The upgrading process of the Islamic historical areas

Material Information

The upgrading process of the Islamic historical areas Egypt case study
El-Baz, Ayman A
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
120 leaves : illustrations, charts, maps (some color) ; 29 cm


Subjects / Keywords:
Historic sites -- Conservation and restoration -- Egypt -- Cairo ( lcsh )
Islamic architecture -- Egypt -- Cairo ( lcsh )
Historic sites -- Conservation and restoration ( fast )
Islamic architecture ( fast )
Egypt -- Cairo ( fast )
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )


Includes bibliographical references (leaves 119-120).
General Note:
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree, Master of Architecture in Urban Design, College of Architecture and Planning.
General Note:
College of Architecture and Planning
Statement of Responsibility:
by Ayman A. El-Baz.

Record Information

Source Institution:
|University of Colorado Denver
Holding Location:
Auraria Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
17532553 ( OCLC )
LD1190.A73 1987 .E62 ( lcc )

Full Text
The Upgrading Process of the
Islamic Historical Areas
Egypt Case Study
An URBAN DESIGN Thesis Presented to the
partial fulfillment of the requirements for the. degree of
Spring 1987

The Thesis of Ayman A. El-Baz is approved.-
University of Colorado at Denver
April 1987

INTRODUCTION ......................................... 4
FRAMEWORK............................ 7
PART TWO: BACKGROUND............................... 32
PART THREE: THESIS COMPONENT......................... 41
VISUAL CONSTRUCTION................... 48
PART SIX: THESIS STATEMENT......................... 89
BIBLIOGRAPHY........................................ 119

Ulus. Page
No. No.
1 Map of the Site................................ 53
2 Visual Problems................................ 54
3 Visual Problems................................ 55
4 Visual Elements of the Site........... 56
5 Visual Problems of the Site........... 57
6 Visual Analysis Results of the Site........... 58
7 The Sense of Actions............................. 61
8 Sample of Visual Problems........................ 65
9 An Applied Example For Visual Analysis
of an Arabic Street........................... 68
10 An Applied Example for the Sense of Movement
and View of an Arabic Street.................. 69
11 A Visual Continuous Construction Analysis
of an Arabic Street (Applied Example)... 70
12 The Site Location of Cairo..................... 95
13 The Activity Centers Around the Site........... 96
14 The Site Land Use.............................. 97
15 The Site Building Conditions................... 98
16 The Site Land Use.............................. 99
17 The Building Heights.......................... 100
18 The Building Materials........................ 101
19 The Building Floor Use: Ground Floor .... 102
20 The Building Floor Use: First Floor .... 103

Ulus. Page
No. ' No.
21 The Building Floor Use: Second Floor .... 104
22 The Building Floor Use: Third Floor...........105
23 The Building Floor Use: Fourth Floor
and Above..................................106
24 The Study Area Map............................109
25 The Main Approach to the Study Area........110
26 The Roads Network.............................Ill
27 The Built-Up Masses...........................112
28 Generalized Land Use..........................113
29 Generalized Building Use .................... 114
30 Generalized Building Condition ......... 115
31 Generalized Building Heights ................ 116
32 The Proposed Development Concept..............117
33 The Proposed Roads Network .................. 118
Table 1 Built-Up Mass Land Use.................... 79
Table 2 The Building Condition...................... 79
Table 3 The Main Activities in the Area........... 79
Table 4 Income Levels in the Area.................. 86
Table 5 The Requirement Seeking for Residential
Unit.................................... 86


As an architect, the design of a new building
whatever it could be dealing with is a physical form of
space. The same thing for the urban planner who deals
with a physical form of space to design and plan a new
town, city, or even neighborhood.
In improvement and upgrading work, the archi-
tect and the planner are both dealing with not only
physical form, they are dealing with many aspects such
as the economic, social, physical aspects, and with
The improvement and upgrading could be for
random-built areas, old areas, new areas, and also
historical areas. The improvement and upgrading as a
framework of redevelopment, improvement, and replanning
is considered as a separate framework for each kind,
style, and area. The improvement and upgrading frame-
work for random-built areas is different than the
framework for an old area, and the same for historical
areas. The improvement and upgrading framework, even
for the historical areas, is various between many
aspects such as the style, time, and location.
My thesis is dealing with improvement and up-
grading for an historical area which has Islamic
style located in Egypt which has Arabic culture, de-
pending on Islamic religious built also in the Islamic
Also, the thesis is dealing with the improve-
ment and upgrading as a framework and how the planner
should create a specific framework for the area from
itself. I started my thesis with the general improve-
ment and upgrading framework to identify the framework
for my project. Then the background of the area itself
according to its nature which you' cannot separate the
present from the past and both from the future. That
led to the introduction of the thesis itself through-
out the thesis component.

According to the nature of the Islamic life,
which strongly depends on the visual, I include a
visual analysis and visual construction for the site.
Then the thesis concept and objectives which have the
conclusion and the purpose of the thesis, then the
thesis statement to introduce the work should be done
in order to improve and upgrade the area.


The Environmental Improvement
The General Concept of the Comprehensive Upgrading
Process of the Environment
The Gradual Aspect of the Work of Improvement and
Community Cooperation in the Improvement and Upgrading
Process as a Major Incentive to Improvement of the
Independent Financing of the Upgrading Project and
the Improvement of the Environment -
Transfer of Positive Conditions as Active Elements
to Help in Dealing with Existing Problems
Relativity of Evaluation of Existing Environmental
The Upgrading Process Standards
The Decision Conflict Phenomenon
The Various Levels and Responsibilities of Decision-
The Variety of Participating Parties in the Improve-
ment and Upgrading Project
Identifying Appropriate Methods to Treat Existing
Treatment Methods for Existing Bad-Conditioned
Treatment Methods for Existing Moderate-Conditioned
Treatment Methods for Existing Good-Conditioned

The Framework of the Historical Areas Upgrading
The Regulations of Upgrading the Arabic and Islamic
Treatment Methods for Historical and Antiquated

Presently the historical areas and buildings
within the Islamic cities are considered of a pure
civilizational value to the Islamic and Arabic world.
The revival of the original value rooted in todays city
could be achieved through the conservation and preserva-
tion of these historical areas and buildings. Thus the
call for preservation of the urban Islamic heritage,
the conservation and the preservation of the Islamic
historical areas and buildings, and the revival of the
original moralities in the modem architecture of the
city is nothing but a further reinforcement to the new
pure skeleton for the society with original roots.
Recently, some of these historical areas and
buildings were subject to damage, removal, and
destruction. This condition became worse because of the
absence of the necessary restoration and renovation as
well as the absence of supervision from the local
authorities. In case of the continuation of the absence
of adequate authorities to take over the responsibility
for this valuable heritage, the vanishing of our
historical and cultural tradition and heritage will be
the result.
The call for preservation and conservation cannot
exist or be separated from the general upgrading of the
surrounding environment. In general, the upgrading
process should include all aspects of the environment,
especially the socioeconomic aspects of the community and
its activities, in order to achieve the continuation of
the work of upgrading.
Finally, it is worth mentioning that the continu-
ing modernity of our world today could remove our previous
culture and heritage which took millions of years and
human lives to print on the history books. Our duty toward
the older generations is the respect for and preservation
of their beliefs in what was best. Otherwise, a future day
will come when we will be treated with some of the
revolution caused by modernity.

