Upgrading Downtown Cairo towards friendly mobility

Joao Nunes, Inaki Zoilo, Tiago Torres-Campos, Berta Sanz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This paper addresses the challenge of proposing new standards in Downtown Cairo towards innovative, friendlier and more sustainable mobility.
Cairo emerges as one of the main Mediterranean megalopolis, with fundamental geo-positions at national, regional and global levels. Over the last decades, the city has been growing more rapidly than its infrastructural and mobility services, and most attempts to correct its mobility systems may have arrived too late, sometimes even with serious environmental and social repercussions.
Sustainable mobility models arise in this research as integrated approaches where mobility, public space and appropriation mechanisms evolve in profound interrelation. In this context, the concept of ‘shared-space’ is proposed as an operational methodology which promotes the coexistence of mixing fluxes at very low speeds.
Mobility can reorganise Downtown Cairo’s urban perimeter, by redefining the relations between pedestrians, private and public transports, public space and green structure. One believes that it can actually enhance the quality of the urban environment by creating more efficient urban fluxes.
This research is part of a wider masterplan, presented in an international competition sponsored by the Government of Cairo for the entire Downtown upgrade. It is a challenge to demonstrate city’s historical value as a boosting factor for friendlier urban living, higher-quality public spaces’ conditions and tourism.
The proposed methodology deepens the study of mobility’s expression in different operative scales, seeking connections and defining main strategies to promote new solutions in public spaces and transport networks.
Though recognizing the importance of policy makers and public opinions in such wide urban innovations, this paper demonstrates the importance of cohesive systematized solutions, both in architecture and landscape architecture terms, for bold solutions in historical cities. Downtown Cairo can be considered as a leading space for implementing innovative solutions which could be replicated in other places in Greater Cairo.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationURBENVIRON Annual Conference Proceedings
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventURBENVIRON CAIRO 2011 - 4 th International Congress on Environmental Planning and Management - Cairo, Egypt
Duration: 10 Dec 201113 Dec 2011


ConferenceURBENVIRON CAIRO 2011 - 4 th International Congress on Environmental Planning and Management


  • Downtown Cairo
  • Green structure
  • Public space
  • Shared space
  • Sustainable mobility


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