[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
Video: Middle-Income Housing in Dubai
Sun and Sand Developers announce their affordable thirty-two unit housing scheme pilot project in Dubai Industrial City, as part of Cityscape Global 2015 exhibition.
Gated Community Security in Dubai
Arabian Business reports that the recent introduction of ID cards in the Nakheel villa has angered community residents, many of whom have been denied entry to their own houses.
Housing Policy in Qatar
Lesley Walker reports for Doha News on the publication by the Qatari ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning of a series of interactive maps highlighting districts where housing for foreign migrant workers is banned.
Egypt’s Public Policy on Informal Settlements
Sarah Sabry comments for Mada Masr on the decision to close down the Egyptian ministry of Urban Renewal and Informal Settlements, and shifting its portfolio to the ministry of Housing.
Integrated Affordable Housing in Egypt
AHI interviews Omar al-Hitamy about Haram City, the flagship affordable housing project of Orascom Housing Communities. The project currently houses nine thousand families, but is under strain following the arrival of survivors of the Duweiqa rockslide.
War and Cities
Urban Services during Conflict
This report presents the experience and challenges of providing services during armed conflict in urban settings, as encountered by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), proposing new recommendations.
The Indomitable City of Nablus [in French]
The French journal Revue Ballast covers the spatial history of Nablus. This detailed report portrays the city not just as a space of occupation and neoliberal development, but as a site of social dynamism and resistance.
The Syrian War Economy
Henri Mamarbachi, writing for Orient XXI, analyses the factors which have influenced the development of the Syrian war economy, including the pre-war drought and Iranian financial support.
“New Palmyra” Models the Temple of Bel
Architect magazine covers the New Palmyra project, run by a Syrian activist with the aim of constructing 3D models of demolished or threatened Syrian buildings. The first "reconstructions" of the Temple of Bel have already been released.
Syrians in Zaatari Camp Longing to Leave
Al-Jazeera English reports from inside Jordan`s largest refugee camp, which has developed into an informal city with a bustling economy, and discusses some of the pressures facing its residents.
Photo Essay: Life on Hold in War-Shattered Sanaa
A powerful collection of photos, posted on Al-Jazeera English, depicting slices of everyday life in today’s Sanaa under siege.
Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon Between Radicalization and Moderation [in French]
Anne-Marie El-Hage covers a new report by Nicolat Dot-Pouillard for the WAFAW programme (When Authoritarianism Fails In The Arab World) concerning the spatial politics of governance in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.
Urban Heritage, Past and Present
Renovating or Gentrifying Downtown Cairo?
In this interview by Rana Kemaly for Community Times with the Ismaelia Investment Company, we learn about the ongoing renovations of Cairo’s downtown, and the claimed attempts to prevent its gentrification.
Alexandria’s Underwater Museum
The Egyptian government has revived plans to built an underwater lighthouse off the coast of Alexandria to allow visitors to explore the remains of sites such as the famous Lighthouse, which remain submerged.
Beirut’s Dalieh and Heneine Palace Added to World Monuments Watchlist 2016
The World Monuments Fund has recently placed Beirut’s Heneine Palace and the Dalieh waterfront in Raouché on its 2016 Watchlist of sites in danger. Dalieh’s addition comes after a civil campaign to raise awareness of threats to the site. See here for Dalieh, and see here for Heneine Palace.
Renovation of the Sursock Museum (Beirut)
Stephanie d’Arc Taylor reports in The Guardian on the transformation of the Sursock Museum into a center for modern art.
Urban Graffiti: Beirut
E.V. Bramley reports for The Guardian on Beirut’s urban graffiti, featuring the work of Yazan Halawani whose work figures on many walls across the city, telling its tales and materializing its shared memories.
Photo Essay: The Battle for Beirut`s Skyline
An Al-Jazeera English photo essay providing glimpses into the spaces of Beirut’s architectural heritage which activists are struggling to save.
Resistance and Urban Protest: Beirut
Beirut’s Street Protests: Culture Clash?
Halim Shebaya analyzes for The World Post the Beirut’s street protests, arguing they can be framed as a clash of cultures over issues of civil and political rights.
The Lebanese Waste Protests: A Prelude to War? [in French]
Talal Salman, writing in Le Safir Francophone, contemplates the possibility that Lebanon’s waste crisis and the ongoing anti-government protests might spark a new civil war.