The Environmental Improvement
The operations for the improvement of the en-
vironment are various, depending on the principal
components of its nature. In general, the environ-
mental improvement should deal with the community
through the specific process of an upgrading framework
in order to assure the success of the improvement for
each area individually, regardless of the natural
- The improvement and upgrading process
The improvement operation is a gradual process
of upgrading work for the environment. This process
should be determined by the following:
- The general concept of the comprehensive upgrading
process for the environment
- The gradual aspect of the upgrading operation
- The community cooperation in the improvement and
upgrading process as a major incentive to the en-
vironmental improvement
- The independent financing of the upgrading process
and the environmental improvement
- Transfer of the positive existing conditions to be
active elements to help in dealing with the existing
- The relativity of the evaluation of the existing
environmental conditions
- The standards of the upgrading process
- The phenomenon of decision conflict
- The various levels and responsibilities of the

The participation of various parts of the community
in the improvement and upgrading process
Identification of the appropriate methods in order
to deal with existing buildings according to the
individual conditions of each

The General Concept of the
Comprehensive Upgrading Process
of the Environment
The upgrading process of the environment should
be a comprehensive operation of the community in order to
include the improvement of every critical component of
the society. Also, it should be focusing on the following
- The upgrading of the infrastructure
Within this process the improvement and upgrading work
focuses on the main infrastructure network of the en-
vironment, disregarding the other components of the
area. According to that specialized work, it is noted
that this process of improvement is not concerned with
the socioeconomic and urban improvement because of the
limitations of the environmental improvement. The
infrastructure network includes the roads network,
pedestrian access, utilities, sewage system, and
electricity and gas systems.
- The upgrading of public services^
Within this field of improvement and upgrading, the
work focuses only on the development and improvement
of the social and public services, disregarding the
other interests of the general concept of comprehensive
improvement. This field covers education, religion,
medical, cultural, and entertainment services, as well
as it covers the public service needs of police, fire,
postal service, and government services.
- The upgrading and development of the built-up area^
Within this field of upgrading, it usually focuses on
the improvement and development of the built-up areas
and buildings disregarding the other aspects of the
comprehensive work. It is to be noted that this im-
provement and development concentrate on the exterior
rather than the interior of the build-up mass as a
result of its being more general development and
covering a larger area. Also, it is to be noted that
iRef. The Development of Social Activities
^The Function of Architecture

within this field the improvement work covers each
building, disregarding its ownership on the public
or private level.
- The upgrading of socioeconomic aspects of the community
This field of upgrading usually focuses on the improve-
ment of the social and economic conditions of the
society, including the inhabitants, disregarding the
other aspects of the comprehensive upgrading process in
order to achieve the general improvement of the com-
munity. This aspect of development includes the in-
crease in individual income through the increase in work
opportunity and professional training in order to
develop the ability of the inhabitants.
- The upgrading of the community^
The upgrading and improvement of the community as a
whole could be achieved only through a comprehensive
upgrading framework for each of the above-mentioned
specific fields. It is impossible to improve and
upgrade a certain field of the community and at the
same time to disregard others.
In general, it is worth mentioning that the comprehensive
upgrading process is preferable because of its comprehen-
siveness and its. guarantee in achieving the goals of
the work of improvement and upgrading. But it is also
possible to use the specific form of upgrading from work
in the following cases:
* In case of a shortage of financial resources and the
unavailability of necessary funds for the work of
improvement and upgrading.
* As an experimental project to test the public and
private reaction toward the improvement and develop-
ment proj ect.
* In case the specific improvement and upgrading could
achieve its goals through this specific work.
* As a preliminary stage of a general improvement and
upgrading, to be followed by other stages of complete-
^The Community Is Possible

* In case of serious existing problems which need
an immediate solution.

The Gradual Aspect of the Work
of Improvement and Upgrading^
The improvement and upgrading operations are
aimed at developing the surrounding environment through
the improvement, development, and upgrading of each of
these: the infrastructure network, the public services,
the built-up areas, the socioeconomic aspects of the
community, and the community itself. It is important to
mention that each of these fields has its own natural
and specific concepts in order to improve it. As a re-
sult of that, the upgrading and improvement operation
for the environment should be a gradual process, accord-
ing to the needs of the different levels.
It is to be noted that, as an example, the im-
provement and upgrading of social aspects within the
community necessitate a long time and hard efforts to
attain change in the social life. But on the other
hand, it is noteworthy that the improvement and upgrad-
ing of the economic aspects require less time and
effort, as do the improvement and development of the
built-iip mass, public services, and the socioeconomic
aspects of the community, in order to attain faster re-
In general, improvement and upgrading should be
achieved through a gradual process in order to allow
for the efficiency required for the work and its results.
-'-The Process of Upgrading

Community Cooperation in the
Improvement and Upgrading Process
as a Major Incentive to
Improvement of the Environment1
According to the concept of improvement and up-
grading which aims at the provision of a higher standard
of living conditions for the inhabitants, the community
itself is the final and main target. Thus, the pro-
gression of the improvement and upgrading project de-
pends on the coordination between the community and all
parts involved, and that is the government and the
authorities. This role for the community could be
achieved through the cooperation of all levels and
standards of the community in the improvement and upgrad-
ing work, which could be applied to self-financing,
training, practicing, and sharing in important roles.
It is worth mentioning that the positive
cooperation of the community in the improvement and up-
grading projects, working beside the government and
authorities, will help those authorities to extend their
supervision to include more of these improvement and up-
grading projects in the process, thus insuring the
success of such projects.
In case of social improvement and upgrading, the
participation and approval of the community toward social
change is a requirement needed to insure the success of
these projects. Self-help and cooperation from indivi-
duals toward their community create a feeling of belong-
ing to the place. This insures the communitys approval
of and supervision of the improvement and upgrading
project in the neighborhood. The improvement and up-
grading of other areas, such as the infrastructure, the
built-up mass, and the surrounding environment, could be
insured of perfect utilization through the cooperation
and participation of the community. This could also
initiate a decrease in repair and replacement costs.
lArch. for Poor

Independent Financing of the
Upgrading Project and the
Improvement of the Environment 1
The independent financing of the upgrading
project depends only upon the utilization of the
existing resources in the environment to obtain self-
financing. Usually the financing of an upgrading and
improvement project is a major problem to the government
and public organizations, especially in the developing
countries because of the relatively high cost. Accord-
ing to the concept of category, this project is a
service project which usually has no immediate or direct
beneficial return.
The areas aimed at in the improvement and up-
grading projects are usually in bad and lowly condi-
tion because they are often in old areas.with buildings
in poor condition. Also, these areas are often informal
housing areas or randomly built areas. The authorities
and private organizations prefer to deal with an area with
higher standards than with these areas in order to attain
results in a relatively shorter time and at less cost.
This has led to the present situation today, which
includes an unacceptable living standard within these
areas on the planning, architectural, and socioeconomic
''Cairo Chamber of Commerce
Ministry of Social Affairs 1982

Transfer of Positive Conditions
as Active Elements to Help in
Dealing with Existing Problems
Through the improvement and upgrading projects,
the existing problems of the areas should be dealt with
through both their, negative and positive aspects. The
positive.aspects of the existing problems insure the
community's cooperation and association in the improve-
ment and upgrading work through self-help, and indicate
the appropriate standards for the projects according to
the public needs and the priorities of the community.
It has been noted in many previous studies that
some problems, when solved in the early stages of their
creation, might create difficulties for the improvement
and upgrading projects; and a delay in solving the same
problems might also cause the same results as well.
It has also been noted in many previous studies
that the use of existing problems, especially in cases
of illegal conditions such as informal housing, might
give the authorities the opportunity to create a positive
reaction in the area's inhabitants through a promise of
legalizing the situation in order to assure the coopera-
tion of the inhabitants in the improvement and Upgrading
The Cities Planning

