[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 the Submission pane of Jadaliyya.]
Urban Development, Environmental Sustainability and Housing Rights
The Government is Exaggerating the Remaining Public Property: the doors of the sea are closed [In Arabic] Just a few months after the adoption of the law for the settlement of violations of public property of the sea, three recent tourism projects attempt to privatize the remaining twenty percent of the public coastline of Lebanon.
Deir El Natour : Site Protégé Par Les Schémas Directeurs, Menacé de Disparition The Lebanese Council of Ministers has recently authorized the occupation of public maritime domain by decree for two large-scale tourism projects despite large-scale push back. Many now fear for the protection of these coastal sites, which hold great natural and cultural importance.
Alexandria to Have Private Beaches for Tourists Only: Official The chairman of Alexandria Chamber of Travel Agencies, Ali al-Manesterly, officially announced in a press statement that the establishment of beaches for tourists on the Mediterranean coast in Alexandria should be private to suit the needs of foreign nationalities.
Lebanon Real Estate Market: The Worst is Yet to Come According to El Hokayem, a chief financial market strategist, the Lebanese real-estate property prices are dropping drastically, and he is adamant that prospective buyers might snatch three properties for the price of one in 2020.
Can the Commons Pave the Way to Greater Land Security? Experiences of collective forms of ownership, based on the concept of the commons, have flourished throughout the world. Irène Salenson and Claire Simonneau ask what opportunities they offer for reducing the precarity of the most disadvantaged city dwellers in the Global South.
Land Rights in the Urban Global South: Regularization and Land-Ownership Policies in Low-Income Neighborhoods In choosing to focus on the Global South, Metropolitics turns its attention to a key aspect of contemporary cities: land and land rights. By shedding light on situations in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Arab world, this series analyses land-rights strategies deployed by residents of low-income neighbourhoods to access land, and the way these populations benefit–or not–from land reform and from land-titling policies.
Land Insecurity in Khartoum: When Land Titles Fail to Protect Against Public Predation The unstable economic and political context in Sudan has encouraged people to invest massively in land in urban areas. In Khartoum, the land rush concerns everyone: title deeds are regularly disputed, suggesting that land insecurity is on the increase.
Local and Regional Policies and Governance
En Tunisie, une démocratie sans citoyens ? Tunisia, a Democracy Without Citizens? [In French] The municipal elections of 6 May reveal the extent of the discredit of the Tunisian political class. While a mass of disaffiliated parties emerged, only 35.6 percent of voting-age citizens voted in the elections. It seems that the only hope left to transform the lives of Tunisians is the capacity of decentralization.
Urban Development and Heritage
“The Place That Remains”: The Lebanese Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Biennale -- The country's first participation in the Venice Biennale, curated by Hala Younis, showcased the characteristics and prospects of unbuilt Lebanese territories, and how these lands can improve the built environment and its living conditions. The article features images of the completed pavilion.
How Not to Write on Cosmopolitan Alexandria Academic scholarship on cosmopolitan Alexandria in the past two decades has wavered between nostalgic and anti-nostalgic cosmopolitanism. May Hawas explores how the academic discourse does not concern itself with accountability or action, just the representational quality of the literature.
War, Refugees, and Reconstruction
Syria’s Uprising came from its neglected suburbs, now Assad wants to rebuild them. The article explores the history of how urban planning has been used to quell dissent in Syria. As Assad begins to lay foundations for a new suburb in south-west Damascus, many questions and concerns are being raised concerning the possibility that millions of refugees and displaced Syrians could be dispossessed in the process of rebuilding the country because of difficulties with proving ownership.
The Other Lebanese: Palestinian Youth in Lebanon Palestinian youth face many restrictions enshrined in Lebanese law and society that prevents them from reaching a normal form of adulthood. “Palestine, however cherished, is largely an abstraction: their cause, but someone else’s memory. Lebanon, where they grew up, is all they know, although they realize that it rejects them, even after seven decades.”
Réfugiés en Jordanie: Une Vie Sur Pause? [In French] Around four thousand Sudanese had to flee to Jordan following the start of the conflict in Darfur in 2003. Many of them are now in a situation of "forced waiting," stranded in Amman, the Jordanian capital, waiting to be relocated to a third country.
Sieges as a Weapon of War: Encircle, Starve, Surrender, Evacuate Collecting its findings from over four hundred interviews, this paper by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic highlights the negative impact of sieges and evacuation “agreements” on the civilian population in the Syrian Arab Republic between November 2012 and April 2018.
“Wise Cities” in the Mediterranean? Challenges of Urban Sustainability Cities are both a challenge for global sustainability and vital for its solution. Eckart Woertz’s newest edited book (free online) explores the debate surrounding social and environmental sustainability of cities in the Mediterranean and beyond.
New Website: Bus Map Project BusMap.me is a grassroots map of Lebanon's formal and informal public transport. BusMap.me is an initiative of the Bus Map Project.
Lebanon Support, Bassem Chit Fellowship for the Study of Activism Call for the Bassem Chit Fellowship for the Study of Activism. This is a one-year post-doctoral fellowship based in Beirut, Lebanon that aims to give early career scholars in the social sciences the opportunity to conduct research on activism in the Arab world.
Discreet Violence: Architecture and the French war in Algeria is an exhibition set up by researcher Samia Henni based on French military photographs and films produced by the Propaganda Teams of the Armed Forces Film Service. The exhibition represents one aspect of the territorial transformation: the construction of camps under military control in the rural areas of Algeria. Presented in Zurich, Rotterdam, Berlin, and Johannesburg, it had never been shown in France before.
Recently Published on Jadaliyya Cities
The Baghdad Olympic Club: A Symbol of Independent Iraq in Danger by Caecilia Pieri
Mahdi Sabbagh and Meghan McAllister, eds. Perspecta 50: Urban Divides (New Texts Out Now) by Mahdi Sabbagh and Meghan McAllister
Call for Papers: Contemporary Amman and the Right to the City (30 June, Amman) by Jadaliyya Reports
Law 10 and the Theft of Syrian Property by Rania Mostapha
تقرير: خمسون عاماً على احتلال القدس الشرقية: سياسات القضم والإبعاد والتهويد تتواصل by Abd El Raouf Arnaout
New Call for Applicants: Funded PhD in Eastern Mediterranean Oil & Gas Geopolitics (Sciences Po Paris, Deadline: 21 September 2018) by Jadaliyya Reports
نقل السفارة الأميركية إلى القدس قنبلة موقوتة by Abd El Raouf Arnaout
Begüm Adalet, Hotels and Highways: The Construction of Modernization Theory in Cold War Turkey (New Texts Out Now) by Begüm Adalet
Revue de presse sur les élections municipales en Tunisie by Maha Bouhlel