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Eissa, Y., and H. Khalil, "Urban Climate Change Governance within Centralised Governments: A Case Study of Giza, Egypt", Urban Forum, 2021. Abstract

Urban climate governance on the subnational and local government levels requires multilevel governance and local autonomy. Within centralised governments, climate action becomes challenging. Moreover, in developing countries, development needs are usually prioritised, while climate action is viewed as an unaffordable luxury. In a centralised, middle-income country like Egypt, climate action is a challenge for all government levels. This research investigates the current state and the prospect of urban climate change governance on the subnational level in Egypt. A twofold methodology is used. First, through desk research, a comprehensive list of urban climate governance enabling factors was extracted. The list was used to assess the practices of 3 international case studies (Delhi, Durban, and Amman) and then refined and used to assess the first subnational level climate change strategy in Egypt. Second, semi-structured interviews were conducted with a few selected experts working on climate change and urban policies in Egypt. Two sets of recommendations were formulated to expedite urban climate change governance in Egypt, especially on the subnational and local levels. While the research focuses on Egypt, the methodology and recommendations could be adopted and adapted by local governments functioning within centralised systems.

Khalil, H. A. E. E., and S. Attia, "Urban Metabolism and Quality of Life in Informal Areas", REAL CORP, Ghent, Belgium, 7 May, 2015. Abstractcorp2015_19.pdf

The 21st century is known as the century of urbanization. Numerous debates are currently taking place to define cities and what they should aspire to be. A number of terms have appeared in this arena,such as sustainable city, ecocity and green city to name a few. However, the main question remains how to measure the performance of a city in regards to these aims. In addition, it is vital to note that major urbanization activities take part in cities of the developing world, where informalization is synonym to urbanization, thus necessitating a profound study of informal areas and their potential role in achieving sustainable cities. This paper studies how a city performs in terms of consuming and producing resources and how they flow through its various systems, described as urban metabolism. The paper particularly discusses how informal areas perform regarding their metabolism, focusing on water flow through these areas as a priority identified by the residents. Imbaba district, one of the largest informal areas in Cairo, is investigated as a case study to determine the actual quality of life of local residents and their ecological footprint and to provide practical insights. The whole process depends on a multidisciplinary participatory research where the citizens and local community based organization are the focal point. In addition, the process depends on open source data and data sharing as a way to empower local communities to identify their needs and issues and hence their appropriate interventions. This is conducted through questionnaires and interviews to identify what the current conditions and processes in informal areas provide for the residents. The paper concludes with identifying points of leakages in the resources flows and the possible interventions to improve the quality of life in the area while maintaining an efficient use of local resources and minimizing the impact of urbanization of the ecological footprint of cities. This will assist cities to become more resilient in the face of water scarcity, and provide a more vibrant life for its residents.

Attia, S., Z. Shafik, A. El Halafawy, and H. A. Khalil, "Urban Regeneration of Public Space - Al-Alfi Street - Downtown Cairo", International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning, WIT., vol. 12, issue 4, pp. 808-818, 2017. AbstractWebsite

Urban regeneration has been an accepted strategy for reviving city centers around the globe in Western Developed settings and in developing cities for decades. In Cairo, post January 25th Revolution, the Egyptian government sought an approach to upgrade several sites in downtown classical Cairo, to set new conditions for use of public space, to redistribute the power of authority and re-define the rules for the claim of public space of the city. The Cairo Governorate officially launched many projects within the same period; mainly focusing on refurbishing squares and streets, facades face lifting, controlling vendors’ trespassing and regulating car parking space among other regulations within Downtown area. However, having accepted and acknowledged the governmental intentions of the regeneration projects a question poses itself as to ‘How the community perceives and cherishes those initiatives?’ More important questions are raised regarding the regeneration of Al Alfi Street, the case study that addresses the governmental attempt in down town Cairo in 2015. It brings to light the dynamics enacted between different stakeholders. A research is conducted by adopting participant observations, surveys, questionnaires, and interviews with the local community and different stakeholders to understand their perception and appreciation to the ‘2015’ urban regeneration attempt. The findings of the paper set the urban regeneration principles in a discussion aiming at assessing the stakeholders’ involvement versus their goals and measuring their satisfaction with the outcome of the project, while still posing the question of the meaning of urban regeneration to the local community and to alternative scenarios that could yield more successful outcomes.