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Workshop 'Human Oriented Transportation in Egypt'


January 2015, El Gouna - Urban Development students have attended the joint workshop and seminar on “Human Oriented Transportation in Egypt in Teaching and Research” from 18-22 January. The workshop was designated to both the first and third semester studentw and was organized in partnership with several Egyptian and European universities as well as other non-governmental organizations and groups for sustainable development.

The discussion topics were selected to fit in the general subject of “Sustainable and Human Oriented Urban Transportation in Regard to Urban Structures and Development Trends” for instance prevention of accidents, danger-free mobility, transportation governance in the Greater Cairo Region, or enhancing the public transportation in the urban sprawl and in gated communities.

The first two days of the workshop were reserved for presentations on special topics of mobility and traffic. European issues were introduced by Dr. Wulf-Holger Arndt (TU Berlin) giving an overview about public transport with many examples from Germany and from Prof. Günter Emberger (Technical University of Vienna) talking about public transport in Vienna. A larger block was designated to Egypt. Among others, Prof. Khaled Abdelazim Abbas (Egyptian National Institute of Transport) was talking about mobility concepts of the Egyptian government. And while Dr. Hend Farouh (New Urban Communities Authority, NUCA) discussed challenges and problems of how to organize public transport in New Cities and connect them to their mother towns, Ahmed El-Dorghamy (Center for Environment and Development for the Arab Region and Europe, CEDARE) was promoting bike traffic and debating the preconditions and risks of this still underdeveloped mode of traffic in the Egyptian context.  

With the discussion format of the so called “world café” students were clustered into groups in order to discuss some major traffic problems with experts on the third day of the workshop. On the fourth and final day, students presented more detailed case studies and elaborations of the previously discussed potential traffic solutions from the world café. The reflection took place as a thirty minutes presentation for the audience where any contributions and further amendments were encouraged.

The workshop was a good example of how to establish an innovative partnership model that connects the academic and research approaches from one side with the professional and governmental expertise on the other side facing the pressing problems of transportation, local conditions, and challenges.

For the students, it was a very effective experience. They were actively involved in exchanging ideas or learning how to present their suggestions to the audience. They gained knowledge about global and local traffic challenges. Furthermore, students were encouraged to think about current traffic conditions and to suggest potential solutions for this crucial issue.

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