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Department of Urban Development2020

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DAAD German Arab Transformation Partnership - Sidi Hessine


We are glad to announce the closing of the international cooperation online workshop: “Vulnerable Urban Areas: Needs and Development Priorities in the Time of Pandemic”, attended by over 70 participants from 8 countries. This workshop has taken place from 23rd to 27th November 2020 and funded through the DAAD program German Arab Transformation Partnership, Program line 2: German-Arab short measures. This project is a cooperation between Technical University Berlin (TU Berlin), Department of Urban Development, Campus El Gouna (Dr. Hassan Elmouelhi- project leader), L'ISTEUB de l'université de Carthage, Department of Architecture and Urban Planning (Prof. Dr. Olfa Ben Medien and Dr. Ahmed Khelifi-coordinators) and German Jordanian University (GJU), Department of Architecture and Design (Prof. Dr. Maram Tawil, Dr. Raed Al Tal, and Ms. Dana Masarwah; coordinators). The workshop had several valuable inputs from respected experts representing different Tunisian organizations and universities in addition to group work by the participants.

On the first day, Carthage University students have shared the collected data from their fieldwork, followed by Dr. Yasine Turki (CILG VNG International) who presented an overview of the Transformation and urbanism in Tunisia, Dr. Hend Ben Othman (Université de Carthage) has shown us some insights about urbanism, Mr. Fathi El Mansouri (Urban planning expert and consultant) has presented some of the government efforts towards informal housing upgrading.

On the second day, Prof. Dr. Rudolf Schäfer (Study Dean, Urban Development, TU Berlin) has presented some insights about the pandemic and the city from the German perspective,  Prof. Dr. Yadh Zahar (Université de Carthage) has discussed several environmental and ecological aspects of Tunis, Insaf Ben Othmane H., Consultant (OEcumene Studio) has shared her experience regarding the public space and the power of local initiatives, Henda Gafsi (Université de Carthage) has presented the democratic governance and gender equality in Tunisia, Martin Meyer & Papon Dev & Dr. Hassan Elmouelhi (Urban Development, TU Berlin) have presented some tools for analysis including SWOT analysis and stakeholders analysis. An online interview was organized with the financial department head from the local municipality of Sidi Hessine area, through which he answered many questions directed by the participants in order to deepen their understanding of the area.

On the fourth day, Prof. Dr. Undine Gisike (Professor of Landscape Architecture, TU Berlin) has presented to the participants the concept of Urban Metabolism as an approach for intervention.

During the workshop, the students from the three universities have worked together in groups on the analysis of Sidi Hessine area in Tunis.

Finally, on the fifth day, the participants presented their analysis and findings to the jury members of our respected experts; Assoc. Prof. Yasine Turki, Insaf Ben Othmane & Mr. Fathi El Mansouri, in addition to the project supervisors. The presentations have shown a deep understanding of the study area, based on the extensive fieldwork conducted by the Carthage University students, supported by the analytical skills of the TU Berlin Urban development master students, and the management skills of the GJU students.

At the end of the workshop, some group photos (screenshots) were taken after the distribution of the participation certificates, and the participants have expressed that they have enjoyed the workshop and learned a lot about the topic of vulnerability within urban Tunisia.


This workshop is considered the first online activity between the three universities, to be followed by another intensive workshop in February 2020 to develop the intervention proposals for the Sidi Hessine area, Tunis. Thanks to the DAAD fund, through which the project could provide the partner universities with some equipment and GIS software that enhance the learning process depending on digitalization.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Many thanks to all the participants and the organization team from the 2 partner universities, and the TU Berlin Team (Salma Khamis, Martin Meyer and Papon Dev-coordinators/ Hellen Aziz and Ahmed Mokhtar - assistants).

UD Alumni Awarded GLTN Grants


As part of BMZ-funded “Arab region programme on good land governance in support to inclusive development, peace and stability”, the research innovation fund grant focuses on knowledge creation and research on different land-related key topics to foster the interest in land-related research and to gather innovative ideas and approaches. the Urban Training and Studies Institute (UTI) based in Cairo, Egypt, in collaboration with the Global Land Tool Network/UN-Habitat implements different activities aiming to create, foster and diffuse capacities, training and knowledge related to land governance. Encouraging and supporting quality research based on solid methodologies for improved data collection and increased empirical evidence is one of the objectives of this collaboration. Accepted research proposals will be funded a total grant of USD 4000 for a three-months research project in one of land-related topics. (https://gltn.net/job/call-for-proposals-for-research-projects-on-land-governance-in-the-arab-region/)

Our alumni Reham Reda and Mohamed Hamdy (UD Cohort 6 -2017/2019) have been awarded the research grant for their research proposal, concerned with Egyptian slums and land conflict focusing on pre and after slum eviction and relocation land governance challenges with a case study of El-Asmarat project, Egypt. Relocation dilemma and land rights have stimulated the interest of the researchers to investigate the relocation process in Egypt, the government procedures and strategies of pre-location phases. It also includes the followed solution for land conflict, and the status of land tenure for the residents in their new relocation land.

