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Economic and Ecological Partnership Revitalizing Urban Slums: A Case Study of Cairo

Shabnam Lutafali, Faiza Khoja


The thesis of this article is to highlight the individual, communal, and environmental benefits achieved when there is synergy between economy and ecology and with institutions of civil society acting as catalyst. We explicate this phenomenon by conducting a case analysis on ‘Al-Azhar Park’ and its surrounding historic city of Darb-Al-Ahmar and the adjoining Ayyubid Wall in Cairo. The Park has been established with the notion that landscape and green spaces can play a critical role in establishing a healthy balanced ecosystem in an urban environment that is necessary for physical and psychological health of the community. But equally important is the sustainable regeneration of old habitation and socio-economic development of the local populous. Through this project, public and private sector resources and services became available to the impoverished Caironeesas, and the project has fostered human capital by investing in their cultural heritage. This case study is a testimony to a potent idea of urban renewal, conceived and sustained by creative engagement of human and natural resources as well as public-private partnerships. This Economic and Ecological partnership is a success story that should be carefully studied and evaluated for implementation in other urban centers under duress.


Basic Needs Approach, Ecology, Human and natural resource management, Microfinance and Poverty, Urban revitalization

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