An alley-renovation strategy for revitalizing downtown Cairo, Egypt

Downtown Cairo, Egypt was partially modeled after European cities in the late nineteenth century, including Paris and Vienna.

Having undergone periods of prosperity, deterioration, and decay over the past decades, many Downtown passageways serve today as sites for rich and diverse uses and activities.

Uses of these spaces range from food places and coffee shops, to sites for trade and retail, including stationeries and bookstores, bars and restaurants, galleries and art spaces.

Being off the main channels of traffic, they operate as hubs for competing interests and claims to space. Viewed together, they offer an opportunity to re-envision Downtown as a network of pathways housing commerce and entertainment.

They also offer a counter-point to the traffic and street grid, and may serve as a stage for periodic artistic and cultural programs, such as book fairs, children’s festivals, flea markets, and even bike ways and greenways.

CLUSTER’s Cairo Downtown Passages project falls within the context of our broader research endeavor exploring the network of Cairo’s Downtown passages. These passageways offer an alternative framework for the development and revitalization of Downtown.

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