It is worth to mention that the winning research proposal is a complementary and on-going study for Reham’s master thesis research started at the department of urban development in TU Campus El Gouna.

Urban Thinkers Campus: The Post Pandemic Resilient City


The COVID-19 pandemic has shown to what extent governments have been challenged through the crisis. It needed all the efforts and a high level of cooperation between different sectors and stakeholders to enhance and adapt the urban management of their cities through upgrading the capacity of services and infrastructure, especially in vulnerable areas. For cities to be more resilient in the post COVID-19 pandemic, governments, civil society, academia and international cooperation organizations have to be ready through preparing a roadmap that identifies the role of each stakeholder within a general integrated framework.

In this online seminar, starting by contribution of speakers, representatives of different stakeholders would discuss their roles from their own perspective, with a special focus on the case of Egypt. In the second part, a parallel round tables session will take place, through which each stakeholders/actors group would discuss more detailed possibilities for their roles within that frame. At the end, a summary of each group’s findings will be presented by each group’s moderator.

This online seminar organized by the Urban development department of the TU Berlin Campus El Gouna as a part of the (COVID-19 Campaign) as an associated partner of the World Urban Campaign (WUC) of the UN Habitat.



  • "Introduction" - Prof. Rudolf Schäfer, Urban Development Department, Dean of studies, TU Berlin, Campus El Gouna 
  • Thinking through a local history into a global present: insights from Johannesburg’s experience with epidemics” Prof. Philip Harrison (Keynote) - Witwatersrand University, Johannesburg.      "International Cooperation: Roles and Responsibilities” - Eng. Amr Lashin (UN Habitat-Egypt).
  • Ministry of Local Development-Egypt: Vision and strategies.” - Dr. Jackleen Azer (Deputy Governor - Alexandria Governorate) and Dr. Hesham El-Helbawy (Head of Local Administration Reform Unit, Head of Upper Egypt Local Development Program, Ministry of Local Development).
  • “Efforts of Civil Society on the Ground: Experiences from Quseir City, Red Sea.” Mr. Mostafa Sebaq, Quseir city (Red Sea Governorate)
  • “City Resilience and Combating COVID19: Role of Academia” - Assoc. Prof. Dr. Heba Moghaieb (Institute of National Planning-Egypt)
  • Q&A-session     
  • Round tables: Each stakeholders group (government, international cooperation, academics and civil society) - joined by all participants, will discuss their role and responsibilities within the framework of dealing with the post-pandemic city.
  • Wrap-Up

The full report on all Urban Thinkers Campuses of the 2nd round of the COVID-19 series can be found here.



Rehabilitation of historic Cairo - ALDARB AL AHMAR


The Joint Urban Design Studio Workshop "Rehabilitation of historic Cairo - ALDARB AL AHMAR" was successfully organized with the combined efforts and participation of the Department of Architecture at the Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University; Acharya's NRV College of Architecture, Bangalore, India; the Department of Architecture, School of Sciences and Engineering at the American University in Cairo; the Department of Urban Development at Campus El Gouna, Technical University Berlin (Germany).

Over the four days of the workshop, various distinguished lecturers demonstrated novel practices and lessons learned from a wide range of rehabilitation projects of Historic Cairo that were animated by several institutions and NGOs. The comprehensive contributions of the lecturers helped lay the groundwork for the student's group work that took place within the premises of Bayt Yakan, a rehabilitated traditional house by Dr. ALAA ELHABASHY (Agha Khan prize winner 2019), located at the heart of historic Cairo. The house was an excellent point of departure to investigate al-Darb al-Ahmar neighborhood and for organizing a guided site visit to the area developed through al-Darb al-Aḥmar Housing Rehabilitation Programme (HRP) by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture.
The students' efforts were geared towards understanding the impact of rehabilitation efforts and on extending their influence to revive a wider threshold of the historic city. The workshop was concluded at Cairo University by the students introducing various low-risk and high-impact tactics to rehabilitate and revitalize several action areas within the historic neighborhood.


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