Relativity of Evaluation of
Existing Environmental Conditions1
In the preliminary stage of an improvement and
upgrading project, there should be a preliminary evalua-
tion of the existing urban, social, economic, and en-
vironmental conditions. It is important to realize
that this evaluation differs relatively between indivi-
duals according to each person's knowledge and point
of view. But it is suggested that there be a considera-
tion of each evaluation in the improvement and upgrading
project, especially in the case where there exists a
direct concern about the process of the project.
In general, this evaluation might affect the
decision-makers in regard to the interests and concerns
required to achieve coordination between all those
It is also important that each improvement and
upgrading project have its own values, direct or indirect,
to the community, disregarding outside evaluations of it.
Accordingly, it is recommended that a balance be achieved
in evaluating the. existing conditions in order to attain
the most suitable decision for the project and its
^AL-Kahera AL-Fatimid

The Upgrading Process Standards^
Each improvement and upgrading project has its
own nature, differing relative to another project accord-
ing to the site, the social and economic conditions, the
time, the urban condition, and the nature of the sur-
rounding environment. This implies the fact that the
successful factors in a.specific project could be used
in or applied to a different project.
But on the other hand, it is suggested that these
factors be used as guidelines for another improvement and
upgrading project, rather than that they be copied. This
might be helpful in identifying the positive and negative
aspects of a specific project in order to create its
own individual factors.
The Process of Upgrading

The Decision Conflict Phenomenon^
This phenomenon usually has negative effects on
the improvement and upgrading project according to the
variety of decisions. Sometimes these negative effects
lead to the failure of the project. It is to be noted
that each of these planning decisions, from the various
fields related directly to the improvement and upgrading
project, is absolutely right from the viewpoint of the
different specialized fields of professional studies.
But, on the other hand, it is noticeable that these
decisions are not all homogeneous.
This phenomenon of conflict could be overcome
by turning the outlined policy into executive decisions
and looking for any decision conflicts that might
occur. Through that, there could be a necessity for
the omission or modification of some decisions. Also,
it might be necessary to set priorities for some
decisions as a result of the execution program.
This conflict could be illustrated through the
following example. Decisions have been taken concern-
ing reducing the population density in a certain area,
depending on social research which reported that the
inhabitants desired to depart the neighborhood because
of the bad condition of the infrastructure and the
utilities. On the other hand, decisions have been
taken concerning an immediate and urgent restoration
and renovation of the existing infrastructure, accord-
ing to the social survey.
It is noticeable that each of the two decisions
separately is perfectly right. But which one should
take priority when at the same time the case work on
the second issue indicates that the reason for depart-
ing will not be effective any more? It should be a
combination of these two decisions that would determine
the higher priority, and then the second one could be
worked with.
^Planning Ministry 1979

The Various Levels and
Responsibilities of
Usually the improvement and upgrading project
is strongly affected by the various levels and respon-
sibilities in the decision-making. Accordingly,
there should be a specific level for each decision on
the national, regional, and local levels to determine
exactly each of those needs and responsibilities.
It is important that the process of decision-
making and the responsibility should be defined on
each level. For example, the regional level should be
concerned only with the infrastructure network and
transportation; but the local level should be concerned
with the detailed implementation of programs and the
local infrastructure network.
. In general, the moderation of levels and re-
sponsibilities in decision-making should be in a
pyramidal way, from the national to the regional to
the local.
-'-Planning Ministry 1979

The Variety of Participating
Parties in the Improvement
and Upgrading Project
The majority of improvement and upgrading
projects depend for success on the participating parties
(government, authorities, private and public invest-
ments, non-profit organizations), in addition to the
participation of the community and individuals them-
selves, each according to their own interests. This
participation and the association of different
parties insures achieving the results of the project
and minimizes the possibilities of failure; it dis-
tributes the tasks within each specialization; and it
assures the continuity of the project execution.
The role of each party in the improvement and
upgrading work should be determined with respect to
the specific concern and interest of each. According
to the above-mentioned, the distribution of these
tasks within the plans will assure the success of the
process and the project.
In general, the role of the government and the
authorities could be achieved through providing the
area with the necessary infrastructure network and
through the foundation of the framework of the appro-
priate community organizations. The investors' role
could also be achieved through the investment projects
within the area, providing it with Services and improv-
ing the urban features. The role of the other parties,
such as the non-profit organizations, could be achieved
through research and studies which could be helpful in
improving and developing the environment. On the
other hand, the community itself and its individuals
can participate through social and religious concerns.

Identifying Appropriate Methods
to Treat Existing Buildings
The redevelopment, improvement, and upgrading
for such areas has to be through treatment for the
buildings. These treatments vary according to the ex-
isting condition of each individual building. So there
has to be first, a method of recognition and identifi-
cation of the building.
Usually these methods of treatment vary with
the varying conditions of the existing buildings, as
- Methods of treatment for the existing bad-conditioned
- Methods of treatment for the existing moderate-
conditioned buildings
- Methods of treatment for the existing good-condi-
tioned buildings

Treatment Methods for
Existing Bad-Conditioned
Usually when buildings are called in bad con-
dition it means that these buildings have serious prob-
lems such as structural failure or that they were built
with inferior building materials such as straw, dirt,
tent-material, and the like; or that they are without
utilities. Also, the buildings are in bad condition
in cases when the cost for renovation and upgrading
would be much higher compared to cases where a building
is tom down and a new building is built according to
the planning and architecture standards.
In cases where these buildings exist within a
historical area, first there has to be social, archi-
tectural, and planning studies. The social studies
determine the removal and replacement possibilities from
the inhabitants point of view. Architectural studies
indicate the most suitable method to treat the existing
building or the new building. Planning studies identify
the outline of the infrastructure network from the
regional and local views, in addition to concerns for
population density, building use and density, and land

Treatment Methods for
Existing Moderate-Conditioned
Usually the moderate-conditioned buildings
are ones which, do not undergo any structural failure
and can be repaired, renovated, and upgraded with
less expense than their removal or rebuilding. Also
usually buildings in this condition require a com-
plete report on the condition of each building indi-
vidually, compared with an estimation of the cost,
and an explanation of the work which needs to be done
in order to achieve the right decision.
It is worth mentioning here that the majority
of treatment methods for buildings in this condition
are concerned only with the exterior rather than the

Treatment Methods for
Existing Good-Conditioned
As an improvement for the whole community,
the improvement and upgrading project should include
preservation and conservation work for the existing
good-conditioned buildings. These good-conditioned
buildings should be treated on the basis of long-term
conservation to preserve their existing condition and
to improve it in order to prevent the deterioration
of the buildings.
Also, it is recommended that these good-
conditioned buildings be remodelled to fit with the
site from the viewpoint of the cultural and histori-
cal heritage of the area.

The Framework of the
Historical Areas
There is a specific framework for upgrading
the old area and more specifically for the historical
areas. Each historical area has its own character
which leads to more specific ways of treating the up-
grading. In general the importance of upgrading the
historical parts in the city not only because it is
considered as a nations source of income but also be-
cause of the following:
- These historical parts give the city a special
character which express the nature of the city in
the past and present time.
- These historical buildings give the areas which
existed within a character different than others in
the city area that lead to a natural changing of the
city construction.
- The historical areas and buildings help to create a
special sense of the tourism, entertainment, beauty
points in the city, and the historical areas them-
selves .
- The historical areas and buildings are considered
as landmarks for the city itself. .

