Sustainable Green Markets, regenerating the urban historic core to sustain Socio-Cultural heritage and economic activities

Lead Research Organisation: Newcastle University
Department Name: Architecture Planning and Landscape

Abstract

This project will contribute to developing understandings about broader conceptions of Egyptian cultural heritage and examine ways that such heritage can contribute to processes of social and economic regeneration, through the careful management of interventions that combine understanding of heritage value, appropriate technological innovation and collaborative processes of engagement with local disempowered communities.

The recent heritage in Egypt tends to be neglected in favour of directing funds and effort to its ancient cultural and built heritage from the Pharaonic era. This creates a situation of lost opportunities and valuable architectural heritage being left to ruin. This project will develop frameworks for sustaining the recent cultural heritage of wholesales market buildings in Egypt. The central location of these markets in Cairo, surrounded by a larger retail areas of different markets, urban dwellers and schools, makes them potentially valuable for cultural activities and to act as venues for museum education outside the museums of Egypt. Currently, however, these large covered market plots are predominantly used by urban squatters that provide their services of cut vegetables, cheap electronic goods, bakery and spices to the surrounding urban dwellers. Extensions on the original shop lines, both horizontally and vertically, creates a situation where it is difficult to manage risks of fire and there is poor sanitation. Moreover, on-going attempts to adapt the physical structure of such markets, or to build within them, have undermined the buildings' architectural integrity and historic significance. Equally, we must be aware that attempts to redevelop these buildings run the risk of gentrification, marginalising their current urban poor users and destroying their physical and cultural heritage value.

To address these issues we have assembled a multidisciplinary team of UK and Egyptian researchers, combining expertise in appropriate technological interventions into historic fabric, understandings of heritage value and collaborative processes of engagement with disempowered and disadvantaged communities. Through taking a specific case study, of the Attabba market, the project will develop and share a vision for extending the contemporary refurbishment of these markets into a wider societal role, acting as a nucleus of culture and economy. Whilst we will develop our vision through knowledge of market refurbishment schemes elsewhere in the world and through a process of co-production with local stakeholders we will explore, for example, the potential to extend the market's current function, as a venue for food retail, into one with shared places to enjoy culinary teaching and meals, and to host incubators of cultural exchanges, in the form of exhibition space, and out of museum educational facilities. On the roof we envisage activities to familiarize communities with urban farming and renewable energy technologies.

The research will principally draw from and contribute to knowledge in the fields of sustainable building technologies, cultural heritage and collaborative community process as well as urban agriculture and food and museology. A specific dimension will be an examination of the transferability of approaches developed in UK and the Europe to the very different cultural, economic and institutional context of Egypt.

Planned Impact

Pathways to Impact
1. Impact from the process

We chose to underpin the networking workshop with a scoping study to identify key points of tension between urbanisation, changing use of buildings and perceptions of tangible and intangible heritage. This process of this scoping study itself will deliver impact directly to student, staff and communities involved.

Impact on students:
The UK PI, directs the Masters for Sustainable Buildings and Environments, the Egyptian PI directs the Masters programme for 'Revitalisation of Historic Cities and Districts'
Both courses can make use of the building and the methodology of collecting data as live projects that they can use as case study for generating innovative architectural and low carbon building designs. Students of urban planning generally receive standard social science research. We hope that this experience will result in at least some cohorts of students able to produce more innovative academic and practice research which uses a range of methods not normally considered.

Academic impact: The work will significantly strengthen the working relationship between the two main institutions, SAPL, Newcastle and Cairo University, and various governmental organizations in Egypt. This offers us a stronger basis for joint publication and further heritage and historical research in Egypt.

Impact on communities: Rather than being the subjects of research, in this study market traders and user communities and owners are the drivers of it. We seek to ensure they are empowered by both the process of telling their stories but also by informing the structure and questions framing the workshop and through networking with professionals

Impact from the Workshop
Academic impact: The two communities involved in the production of a joint report delineating an action framework will be central to the workshop. We anticipate this will influence the thinking and understanding of academics, practitioners and policy makers, many of whom may have had the opportunity for this level of community engagement before.

We seek to establish new, lasting and productive relationships through the workshop. As a pathway to facilitate this an on-line network of all participants will be established through SAPL, Newcastle to support this. Details of all other UK and Egyptian academics involved will be circulated and they will have full access to the scoping study materials for their own use. We anticipate that the workshop will produce an agenda for research leading to at least one major funding application to AHRC/ ESRC/ and or EPSRC.
We are in discussions about the possibility of publishing two articles in high impact journals namely Cities and buildings and environment.

