Egypt is a country that is endowed with one of the world’s richest and most spectacular environment suitable for different types of tourism. Despite the diversity and richness of those natural heritage resources, the industrial and economic situation of the country is in turmoil. Such a situation leads the country to intensively rely on developing, and extensively using, its resources to satisfy its economic demands and requirements without much care to the environment. Since the eve of the seventies until now, unsustainable forms of tourism development have been initiated upon the natural and historical dimensions of the country’s heritage. Consequently, the country’s resources have been inefficiently consumed to a degree that the country has lost a number of its sensitive sites and resources. The paper deals with one of the natural heritage resources of the country, the coastal areas. Egypt endows more than 2450 km of highly scenic outstanding beaches overlooking the Mediterranean and the Red sea, and has adopted a highly intensive resort tourism industry, both on the national and international tourism markets. The types of resort development that took place have exerted deep negative impacts on the ecological integrity and stability of such highly sensitive coastal areas. The paper provokes the importance to adapt and promote the concept of eco-efficient design for promoting a sustainable form of resort development. Based on theoretical and practical analysis an eco-meter for eco-efficient resort planning and design is innovated. The eco-meter is tested and applied on the case study of Marina al-Alamien Resort, to be used as a guideline for promoting sustainability among existing and future resort designs.
By the start of the 1950s, following the end of World War 2, the world was confronted with destroyed and demolished cities. Such conditions required aggressive development, which was carried out by professionals of the planning, and architecture disciplines, aiming to fulfill the urgent social requirements of building new cities. A surprise result was the inability of both disciplines to fulfill the social community requirement of promoting a healthy environment and providing citizens with better quality of life. The need for a new intermediate discipline was recognized. Since then the appearance of the urban design as a profession has been established, practiced and taught among the architecture and the planning schools around the world. In Egypt by the start of the 70s, a number of pioneers returning from Europe and the United States have introduced the new discipline to the Egyptian architecture and planning schools. Since then Egypt has managed to establish a special school in the field, with a specific shift towards the physical dimension, aesthetic and social needs. One of the great deficiencies of the urban design practice in the Egyptian school is the neglect for the other dimensions of the sustainable urban design, especially those concerning the economic and environmental dimensions. The paper aims to emphasis the importance of the economic dimensions and the need to efficiently include it as a core dimension in the urban design process. The paper’s methodology was based on a number of theoretical analytical studies defining the importance of the economic dimension and classifying the types of urban design projects, in the Egyptian context. Based on practical experience, the paper presented an innovated tool that would allow the full integration of the economic dimension in the urban design process. The tool was tested and reported on through practical application on an urban design project and a field survey carried out with a number of urban design experts and practitioners.
Most developing countries seek international tools to overcome their local problems. Such international tools, being imported and implemented without any attempts to localise them have led to their inability, in many circumstances, to address developing countries local problems. The paper presents a practical research for localising an international tool, aiming to utilise it as an efficient sustainability tool for promoting sustainable tourism in heritage market areas. The paper methodology utilises theoretical studies’ findings in composing an international list of sustainable tourism indicators. Aiming to prove the efficiency of the international tool, the paper conducted a correlated analysis, studying the ability and efficiency of the tool in addressing the local existing problems of tourism in heritage market areas. Although the tool did prove its high predictive ability to deal with existing local problems, still the ability to apply the international tool within the limitation of the local context is a valid threat hindering the efficiency of the tool. The main problem lies in the tool’s long list being composed of 45 indicators. Such comprehensive list would require adequate data resources and special expertise to interpret the data in order to achieve the required efficiency of the tool; which is not available in developing countries. The paper concluded a practical empirical field survey study, aiming to localise the list to match the requirements and limitations of the Egyptian condition. The study targeted a group of experts in the field of sustainability and historical tourism development. Based on the findings of the study the list was reduced to comprise only the 13 most effective indicators. Finally, the paper conducted a correlative analytical study between the final localised list and the existing tourism problems of the area. The findings of the study proved the list to have an expected efficiency rate of around 88% in guiding the implementation of sustainable tourism in heritage market areas.