The Regulations of Upgrading
the Arabic and Islamic
There are specific regulations that must be
followed in upgrading the historical Arabic or Islamic
areas and buildings.
- There are four methods of rebuilding ruined monuments
1. Leave it in the present condition.
2. Rebuild it with the same style as the original
construction with the original materials.
3. Completely remove it and rebuild with new
materials and modem style.
4. Transfer these monuments to different places in
order to preserve and conserve them.
- Concentrate on showing the characteristics and indivi
duality of the monument in functional and visual ways
That will be effected thusly:
1. Show the historical districts as landmarks of the
2. Confirm the borders of the historical areas.
3. Confirm the historical nodes.
4. Confirm the historical buildings
- The general shape of the site
- The paths around the historical areas
- Open spaces around the historical areas.
iThe Muslim Arch, in Egypt

Treatment Methods for
Historical and Antiquated
During the improvement and upgrading projects
especially when related to historical areas, the treat-
ment methods for the existing historical buildings
take a different form. The only method of treatment
for these buildings is the protection, preservation,
and restoration according to the existing condition
of each individual building.
It is important to mention that this work should
include the building within its visual perspective
as well as its approaches. In general, the historical
buildings which have serious problems should be renovated,
repaired, preserved, and conserved according to the
availability of financial resources.
It is recommended to invest in these buildings as
profitable projects, each according to its nature and
capability, with regard to its original function, and with
certain limits in order to prevent the misuse of the
building and its deterioration. Also, it is important to
mention that in dealing with historical religious build-
ings, these specific issues should be borne in mind,
as follows:
- The historical building should not be subjected to any
- Prevent the transfer of any function"from any
historical religious building.
- Prevent any misuse affecting the historical religious
building, especially in regard to its culture and
- Provide these historical buildings with the necessary
infrastructure network on the basis of insuring it
from any sudden damage or accident.
''The Processing of Upgrading
The General Planning for Fatimid Cairo


Fatimid Cairo 969 1174
- Introduction
- The Site
- The City Function
- The City Planning
- The City Buildings
The Arabic City Style and Construction in Egypt

Fatimid Cairo 969 1174
Fatimid Cairo is considered the fourth capital
for Egypt after EL-Fustat, EL-Asker and EL-Kalah. It
was established by Gohar AL-Seqely during the Fatimid
Caliph AL-Moez Ledin Allah's period, and also to be a
capital for his kingdom. The new capital was estab-
lished in the same direction of the old capitals but
separated from the others.
It is called Cairo according to the star which
was visible in the sky of Cairo on the same night of
its founding. There are two periods for that time
that can be identified as follows:
1. The Strong and Developing Period
In this period, there were safety measures.
The army and navy were founded. This system
was successful. Also this stage had well-
developed economics in many fields such as
farming and international trading.
2. The Weakness Period
Within this period, the hungry and disorganized
people were spread all over the country. The
successors to the kings were transferred from
the kings to the ministers at a trial to help
the system to develop and to remain secure.
This economic and political frame combined to
establish and to develop a new Cairo.

The Site
AL-Fatimieen have chosen this site for their new
capital depending on safety factors and to establish a
new home for the successor. The first foundation for
the new Cairo was founded in July 969 by Gohar AL-
Seqely to the northeast of EL-Kalah (the old capital).
This site was desert land, the roads north, south,
east, west and northeast were passing by. The site
bordered from the east EL-Mokatum mountain and from
the west a river and farmlands. This site was two
kilometers from the Nile River, and its topography
is high to reach by river flood.

The City Function
The main function of establishing this new city
is to be a new home for. AL-Fatimid Caliph and also a
residence for him and his army. It is considered to be
a kingdom city surrounded by wall to assure its privacy.
The history which is told give the reasons which made
Gohar AL-Seqely surround the new campital by walls
1. The nature of the new successor which depended
on security
2. The influence of the Roman cities, especially
Gohar AL-Seqely originally Romanian
The wall which surrounded Cairo in the begin-
ning was including 340 Feddan, almost in a square
shape. This wall was wide and had four gates in
each side:
Northern Side Bab EL-Fotouh and Bab EL-Naser
Southern Side Two doors are Ziwalah
Eastern Side EL- Barkiah and EL-Gadied
Western Side EL-Kantrah and S'ahdah

The City Planning ^
The city itself has a grid of streets similar
to the Roman cities except some changing according to
the topography of the site. The city planning
assured the north south access (AL-Qasabah), that
beside other two parallel streets also from north to
south. In the other direction, from west to east,
there were secondary roads and streets. Around the
city was a great wall surrounding it and parallel to
its interior sides there were the interior pattern
The city shape arid construction was influenced
by its function as a center for successor and Islamic
city as follows:
- In the middle of the city there were two palaces.
Between them there was a large open space for
- In the east side of the city AL-Azher Mosque was
built as for the invocation. The harbor
was farther north of the city.
- The focal point of the city was the mosque and the
kingdom (Calipha) palaces all surrounded by wall.
The army resided there for protection. The total
area of the palaces was 70 Feddan with 20% from the
total area of the city which was 340 Feddan.
-^Cairo Establishment

The City Buildings
- Within AL-Fatimid period there were many buildings
established, all considered as very important
buildings functioning for this period, and the
majority of them still remain until this time and
are considered one of the methods to develop and
create the city.
- AL-Fatimid Cairo included four mosques in the
first time of an Islamic city development. These
mosques are AL-Azhar and AL-Akmar in downtown and
AL-Hakim Mosque in the north side. EL-Saleh Talah
is on the south side. AL-Azhar Mosque is considered
the first mosque in the city 970 972 which turned
out later to be the first Islamic University in
Egypt and in the Islamic world for scientists and
- The City wall. AL-Fatimid Cairo was the first
Islamic city with a wall as a new element for the
capital to protect and to give it privacy. There
were two walls surrounding Cairo. The first one
was built by Gohar AL-Seqely in the beginning of
the city, but it was tom down and the second
one was built by Bader EL-Dien AL-Gamaly to include
the increase of new Cairo, that beside the original

The Arabic City Style and
Construction in Egypt 1
Since the establishment of Cairo it is consi-
dered as a capital for the Islamic state in Egypt with
specific issues in its planning and development. These
issues were needed as a necessity for the time in which
it was built. The Islamic city in Egypt has its own
issues as follows:
In the General Planning
- The site of the city was chosen.according to its con-
nection between the regions around.
- The site of the city was chosen according to its con-
nection with the main access roads, water sources,
and the natural minerals.
- The site of the city was connected with the natural
defense elements such as mountains, rivers, and
desert and some others were built such as citadels,
walls, and gates.
- The relation between the city itself and its trading
and religious central was very clear so like to the
Caliph palace.
- The residential areas were concentrated around the
center of the city.
- The roads connected with the city entrances, general
buildings, centers, and residential areas.
- The main open spaces were planned as a center for
celebration and trading purposes.
The Residential Areas
The residential areas consisted of a number of
residential units. Each unit opened to one open space
or court which was used as public open space, multi-use,
and also each unit had its own walls and entrances. All
1-The Arabic Islamic City Planning

of these units opened to one large public open space
which, was the center of the city.
The Design of Units
The Islamic architecture had its own design
for the house which was applied to this period. This
design was a main court in the middle of the
buildings used for ventilation and lighting. This
helped to provide privacy and security for the house.
The Architectural Shape
The Arabic architecture in Egypt had its own
criteria especially in using minaret domes which
could be seen in almost all of the historical areas to
assure the function and purpose of its existence. The
building itself had ornamentation, mashrabiah arches
and Mokemassat, which is considered one of the Islamic
styles. In general that is considered the main lines
for the planning and design in Egypt, especially Cairo.


