Being one of the earliest cities in Egypt to experience modernization in early 19th century, Alexandria contains some of the most extensive examples of architectural and urban heritage. Its booming economy, cosmopolitan culture and diverse historical layers all contribute to a robust Downtown. During the past few decades, downtown Alexandria has experienced a gradual deterioration and decay, similar to other centers of major cities in Egypt. A process of degentrification resulted from the departure of foreign communities around the middle of the twentieth century, then local upper classes by the 1970s and 1980s. This process was compounded by an entrenched institutional and legal framework for rent control, and a lack of incentive for maintenance and upkeep.
This research mapping Alexandria’s tangible heritage was undertaken in the process of the developing of a guidebook featuring walking tours of Alexandria’s Manshiya, Greek and Downtown districts.