Investigating The Evolution Of Informal Urban Pockets In Greater Cairo Region

Almalt, A., S. Attia, and H. A. Khalil, "Investigating The Evolution Of Informal Urban Pockets In Greater Cairo Region", Journal of Engineering Research, Faculty of Engineering in Mataria, Helwan University, vol. 154 (June 2017), pp. A15–A38, 2017.


The urban fabric of Greater Cairo comprises different urban patterns that coexist and grow simultaneously. These include but are not limited to; radial, gridiron, organic and more; all merged and intertwined in a unique way, making it hard to grasp all these different patterns on ground. Between these different patterns, formal planned areas and informal unplanned areas rises an urban component otherwise known as urban island/pocket, which are surrounded by a distinctive formal pattern. This paper aims to investigate the emergence and evolution of these urban islands within the social, economic and political influences that dominated the 20th century in Cairo. This investigation leads to an insightful understanding of the multilayered fabric of Cairo, unveiling some of its hidden layers, which evolved amidst urban formality and informality. Cases are a comparative analysis between the two types of informal urban pockets, which are; 1. Old City Core (Village/Ezbat); and 2. Small Spaces between old & new districts. This analysis is carried out through monitoring the formulation of one case study of each type, which exists in Mohandessin and Khedival Cairo respectively.