The Natural Construction of the Site
- The Site
- The Site Topography
- The Historical Site
- The Site Climate
- The Areas Around the Historical District
The Existing Condition
- The Present Land Use
- The Major Components of the District
- The General Services in the District
- The Educational Services
- The Social Services
- The General Street and Road Pattern in the District

The Natural Construction
of the Site
AL-Fatimid Cairo is considered as the center of
activities of the capital and Egypt. The major con-
struction and development concentrated in this area,
especially AL-Qasabah.
The Site
North Cairo wall from EL-Zafer Tower to Bab EL-Naser
South Zinhom hills to the monuments
East Drasah hills to Cairo wall and citadel
West EL-Kalig EL-Masri Street
According to the district to identify the site
is still difficult to put into a geographical limit
according to the mix between the area and areas around,
and also because of the development of the area which
happened many times without any planning.
The Site Topography
This part of town, considered as the east side
of the eastern hill, is of moderate height from east to
west and from south to north this moderate height is
considered normal good for the plains near to the valley
and the location of the site is two kilometers away from
the Nile.
The Historical Site
The area has 346 Islamic historical buildings.
The majority of these are concentrated in AL-Qasabah and
in the main streets of the area in groups flowing into
each other. The area is surrounded by walls from the
north and east sides. The Islamic monument groups are
considered 71.5% of the total Islamic buildings in all
of Cairo. These historical buildings are considered as
landmarks for the district to assure its historical

importance and development besides its personality
in general, such as domes of the minarets.
The Site Climate
The site climate is exactly the same as all of
the Mediterranean with the wind from the north
(Mediterranean Sea) with 31% angle to the northwest.
The direction of the buildings usually takes the north
east or west east according to the light of the loca-
tion. In general, the north east is the preferred
The Areas Around
the Historical District
The areas around the historical district are
considered as the general frame of the historical
district in its construction, function, and develop-
North: some industry, storage and sand hills
South: random residential area
East: EL-Drasah hills, green area, and police camps
West: old residential neighborhood
According to the 1982 survey, the majority of
the surrounding areas from north, south, and west are
in bad condition. The land use is a mix between random
residential areas, industry, and trade. Also there are
many hills around the area which is considered as a
source of sand and bad materials.

The Existing Condition
The majority of these historical buildings were
built within the same time of the city itself and other
buildings just built within the last two centuries.
Many of these buildings, especially those built recently,
are considered bad-conditioned buildings and the area
itself is considered as to remain behind area because of
the following:
- The majority of the buildings are in bad condition.
- The area has numerous buildings--overbuilding--which
led to a kind of uncontrol.
- The majority of the development and upgrading were
not serious enough.
- The overgrowth of the area without any plans.
- The site location of the area which is considered the
heart of new Cairo.
- The new unhealthy houses which take place of the old
houses with its green area.
In general the district is divided into slum areas,
blighted areas, less moderate areas, and moderate areas.
The Present Land Use
The district is still influenced by the functions,
uses, and activities of the old city and also because it
is considered in the heart of the new downtown Cairo, and
it is also included the religious center of the city
beside large residential area for one-half million inhabi-
tants and tourist trading markets, traditional manual
manufacture, some light industries, and a number of gener-
al public buildings--all mixed without any plans.
The Major Components of the District
- The historical, religious areas
- Residential areas, the major construction of the

- The trading and industry areas
- The general public buildings
The General Services in the District
Municipal Services and Public Utilities
The present municipal services and public
utilities are considered useless according to its age
(150 years). Street maintenance is almost non-
existent with no well-built streets and almost no light
stands. The public utilities such as sanitary sewage,
electricity, and water are in bad condition without
any rebuilding or development since its existence.
There are a number of buildings without water in 15%,
buildings without electricity in 25%, and buildings
without sanitary sewage, 30%.
The Educational Services
According to the government system in Egypt,
the government offered the schools in the primary
stage but, according to the overgrowth in population,
these schools work more than one time a day and
sometimes reach to three times a day for the school.
This is due to the huge number of students in the
area. School planning has not been done in the right
way. Secondary and professional education are not
available in the area.
The Social Services
The social services and entertainment are very
limited and useless in the area.
The General Street and Road
Pattern in the District
The streets and roads in the district are not
completed, not assured the general use in the area as
a whole that also beside it has a specific natural
difference than others in the city and there are no
direct connections between the district itself and the

The interior road patterns are considered the
main activity roads, but it is still very narrow and
not allowing for the access of fire equipment or other
services, because the majority of them were originally
pedestrian accesses.
In general, these roads have a very marvelous
historical building but in shape which does not
accommodate for its importance.


The Visual Construction and Analysis for the Site
The Visual Construction Elements
The Site Visual Component
The Arabic Street Visual Analysis
The Open Space Analysis of Bab EL-Naser and Wakalet
Qait-Bey (Applied Example of AL-Gammaliah Street)
The General Construction of Bab EL-Naser and Wakalet
Qait-Bey Open Space
The Entrance to Open Space
The Form and Meaning of Open Space
The Evaluation of Bab EL-Naser and Wakalet Qait-Bey
Open Space

The Visual Construction
and Analysis for the Site
The visual study for any element depending
on the human realization not his recognition of the
bad or beauty for things. The visual study helps
to identify and understand the nature of the element
around throughout its elements (constructions),
activities, and its relationships that lead to draw
a complete mental diagram for that element and
identify its personality. This kind of analysis
gives a specific identification for each element.
The visual analysis is considered to be one
of the important elements which helps in any
architectural project's success.

The Visual Construction Elements
Paths: Such moving lines as pedestrian, cars, etc.
It helps to identify different views through-
out the length of spaces.
Districts: Such easy areas to recognize its person-
ality and its identification because of its
specific social and visual elements.
Edges: It considers as borders between areas and
its strength as a border depending on how the
visual or movement could go through it. It is
also considered as horizontal continual lines.
Nodes: It is considered as a collection for the
movement and activities and it is an open
space usually in important place such as a
comer or square between roads.
Landmarks: It is a point to be considered as refer-
ence, identification, or site location to the
movement or place.

The Site Visual Component
The visual elements in the site are simple and easy
to recognize as follows:
Paths: The main access inside and around the
area, either for pedestrians or cars.
Districts: Such as EL-Sakah, EL-Mouski, Kan
EL-Kalili, EL-Fahamien and EL-
Edges: Such the northern and southern Cairo
Nodes: The main activities and movement squares
and open spaces.
Landmarks: The main important buildings and the
historical buildings.
Usually the path is considered as one of the important
visual elements because it is helpful in recognizing
the area as a whole and also because it usually
- Analysis for the street space and the activities
which occur within
- The analysis for the feeling with the landmarks
- Analysis for the movement
- A visual continuation
- The major visual elements analysis
- Solving for the visual problems.


At Principal Landmark Secondary Landmark
Jrrnnr Principal Edge tVMMHJftf Secondary Edge
Principal Path Secondary Path
% Principal Node O Secondary Node
Principal District
Inaccessible Area
Unidentified Area
Closed Area
Dead End
Separate Area
Secondary District
Secondary Approach
Main Approach
Closed Landmark

Continuous Circulation

Uncontinuous Path
Unidentified Path
Two-Way Direction
Unmarkable Open

Closed Directions
Narrow Entrance
Bad-Conditioned Building
Markable Building
One Main and
Secondary Path
Increase in Clarity
Due to Closeness
Decrease in Clarity
Due to Distance
Continuous Circulation
Decrease in Clarity
Landmark Due to

