Residents’ socio-cultural dissatisfaction in the two stages of public housing in Cairo, Egypt: What has changed in the third ‘current’ one?


As a result of the criticism of the conventional, mainly Western-inspired, prototypical designs for low-income public housing in Cairo, Egypt, a new trend in design for this sort of housing represented by the ‘Youth’ and the ‘Future’ housing projects has been adopted by the Egyptian government in the recent 15 years. If the main objective of any housing project is to meet the residents’ needs and preferences, so the question is: Has the current design of the national housing project achieved this goal? and to what extent does this project differ from the previous public housing schemes in Cairo? In an attempt to address this question, the housing policy, decision-making process and its product as well as the impact on the residents’ socio-cultural satisfaction of the public housing stages in Cairo were analysed. The research reveals that these two recent public housing projects have been, to a large extent, designed in the same rigid way as the previous public housing schemes with mere superficial and cosmetic differences in the architectural form of the housing blocks. The design process, in which any real changes should take place, remained intact. The research ends up with a result that what has been really satisfied is the designers’ architectural ambitions not the residents’ socio-cultural values and needs. Finally, a debate about the need for a genuine participatory housing process in public housing in Cairo is initiated.

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Publication Type Journal article
Publisher Urban Design International
Year 2012
Author(s) Khaled Galal Ahmed
DOI doi:10.1057/udi.2012.9
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