Could/should Improving the Urban Climate in Informal Areas of Fast Growing Cities be an Integral Part of Upgrading Processes? Case study, Cairo

Citation:
Khalil, H. A. E. E., A. Ibrahim, N. Elgendy, and N. Makhlouf, "Could/should Improving the Urban Climate in Informal Areas of Fast Growing Cities be an Integral Part of Upgrading Processes? Case study, Cairo", Urban Climate, vol. 24, pp. 63-79, 2018.

Abstract:

Many researches have highlighted the importance of environmental justice, where healthy environment
is a right to all. Currently, the most vulnerable groups to climate change are low-income urban dwellers, typically residing in urban informalities within cities of the Global South. In Cairo, the awareness about climate change and responsive consumption is minimal and the increase in temperature could have serious effects on residents' health. In 2012, informalities were reported to house two thirds of the population and covered a third of the city's footprint. Thus, this paper highlights the importance of studying environmental performance in informal areas to achieve sustainability and reduce risks. It reviews work related to sustainable urbanization, informal areas, urban heat island and urban climate especially in Cairo. It defines needed parameters and develops an integrated tool to assess comfort in outdoor spaces microclimate. The paper relies on extensive fieldwork, meteorological measurements, socio-environmental surveys, activity mapping and modelling to study both Cairo urban climate and microclimate in one of Cairo's densest informal districts. The paper stresses the possibility of introducing responsive low-tech and low-cost strategies and interventions. This is discussed as an inherent right to marginalized areas and a necessity within a continuous process of urbanization.

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