0F the SITE

a dM** *'*** J

a* a aaUlltftfttfih


The Arabic Street Visual Analysis
- The Arabic street is divided into parts each having
its own specific activities or landmarks, all connect-
ed throughout the movement within the street.
- The street has a moderate pyramid construction in
According to the Arabic construction of the street
(Melodic), inside the main parts of the street other
smaller parts and the same thing for the importance
of landmarks and that ensure the main important
landmarks could be seen from outside the areas which
foim the street and the less important landmarks
only could be seen from the area itself. That en-
sures the relation between each landmark and the
visual location depending on its importance. The
same relation exists also for the open spaces which
are considered as connecting points between areas.
- The street itself contains open spaces which within
activities are concentrated and occur. Each open
space has its own connected points. It is notice-
able that each open space is different than the
others according to its own nature and location. A
strong, clear, and assured movement from main open
space to another similar place. An easy and less
important views movement from secondary open space
to another similar one.
- Each building in the street respected and followed
the region system lines to the construction all in
continuous movement with different heights to assure
the general construction of the street which changes
its direction or views from one point to another.
Usually the main street is considered as the main
access for the movement, activities, and views.
The changing in the direction of the street
access usually occurs between the main points to
change the views or the open spaces.
- From the point of the main visual elements (path -
district edge node landmark), the visual

elements are well spaced in marble construction
with a beauty that would prevent boredom. The
landmarks and open spaces each in a good location
and the general construction of the street is easy
to feel it in both directions of the street from the
beginning of it. The introduction of the street
becomes more and more when you go farther in until
the main collection of activities and landmarks
appear. Then the visual construction of the street
becomes easier until you go out of it. This speci-
fic action is noticeable in almost all the Arabic
streets and it is called the "Melodic Structure."
Even that is noticeable for the landmarks and that
consider as a terrific beginning, introduction
showing the way in showing the landmark all over the
Arabic street. The visual construction of the. Ara-
bic street shows the strength of motion throughout
the direction and good choice of the landmark's

Principal £
Landmark A Wall
A Comer
Wall and
Visual View
in Section

The Open Space Analysis of
Bab EL-Naser and Wakalet
Qait Bey (Applied Example
of AL-Gammaliah Street) 1
AL-Gammaliah Street includes two main open spaces
(EL-Hossien and Bab EL-Naser) and two secondary
open spaces. These open spaces are considered as
connecting points between different areas of the
street. The open space in general includes three
main elements:
- The building shape which is the general shape of
walls, floors, and ceilings, and the feeling of
the scale and ratio between all elements.
- The activities such as people, cars, and the like.
- The interior component of the open space such as
trees, light stands, chairs, etc.
All of these elements are connected. The feeling
with the open space is changing in case one of the
elements is missing. As an example, in the shopping
area after working hours, the feeling is different
according for missing the activities of the people
shopping. That, besides other elements, should be
considered in an analysis of an open space such as
the entrances, scale, ratio, skyline and natural
elements such as trees and fountains. In general,
the success of design of open space depends on
creating the right feeling for the people
by giving general shape matching its activities.
lAlam EL-Bena, 1983. Issue #37.
International Architecture Magazine, 1984. Issue

The General Construction
of Bab-EL-Naser and Wakalet
Qait-Bey Open Space
The open space in the front of Bab-EL-Naser and Wakalet
Qait-Bey, the humans recognize it as a rectangular open
space connected by a small open space as trap and all
surrounding by the northern Cairo wall from north and
east side, Wakalet Qait-Bey from west, and bad-condi-
tioned buildings from south.
Because of these buildings which have different
styles in general than the area prevent from creating
a complete image for the area. The nature of the open
space is to assure the northern entrance to the area
from Bab EL-Naser and Wakalet Qait-Bey. This is con-
sidered a monumental open space.

The Entrance to Open Space
The open space in front of Bab EL-Naser and
Wakalet Qait-Bey has three entrances; each has its
own character. In the south the street has a slant
concavity to give the sense of the introduction to
an entrance and that is considered one of the methods
used to create a successful entrance.
The north side The entrance through Bab EL-Naser is
considered as a switch point from the
outside open space to the inside open
space surrounded by walls. From the
front of the gate itself the view of
the inside open space can be seen
which is considered as an introduction
to the area inside.
The east side According to the random buildings
which were built at different times,
all make the entrance of this side
missing its importance.

Analysis of
a Visual

The Form and Meaning
of Open Space
The form and meaning of the open space could
be translated to the human knowledge with the different
feelings of the open-space personality such as the
northern and southern entrances which give the intro-
duction and prepare for the entrance--especially the
southern gate which gives the curious feeling to dis-
cover what this open space leads to. The northern
gate makes one concentrate for the entrance then gives
the aim of it when one passes it. In general the
human needs a strong framework for the open space which
changes depending on the distance more detailed,
closer. All of that gives a sense of intricacy and
vulgarity. Besides the sense of safety inside because
of the strong, frame and its beauty ratio between
heights and the width of the open space that assure the
feeling of safety and belonging.

The Evaluation of
Bab EL-Naser and
Wakalet Qait-Bey
Open Space
This open space is considered one of the open
spaces which has a specific style in its shape and
entrances according to its effects on the human sense
when it is seen. That leads to points that should be
studied to give rebirth to the original meaning and
form of that open space.
- Remove the random buildings inside the open space
that will lead to the original feeling with it as
one unit and gives the feeling of monumental space
and entrance to AL-Gammaliah district. That also
creates a link between the other open spaces to
create larger views of freedom and safety. These
buildings should be replaced with a landscape
plan which will give more connection between the
natural materials and the original materials.
- The back view through Bab EL-Naser should be
treated in a different way, at least in which con-
cern is felt about the facade to give it the style
which will match with the other original views.
- It is recommended to create a landmark on the south-
ern entrance which will give the sense of direction
in the open space ground which will assure entrance
and exit and also that will go by help of the in-
terior furniture such as stand lights and trees.
It is also recommended to treat the back open space
(trap) in different ways in order to create a back
entrance for AL-Hakim Mosque that will help in giv-
ing a visual function purpose for that open space.
- It is recommended also to have studies for the
eastern entrance after removal of the bad-condi-
tioned buildings according to its location and imp-
ortance which is a vertical access to Wakalet
Qait-Bey, the important building in this open space
and also to assure the visual view of it.

Ref. (Alam EL-Bena -
Int. Arch. Magazine)
Analysis of the
Principal Visual Elements
Analysis of
Visual Problems

Sense of Movement, So. No. Direction
Sense of Movement, No. So. Direction
Sense of View, No. So. Direction

Ref. (Alam EL-Bena -
Int. Arch. Magazine)


The Improvement and Upgrading of the Historical Areas
The Objective and Steps of the Upgrading and Improve-
ment Project
The General Methods to Achieve the Objective
The Original Principal Elements for the Site Upgrad-
ing Process
The Main Objective of Upgrading and Improvement of
the Northern Part of the Site
The Main Methods for Economic Replanning the
Primary Stage of the Site Upgrading
The General Objectives of Upgrading and Developing
the Area

The Improvement and
Upgrading of the
Historical Areas
The General Principles
The improvement and upgrading for the site
is considered to be one of the improvement and upgrading
plans for the improvement of Cairo, the city itself.
Before starting the work of upgrading the area, there
first must be a recognition of the main elements and
principles of construction for the area that will lead
to evaluate and to identify the methods and the ways
which will help in upgrading the area. That is not
because this area was influenced by the negative
effects which led to overgrowth of the area, but because
it had urbanization sources which had to conserve and
preserve not only for our time but also for the next
generation. It is also considered an important part
of the nation's income from the aspect of tourism.
The site is surrounded by similar areas which make of
it a central focus for all the activities occurring
The district area is approximately
3,388,000 m^, and it has 300,000 inhabitants
according to the survey of 1982. According to the
land-use map, the district is not only a residential
area, but it also has other activities connected with
the residential area such as the trading of goods
which itself has its own historical roots; namely:
- Public fabric industry and trade
- Valuable metal manufacture and trade
- Tourist production area
According to the 1982 survey, as a result of
the overgrowth of the area without pre-planning, the
lack of plans led to the downfall of the whole area
and that influenced the activities that occurred within
the buildings' conditions:

- 85% bad-conditioned buildings
- 10% moderate-conditioned buildings
5% fair-conditioned buildings
Also, 77.3% from the built-up mass without sanitary
sewage is noted and 2.6% from the built-up mass without
any utilities. Some of the important activities in
the area had decreased, disappeared, and were disor-