Ten Lessons From The Lebanese Waste Crisis [in French]
L’Orient Le Jour discusses some lessons to be learned so far from the waste crisis, including the importance of governmental accountability and responsibility and the connections between environmental and socio-economic concerns.
The Death of Beirut’s Center – A Long-Term Perspective [in French]
Céline Haddad, also in L’Orient Le Jour, places the consequences of the waste crisis in a historical perspective, arguing that the commercial slow-down of the city center dates back to 2006.
Liberate the Municipal Fund
Sami Atallah, the executive of the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies, calls for the return of funds to municipalities as a way of both tackling the waste crisis and decentralizing political power.
Book Review: Planetary Urbanization [in French]
Matthieu Giroud reviews Neil Brenner’s new book Implosions/Explosions: Towards a Study of Planetary Urbanization, highlighting the major conceptual advances the book provides, as well as some areas in which it is lacking.
Essay: Praising Walter Benjamin’s Dirty, Sexy Cities
Stuart Jeffries writes for The Guardian an essay building on Walter Benjamin’s analysis of life in Marseille, Naples and Moscow, vis-à-vis cities in the context of new global urban development projects.
Project: Weaponized Architecture
In this entry, Leopold Lambert features an architectural project that was presented for the Weaponized Architecture initiative, which proposes an (illegal) Palestinian shelter and an agricultural platform.
Featured Discussion: Asef Bayat on the Politics of the Square
A.C. Phnuyal reports on Asef Bayat’s recent presentation at New York University’s Urban Democracy Lab on urbanity and political contentions.
Photo Contest Call for Entries: The Civil War in Lebanon
The International Committee for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) is organizing a youth photo contest to commemorate the civil war anniversary in Lebanon, and calling for entries. Deadline: 30 November 2015.
Call for Papers: States and Decentralization [in French]
A call for articles on the subject of “states and political territories: debating decentralization” for a themed issue of L’Anne du Maghreb. Deadline: 15 January 2016.
Call for Papers: IASTE, Legitimating Tradition, Kuwait
The fifteenth biennial conference of the International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments (IASTE) will be held in Kuwait City from 17-20 December 2016. Deadline: 15 February 2016.
Call for Papers: Global Histories of Refugees
A call for conference papers on the topic of the history of refugees through the 20th and 21st centuries. The conference will take place in Melbourne between 7 and 8 October 2016. Deadline: 31 March 2016.
Recently on Jadaliyya
الاسكندرية كمان وكمان [in Arabic]
In this Arabic translation of the original article, Laurence Deschamps-Laporte discusses the various orientalist discourses and imaginaries about Alexandria and the nostalgia for the city’s cosmopolitanism, arguing that this cosmopolitanism has been reinvented.
ICRC Report: Urban Services During Protracted Armed Conflict
This report assesses the effects of protected armed conflict on infrastructure in urban environments, and calls attention to the fact that those who are most affected by the collapse of services are often those who need it most.
A Spatial History of a Main Baghdadi Street
Yaseen Raad`s article covers the changing spatial and social realities of Baghdad, and Iraq, by examining the history of Abu Nuwas Street from its role as a place of entertainment in the 1950s and 1960s until the sectarian divisions of the present day.
Tom Gann reviews Sharon Rotbard`s book White City, Black City: Architecture and War in Tel Aviv and Jaffa.
مدن الحداثة [in Arabic]
A translation of a Malcolm Bradbury article, in which he argues that the experimental art and literature of the late 19th and early 20th centuries was fundamentally an urban phenomenon.
LCPS Interviews Jadaliyya Co-Editor Ziad Abu-Rish on Electricity in Early Independence Lebanon
In the light of Lebanon`s increasing resource crisis, the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies (LCPS) interviews Jadaliyya co-editor Ziad Abu-Rish on the development of electricity provisioning in Lebanon`s early years.
TandemWorks Launches its Rehabilitation Scheme of Beirut
An announcement from TandemWorks, a Beirut-based non-profit arts organization, on the forthcoming launch of a multilingual publication which forms the third and final part of an architectural intervention project. The event will take place on 9 November 2015 at Sursock Museum.
NPR`s Here and Now Interivews Jadaliyya Co-Editor Rosie Bsheer About Redevelopment in Mecca
In the wake of the Mecca stampede which killed over 700 pilgrims in September 2015, Rosie Bsheer talks to NPR about the motivations behind the redevelopments which have taken place in Mecca since the 1990s.