Markus ElKatsha: The Return of Mixed-Use Spaces

Kharita 01: Symposium on Urban Trajectories in Cairo
Saturday, January 17th, 2009

Mixed-use communities have been a traditional mode of urban habitation. Cairo's historic core is exemplary of such pedestrian environs. In the nineteenth century precincts of the city, people moved on foot, depending sometimes on horses and cattle for the circulation of goods. They resided in buildings that provided space for both domestic life and economic activity. The mixed-use pattern of development declined in Egypt during the mid 1950s in favour of large-scale single-function zoning, reflected in areas such as Medinat Nasr, al Mohandiseen and parts of Giza. Drawn by governmental and industrial job opportunities, people migrated from rural to urban areas. This mass influx of workers created a demand for housing. New single-use urban districts emerged; housing, industrial and governmental complexes separated; and reliance on automobiles and mass transit increased. The combination of poor regulations, mediocre urban design practices, and a rapidly growing population contributed to the proliferation of these single-use enclaves. Recent development patterns are changing this trend around Cairo. The rise in land-costs, along with the realisation of the benefits of high-density commercial, domestic, and entertainment habitats, is prompting development corporations and government institutions to revisit mixed-use planning strategies.

Kharita /
English / 00:24:02.941 / 156 MB / Ogg Theora/Vorbis - 640x368/Mono

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