Creative Commons
Outputs from the scoping study and the workshop papers and proceedings will be available under a Creative Commons 'attribution' licence, allowing others to use and build upon the work as long as they attribute its origins to the original developer.

Publications

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AlSadaty Aliaa (2020) Socio-spatial regeneration challenges in Attaba historic market, Cairo - Egypt. in Journal of Humanities and Applied Social Sciences

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Hamza N (2017) SUSTAINED LIVEABILITY: A FRAMEWORK BEYOND ENERGY CONSCIOUS BUILDING CONSERVATION OF MARKET HALLS in International Journal of Architectural Research: ArchNet-IJAR

 
Description 1- Their needs to be an archival data collection update on the history of market halls as this is being lost due to unregulated construction activities and additions to the original historic fabric leading to its permanent structural damage 2-Market halls conservation offers a significant attraction for public and private investment, venues for cultural exchange and economic activities 3- in a time of hardship, communities are ready to contribute to the preservation of their culture but need to find the appropriate and transparent mechanism of financing 4- Public engagement is key to success of these projects and their participation to gain mutual trust in conservation policy intentions requires a sound public participation scheme
Exploitation Route The governor Of Cairo has taken the project to the prime Minister of Egypt to discuss possibilities of funding the conservation work
-unfortunately a major part of the market was burnt down recently and our findings and suggested conservation framework are shaping the policies for conservation undertaken by the government in its refurbishment
Sectors Construction,Creative Economy,Education,Energy,Environment,Retail

 
Description The market was burned down in 2020 and our surveys and data analysis of users and vendors ahs been used to inform the current efforts for refurbishing the market hall by it owners, the Ministry of Endowments, of Egypt The findings of the project were presented to both Academics from other architecture schools in Cairo (British university, Ain Shams and Alexandria Universities). The project had a major impact as the Governor Of Cairo organized a special dissemination meeting Cairo city Council with the heritage department and ministers as well as vendors from the market halls to discuss the findings. Newcastle City Council has also been a major collaborator and have shared their experiences of renovation and sustainability of Grainger market in Newcastle city in the Cairo and Newcastle university meetings. The director of the Tyne and Wear Building Preservation Trust Mr.Martin Hulse also shared his hand on experiences with finding private/public financial systems for conservation projects
Sector Energy,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description School of Architecture, Cairo University, Egypt 
Organisation Cairo Governorate
Country Egypt 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution This project is a collaboration between the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, Newcastle University and the School of Architecture, Cairo University, Egypt. other contributors Cairo Governorate, Egypt and Newcastle City Council
Collaborator Contribution The Egyptian partners have collaborated in attending joint workshops organized in Newcastle and Cairo on this project and how sustainable conservation aims to deliver a wider societal goal on preservation of memory in an evolving cultural context of Cairo. The Egyptian team were instrumental in data gathering activities and archival searches. Head representatives of the conservation departments in both Cairo and Newcastle City councils have contributed to sharing experiences of dealing with local vendors and how funding strategies were applied to market hall projects in both countries. Cairo Governorate organized a media covered event on the 17th of February 2018 that was attended by ministers of scientific research funding, the endowments and antiquities as well as representatives from the Newton Mesharafa fund, to share our research finding with the public and with local vendors.The Science and Technology Development fund in Egypt added to its webpage this project as a success story for its expected cultural and economic impact
Impact Cultural: a raised awareness of the possible benefits the developments of the covered market halls can create in bringing people of various beliefs, cultural backgrounds and ages to the derelict city centre of Cairo that called 'Paris by the Nile' due to its planning and architecture grandeur till the mid of the 20th century. Economic: the buildings of the covered market halls are placed in strategic locations in the centre of Cairo and attract an existing network of economic vending activities, however, the current frameworks of running the endowment estates offers very low rent and these issues were raised by the research as they affect the possibility of conserving and maintaining the function of heritage buildings. The Minister of Endowments Dr.Ahmed Hafiz is now looking into what could be done with minimal displacement to existing leases. the provision of conservation Policy and improvement of public services were also discussed as an outcome of the workshop with the policy makers in Cairo, to improve the public services to these central buildings and improve the hygiene and order conditions to the surrounding urban neighbourhoods
Start Year 2016
 