The Objective and Steps
of the Upgrading and
Improvement Project
The main objective of this project is to
improve and upgrade the area in order to preserve
the historical Islamic monuments and also to improve
the tourist activities in this area. This will occur
throughout the upgrading project which has an economic
and social improvement. To reach this improvement,
there must be specific action to identify the steps
of the improvement, upgrading and development project
that leads us to three alternatives, as follows:
The First Alternative
Divide the site into equal parts. Start the
improvement and upgrading in the part which can be
improved easily and at relatively low cost for the
utilities and other different'surfaces, and also in the
part which will readily be observed as a recent
improvement. This alternative is very simple and gives
the opportunity for the achievement of goals, and it
is not too expensive, especially for the limitation of
the available sources. On the other hand, it has a
limitation for its improvement and upgrading for the
whole parts.
The Second Alternative
Divide the site into parts each having certain
principal activities such as tourist trade. These
activities will be considered as focal points which will
influence the improvement and upgrading work in the
surrounding area. These focal points might be his-
torical or religious buildings, or just central econ-
omic activities. Begin the upgrading work from a
specific focal point which will have more influence on
the surrounding parts than other points.
This alternative works to increase and to
speed up the results of the improvement and upgrading
plans but, at the same time, it does not have the

large-scale base plans that make the work not diffi-
cult to improve and upgrade specific parts only and
leave the others untouched.
The Third Alternative
Divide the site into parts based on equal ele-
ments not area. These elements could be various econ-
omic activities. Start in a moderate way the improvement
and upgrading plans in large-scale work in circle shapes
or from North to South, and the like.
This alternative considers as a general plan
for a large-scale improvement and upgrading of plans
which have a social and economic base. Also, according
to this alternative, divide, the district around EL-Moez
into parts from North to South and begin the plan work for
improvement and upgrading with the part which has almost
all the activities occurring, especially the tourist
activity. Then consider a testing plan for the whole
area and, according to these results, the plans for
other parts can-start its improvement and upgrading

The General Methods to
Achieve the Objective
The main plan for the site improvement has a
general line and other more specific for the primary im-
provement and upgrading plans to begin with the lines as
- Supply the whole area with the utilities and public
- Develop the main economic activities in the area,
especially the activities which have more attraction
for tourists, that will be a support and supply
them with the financial aid they need.
- Create entertainment and cultural places in the
tourist sectors of the area, especially in those which
have more historical buildings, and upgrade the
traditional, tourist manufacture of goods, and con-
centrate this upgrading in Kan EL-Kalile part accord-
ing to its tourist importance in the area.
- General upgrading work for the residential and
buildings that will be a result of the improvement
and upgrading for the building itself.
- Transfer the activities which have a negative
effect on the area in general and the upgrading
work, especially, to another place having similar

Hie Original Principal
Elements for the Site
Upgrading Project
The primary plan work_:for improvement and
upgrading will be in the northern part of the site
according to its tourist importance and also because
it has the original principal elements of the whole
area which will help afterwards to have a continua-
tion to the other parts of the district.
The total area of the project area is 33
Feddan with 4% of the total area of the district.
This area has been chosen according to its histori-
cal importance, because it has numerous historical
buildings within which occupy 251 of the total area
of the project. The built-up mass is 18.5 Feddan
with 56.2% of the total area of the project. The
total area of the roads is 6 Feddan with 18% of the
total area of the project.

General Use Total Area in Feddan %
Residential 9 45.30
Education 1.2 7.7
Retail 1.3 7.9
Industrial 2.5 13.50
Retail § Industrial 0.5 2.70
Retail § Residential 3.0 16.30
Empty Land 1.0 7.6
Total 18.5 100
Table 1 Built-up Mass Land Use
Condition Total Area Total Number
Feddan % Number %
Good 4.1 22.2 70 15.3
Moderate 4.7 25.4 107 23.3
Bad 8.2 44.3 250 54.6
Empty 1.5 8.1 31 6.8
Total 18.5 100 458 100
Table 2 The Building Condition
According to the last survey, the utilities and
public service are in very bad condition. Almost 77.3%
of the total built-up mass is without sanitary sewage
water and 2.6% without any of the sanitary sewage water
and utilities. Only 7.9% of the total built-up mass is
with utilities and public service.
Main The Built-Up Mass Workers
Activity Number % Number %
Work Shop 61 39.1 191 55.5
Manufacture 54 34.6 97 28.2
Production 24 15.4 31 9.0
Temporary Production 17 10.9 25 7.3
Total 156 100 344 100
Table 3 The Main Activities in the Area

According to the survey, almost all the
activities are depending on manual manufacture and
all have problems of getting the materials and low-
level productions. Also, it is noticeable that these
activities occur in an area either residential or
historical, and there are no tourist activities occur-
ring in that area such as restaurants services.

The Main Objective of
Upgrading and Improvement
of the Northern Part
of the Site
According to the framework of the improvement
and upgrading for the site, there are some principles
that have to be followed depending on the survey for
the area to achieve the objectives of the primary stage
of the project which is the increase of the social and
economic levels and residential and tourist services.
These principles will help to preserve and to protect
the original tradition and heritage of the area which
will lead to help the self-improvement work on other
parts of the district. This will have a positive effect
on the main objectives to improve and to upgrade the
site as all-encompassing.
The main purpose, then, is to achieve the ob-
jectives of the redevelopment of the area depending
on reorganizing the original activities in a new way
and supplying the area with the necessary utilities and
public services and improvement of the residential

The Main Methods for
Economic Replanning
The Primary Stage of
the Site Upgrading
Tourist Activities
According to the original principal elements
of the area, the primary stage will have a big influ-
ence on the improvement and upgrading of the site.
This area has numerous historical buildings of differ-
ent kinds such as: EL-Hakim Mosque, Cairo Wall, and
Wakalet Qait-Bey. That means there are many tourist
activities that can be used in a way to enhance the
economic activities as well for the whole area itself
to achieve the goals.
To redevelop and replan this area to achieve the
goals, it has to replace the activities in the area
around EL-Hakim Mosque with other activities having
positive effects on the historical buildings such as
restaurants, hotels, souvenir shops, industry sample
to produce the traditional materials and manual carpet
besides training for some traditional manufacture which
the tourists like. All of this will serve the tourist
visitors to the area.
Included in this plan is the replacement of
the area around the Cairo Wall with a green area and
some tourist restaurants, transfer Wakalet Qait-Bey to
tourist hotel, and EL-Sihemi house to cultural
central and hotel--all to achieve the goals of this
historical area.

Economic Activities
The tourist activities cannot be achieved
without economic activities to help each other to
achieve the principal goal which is to increase the
income for the residents on a solid social and
economic base. That will need a matching atmosphere
for these activities and the negative activities such
as the metal industry and others that have to be moved
and replaced with others having a positive effect on
the area. These could include: financial services,
banks, some manual manufacture, and showrooms to create
a kind of economic completeness.

