corporation Radio National on the ongoing segregation in Cairo between the rich and the poor, as the rich and the middle class move out to the city to luxurious communities on the outskirts of the city, leaving the poor behind.
A State’s approach to Informal Settlements in Cairo [in Arabic]
In a video interview, the Minister of Urban Renewal and Informal Settlements in Egypt announces that there are eighteen informal (`ashwai) areas and emphasizes that Izbet Naser is the most dangerous:
Criminalizing Informal Settlements in Cairo
Omnia Khalil writes for as-Safir on the criminalization of informal settlements in Cairo, and how national agencies and the media are promoting their eradication instead of appreciating their socio-spatial qualities.
The Making of “Death” in Hai Al-Zabbaleen in Cairo [in Arabic]
Mohamad Fathi and Hasan Ahmad Hussein provide in Al-Masri el-Youm a detailed report about the recycling process and the health challenges linked to it in Hai al-Zabbaleen (Garbage People Area) in Cairo.
Revitalising Khedival Cairo
Mai Samih discusses in Al-Ahram plans to renovate downtown Cairo and some of its major landmarks:
The Garbage Crisis Affecting Two Cairo Neighborhoods
Mohamad Faraj used a visual essay in Al-Youm 7 to discuss the massive challenges posed by garbage and its management in the city of Port Said.
Vendors Plight in Face of Location in Downtown Cairo
Walaa Gebaa reports in Al-Ahram on downtown Cairo’s vendor critiques for government plans to relocate them and the limitations imposed on them by the new location.
On the Failures of Relocating Cairo’s Downtown Vendors
A report about challenges facing Cairo’s Governorate in its efforts to relocate the vendors from downtown Cairo to designated areas.
Report: Parallel Urban Practice in Egypt
10Tooba issued a report documenting parallel urban practices and initiatives in Egypt covering urban planning, upgrading, governance, legislation, housing and service provision.
New Release: Brownbook
The Latest issue of Brownbook, An Urban Guide to the Middle East, features articles on Dubai, New York, Constantine, Amman, Marrakech, among others.
CFP: After the Uprisings
The Issam Faris Institute at the American University of Beirut and Princeton University issued a CFP in collaboration with POMEPS, for a conference to be held in Princeton on 4-5 March 2016. The conference is entitled: “After the Uprisings: The Arab World in Freefall, Fragmentation or Reconfiguration?” Deadline is 5 September 2015.
Online Videos on Urban Issues
Planetizen offers several online videos informing urban scholars, practitioners and students on a variety of issues in urban design, planning and the law, and urban food systems.
Blog: Cairo Walks
This blog by urbanist Amr Abotawila maps and documents Cairo through photos and texts taken during walks in the metropolis.
Fragments from a Critical Geography Conference
Lisa Tilley`s shares her experience in attending the latest International Critical Geography Conference held in Palestine, last July.
Funambulist Magazine Launch
The Funambulist Magazine, a bimestrial printed and digital magazine about the politics of space and bodies, was launched this month in New York. Check the presentations by Léopold Lambert, Sadia Shirazi, Olivia Ahn and Minh-Ha T. Pham.
Made in China. Transnational Trade and Urban Spaces around the Mediterranean Basin [In French]
Geographers Oliviez Pliez and Said Belguidoum edited this new issue of Les Cahiers d’EMAM, with articles on Tanger, Casablanca, Kurdish Cities, Saleh, Constantine, Algiers, Oran.
Recently on Jadaliyya
مجاري في مائة عام: تتبع آثار شبكة الصرف الصحي التاريخية لمدينة القاهرة
On the hundredth anniversary of the installment of a sanitation infrastructure in Cairo, Shehab Fakhry Ismail and Ahmed al Ghoneimy write about the network’s history.
دمشق في اللباس الموحّد
Author Fawwaz Haddad writes about the current state of Damascus as the war rages in Syria, mourns the city, and reminisces its history as a cultural, political, and economic center that is being destroyed.
The Architecture of Nostalgia
Haider Shahbaz writes about Hazem Harb’s exhibition, The Invisible Landscape and Concrete Futures,that is featured in the Salsali Private Museum, Dubai. 3 March—1 September 2015.
المشهد الاقتصادي في حيفا قبل سقوطها
Himmat Zu`bi writes about the economic scene of the city of Haifa before its fall.
Lebanon, August 2015: Notes on Paralysis, Protests, and Hope
Maya Mikdashi provides a critical account of the protests in Beirut about the garbage issue.
Protests in Beirut: Quick Background and Some Videos
Online resources and first analysis on the events in Beirut from Jadaliyya Reports.