Description School of Architecture, Cairo University, Egypt 
Organisation Cairo University
Country Egypt 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This project is a collaboration between the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, Newcastle University and the School of Architecture, Cairo University, Egypt. other contributors Cairo Governorate, Egypt and Newcastle City Council
Collaborator Contribution The Egyptian partners have collaborated in attending joint workshops organized in Newcastle and Cairo on this project and how sustainable conservation aims to deliver a wider societal goal on preservation of memory in an evolving cultural context of Cairo. The Egyptian team were instrumental in data gathering activities and archival searches. Head representatives of the conservation departments in both Cairo and Newcastle City councils have contributed to sharing experiences of dealing with local vendors and how funding strategies were applied to market hall projects in both countries. Cairo Governorate organized a media covered event on the 17th of February 2018 that was attended by ministers of scientific research funding, the endowments and antiquities as well as representatives from the Newton Mesharafa fund, to share our research finding with the public and with local vendors.The Science and Technology Development fund in Egypt added to its webpage this project as a success story for its expected cultural and economic impact
Impact Cultural: a raised awareness of the possible benefits the developments of the covered market halls can create in bringing people of various beliefs, cultural backgrounds and ages to the derelict city centre of Cairo that called 'Paris by the Nile' due to its planning and architecture grandeur till the mid of the 20th century. Economic: the buildings of the covered market halls are placed in strategic locations in the centre of Cairo and attract an existing network of economic vending activities, however, the current frameworks of running the endowment estates offers very low rent and these issues were raised by the research as they affect the possibility of conserving and maintaining the function of heritage buildings. The Minister of Endowments Dr.Ahmed Hafiz is now looking into what could be done with minimal displacement to existing leases. the provision of conservation Policy and improvement of public services were also discussed as an outcome of the workshop with the policy makers in Cairo, to improve the public services to these central buildings and improve the hygiene and order conditions to the surrounding urban neighbourhoods
Start Year 2016
 
Description School of Architecture, Cairo University, Egypt 
Organisation Newcastle City Council
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution This project is a collaboration between the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, Newcastle University and the School of Architecture, Cairo University, Egypt. other contributors Cairo Governorate, Egypt and Newcastle City Council
Collaborator Contribution The Egyptian partners have collaborated in attending joint workshops organized in Newcastle and Cairo on this project and how sustainable conservation aims to deliver a wider societal goal on preservation of memory in an evolving cultural context of Cairo. The Egyptian team were instrumental in data gathering activities and archival searches. Head representatives of the conservation departments in both Cairo and Newcastle City councils have contributed to sharing experiences of dealing with local vendors and how funding strategies were applied to market hall projects in both countries. Cairo Governorate organized a media covered event on the 17th of February 2018 that was attended by ministers of scientific research funding, the endowments and antiquities as well as representatives from the Newton Mesharafa fund, to share our research finding with the public and with local vendors.The Science and Technology Development fund in Egypt added to its webpage this project as a success story for its expected cultural and economic impact
Impact Cultural: a raised awareness of the possible benefits the developments of the covered market halls can create in bringing people of various beliefs, cultural backgrounds and ages to the derelict city centre of Cairo that called 'Paris by the Nile' due to its planning and architecture grandeur till the mid of the 20th century. Economic: the buildings of the covered market halls are placed in strategic locations in the centre of Cairo and attract an existing network of economic vending activities, however, the current frameworks of running the endowment estates offers very low rent and these issues were raised by the research as they affect the possibility of conserving and maintaining the function of heritage buildings. The Minister of Endowments Dr.Ahmed Hafiz is now looking into what could be done with minimal displacement to existing leases. the provision of conservation Policy and improvement of public services were also discussed as an outcome of the workshop with the policy makers in Cairo, to improve the public services to these central buildings and improve the hygiene and order conditions to the surrounding urban neighbourhoods
Start Year 2016
 
Description Dr.Hamza was asked to give a presentationabut the project and the workshop was organized by the Ministry of urban harmonization and conservation in Cairo-Egypt in November 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The presentation introduced the historical context of urban market halls in Cairo and the illegal infrigements of the areas around them of trading activities. Our research team has the prespective that these areas should provide for singular traders who sell local produce and give them the suitable training to formalize their activities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Sharing of findings with other UKRI funded projects through the Praxis workshop in Lebanon on heritage for global challenges. February 2020 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The team presented the project it's aims, outcomes and generalisability of findings to other neglected market halls in developing countries specifically in the Middle East
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020