Resident Activities
The residential sector is considered as one of
the principal elements of the improvement and upgrading
plans. The main goal from that is to upgrade the resi-
dential level on the unit level base to make it able
to offer the quality of the residents needs. This
should be done in a way that covers all the necessary
entertainment, cultural, and general services needs
with a good ratio for living on the residential unit
level and the general residential level standard to
achieve the needs of the individual in the unit.
According to the survey, the moderate-condi-
tioned buildings need upgrading and 25% of the bad-
conditioned buildings, which is 41% of the total
built-up mass, could be upgraded and 7% of it must be
removed. The same holds true for the empty land which
occupies 8% of the total area. According to the total
area of the project, one-third of the total area needs
to be rebuilt depending on specific economic and
social levels according to the social studies for the
- Decrease the number of residents in the residential
- Create attractive points outside the district to
live in (according to the social studies for the
area, there is a high percentage of families which
have increased income and a willingness to move to
other neighborhoods with higher living level. This
matches with the needs to remove the residential
area around the Cairo Wall to replace it with a
green area.) In the beginning, there must be
other residential units for these families to live
in temporary buildings or historical buildings. Ac-
cording to the nation's urbanization plans project,
the total inhabitants in the area in 2000 will be
1,357,000 inhabitants. Depending on 800 inhabi-
tants/Acc there are 64,000 inhabitants over the
available sources for the district. The total area
of the primary stage of the improvement and
upgrading project of the area is 33 Feddan, and the

residential area occupies 27% or 9 Feddan depending on
336 inhabitants/Feddan density that leads us to only
3000 inhabitants for the primary stage. That can put
the framework of the utilities and public services
need for a number of units.

Income/Month Number %
Less than 501.E 67 11.61
501. E 98 16.98
75 96 16.64
100 76 13.17
125 57 9.88
150 62 10.75
175 36 6.24
200 53 9.19
225 5 0.87
250 27 4.88
Total 577 100
Table 4 Income Levels in the Area
Class (Accord- ing to Income) Area/Unit 2 m Cost/m^ in L.E. Unit Price %
High Class of Moderate Income 120 150 18,000 15
Moderate-Income Class 100 120 12,000 35
Low- Income Class 80 100 8,000 50
Table 5 The Requirement Seeking for Residential Unit
From the chart of the income levels, it must be a
kind of economic housing the price range between 8,000
L.E. to 18,000 L.E. depending on some support.

The Public Utilities
Without the completeness of a public utilities
there is no improvement or upgrading for the project.
The area needs replanning in the entrances and roads and
efficiency of the connection of roads between each
historical part. There are not enough parking areas.
To improve and upgrade the historical parts in the area,
there must be enough electricity and water sources which
are important for creating cultural and tourist centers.
The parking areas should be outside the area and should
make an access for the public services such as support-
ing the area with a self-fire system.
Requirements of electricity and water will need
another station for each as for roads, parking, and
public service. Some of the old existing utilities will
have to be brought into service to decrease the cost.

The General Objectives of
Upgrading and Developing
the Area
- The conservation and preservation of the historical
buildings to assure the historical value in the
- Upgrade and develop the area with the same style of
its nature to match with the original historical
- Upgrade the general living level of the district
with accommodating public services and needs for all
the residents


Introduction to the Site
Existing Conditions of the Site
The General Framework of the Improvement and
Upgrading for the Site

Introduction to the Site
The site is located in the heart of the his-
torical Islamic region of Cairo. It is known as
Fatimid Cairo or medieval Cairo. Fatimid Cairo was
established in 969 by Gohar AL-Seqely during the Fati-
mid Caliph AL-Moez Ledin Allah's period.
After four centuries it became the heart of
Cairo and the center for all activities and civiliz-
ation, especially during the 14th century. The site
is surrounded by walls and gates: Badr EL-Jamali
walls including Bab EL-Nasr and Bab EL-Fotouh to the
north, the citadel to the south, AL-Darrasah hills to
the east, and Port Said and Mohammed Ali Street to
the west. It is divided by AL-Azhar Street from east
to west.
According to the recent survey, it is noted
that its population amounted to half a million. The
total area is 847 acres.
The site location itself is in the middle of
old cemeteries and it is defined from the center of
Cairo by Port Said Street. The urban pattern of the
area is built along the north-south spine of AL-Moez
Ledin Allah Street. Also, the main activities in the
area occur in AL-Qasabah area which is defined by
AL-Moez Ledin Allah Street and AL-Gammaliah Street.
Within this area of AL-Qasabah, a variety of activi-
ties are concentrated, such as commercial, economic,
and social; there are also historical buildings and
some light industries and handicrafts.
Because of the existence and concentration of
handicraft clusters within the site, the economic pat-
tern was characterized by that existence, such as
coppersmiths, tentmakers, goldsmiths, etc.
The historical buildings within the site
cover about 44 acres, which equals 7% of the built-
up area, which totals about 614 acres. The land-use
pattern is usually mixed, with handicraft and commercial

industries on the ground and first-floor levels while
the residential section is on the top levels.
It is noted from the physical survey that al-
most 85% of the existing buildings are in very bad
condition. Also it is noted that there is a lack of a
proper infrastructure network. The existing public
services and utilities are deteriorating rapidly and
drastically affecting the existing buildings, especially
the historical buildings. Also it is noted that the
social services do not satisfy the existing popula-
tions needs and requirements.
The recent survey in 1982 indicated that the
total population of the site was 300,000 inhabitants
with an average density of 857 persons/ha. It is
worth mentioning that this population is usually
doubled during the religious festivals.
Within the last few decades there were many ur-
ban changes which took place, which had negative
effects on the area, especially on the green patches
and gardens. Almost all of this was replaced by in-
formal housing and poor housing to accommodate the
needs for housing on the part of the low-income mi-
grants. As a result, the original inhabitants left to
live in the outskirts, which led to change in the social
structure of the area, with an accompanying change in
the land-use pattern. Eventually, that led to nega-
tive effects on the surrounding environment.

Existing Conditions
of the Site
The site has almost 25.8% of the total area. It
includes several important buildings, such as the northern
Cairo wall, Bab EL-Fotouh, Bab AL-Nasr, AL-Hakim Mosque,
Beit AL-Sehimi, Sabil AL-Selehedar, AL-Selehedar Mosque,
Sabil Kottab Auda Pasha and others. The land-use
pattern in the area is greatly inter-meddled.
The built-up mass represents 44.2% of the urban
bulk. The residential pure use mass represents 39.4%
of the urban bulk. The remaining area of the built-up
mass, which constitutes 7.3%, is mainly vacant land and
ruins. The commercial and industrial use, in compari-
son to the residential use, represents 78.1% of the total
area for the ground level, and 39.25% on the first level,
and 9% for higher stories.
The building conditions within the site are
greatly varied between bad-conditioned buildings, 44.3%;
moderate-conditioned buildings, 25.4%; and good-
conditioned buildings, 22.5% of the total built-up
mass. The average height for buildings is two stories,
representing 50.8% of the total built-up mass. The
existence of sanitary sewage and potable water network
covers only 77.3%. 12.2% are deprived of both in the
total built-up mass. The whole area is covered by the
electricity network. The majority of existing buildings
use brick and Wood as building construction materials
in the area. The building construction systems within
the area vary, with 24% being the skeleton type, and
11.5% being the wall-bearing type in the total built-
up mass.
It is noted that the occupancy rate ranges from
1-6 persons per 1 room, with an average of 2.36 persons
per 1 room. Also, the gross density is 203 persons/
Feddan. More than one family shares the same dwelling
unit. The average was 1.14 family/unit to 1.47 family/
unit, with an occupancy of 1.81 person/room for an
average unit size of 2.8 rooms/unit.
It is noted throughout the survey that the larger
sector of the inhabitants are not among the low-income

sector because of the diversity between income levels,
which vary between 185 L.E./month and 70 L.E./month.
This disregards any side income for the family as the
result of one of its members working.
It is to be noted that there are several com-
mercial, crafts, and industrial activities that were
established in the area in the form of junior com-
panies and associations, with a considerably few number
of working staff members. Also, the area includes
other activities appropriate to its historic and civi-
lizational character, such as handicrafts and traditional
industries. But, on the other hand, there are also
some activities which have negative effects on the
area, such as the garlic markets, warehouses, and metal



Built-Up Masses