Alexandria’s Urban Transformation. A Trauma or a Blessing?
Author / Authors:
The city of Alexandria is currently experiencing major urban transformation. Following the presidential elections of 2018, Alexandrians have been overwhelmed with mega-projects suddenly being implemented. Debates among architects, academics and professionals led to a wave of disapproval, especially since they felt that they were not part of the decision-making process behind those major projects that would transform their city. Projects were not properly presented to the public, but were headlines in the media with no details of what the actual plans of the developments were. This wave of academic and professional disapproval left the author wondering how the general public perceived the projects and the fact that they were left excluded from the whole process. This article focuses on just three of those major projects that are not yet completely implemented. The first project is the piping of the Mahmoudia Canal and its transformation into a highway to help in solving the pressing traffic congestion of the city. The second project is the development of the Montaza Palace Gardens into an international tourist destination, and the third is the transformation of the International Garden, located at the entrance of the city on the Cairo-Alexandria Desert Road, into a residential mixed-use area. Through a historic review followed by interviews with academics and professionals in addition to questionnaires reflecting the views of the public regarding the three projects, this article discusses the discrepancy between the professionals' argumentation and bases of their disapproval, and the public's perception of the major projects.
Trialog - A Journal for Planning and Building in a Global Context #143 “City, Community and Heritage in Egypt: 2011-2021” edited by Hebatalla Abouelfadl, Mirhan Damir, Mohamed ElGamal and Franziska Laue
- Journal Article