Archiving the City in Flux examines new modes of informal urban interventions in public space in Cairo that have emerged since January 2011. During this time a breakdown of the security apparatus has led to a state of unprecedented fluidity in the city.
Archiving the City in Flux offers a preliminary account of the city as it has evolved over this two-year period, focusing primarily on public space and emerging urban orders, and attempts to draw lessons from informality towards the development of alternative design guidelines and planning policies.
Cairo Downtown Passageways: Walking Tour publication falls within the context of CLUSTER’s broader research endeavor exploring the network of downtown Cairo’s passageways, back alleys, side streets and in-between spaces as an alternative framework for the development and revitalization of Downtown. Viewed together, they offer an opportunity to re-envision Downtown as a network of pathways housing commerce and entertainment. They also offer a counter-point to the traffic and street grid, with the potential to present a stage for periodic artistic and cultural programs, such as book fairs, children’s festivals, flea markets, and even bike lanes and greenways.
The guidebook explores cultural and entertainment highlights, spaces of memory and heritage sites alongside Downtown’s back alleys. It offers a glimpse into a larger body of information, a database on Downtown passageways and in-between spaces that CLUSTER has mapped over three years: including activities, patterns of use, typology and genealogy, materiality and texture, circulation and access, roofing and proportion, in addition to territoriality and tools of demarcation, and other spatial and visual documentation and analysis. The website also features interviews with local community members and stakeholders. The booklet, which is organized around superblocks and walking tours through their passageways, is a companion guide to the Cairo Downtown Passageways website. We invite you to explore Cairo’s Downtown passageways and their potential as sites for a more diverse, environmentally friendly, and vibrant Downtown:
Learning from Cairo, co-organized by CLUSTER and the American University in Cairo, was an international symposium that sought to engage the current political and urban transformation unfolding in Cairo as a critical context for examining relevant international case studies and best practices in areas ranging from housing, transportation, public space and local governance to informality.
The conference emphasized a comparative and interdisciplinary approach bringing practitioners, academics, officials and local stakeholders into dialogue, with the objective of generating an ongoing critical urban discourse and future visions for Cairo.