Understanding everyday homes of urban communities: the case of local streets (hawari) of old Cairo

Abdelmonem, M.G. ORCID: 0000-0002-8271-0924, 2011. Understanding everyday homes of urban communities: the case of local streets (hawari) of old Cairo. Journal of Civil Engineering and Architecture, 5 (11), pp. 996-1010. ISSN 1934-7359

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This paper aims at investigating architectural and urban heritage from the socio-cultural point of view, which stands on the human asset of traditional sites such as the hawari of old Cairo. It analyzes the social practice of everyday life in one of the oldest Cairene hawari, Haret al-Darb al-Asfar. The focus is on architectural and spatial organization of outdoor and indoor spaces that
coordinate the spatial practices of local community. A daily monitoring of people’s activities and interviews was conducted in an investigation of how local people perceive their built environment between the house’s interior and the outdoor shared space. It emerges that people construct their own field of private spheres according to complex patterns of daily activities that are not in line with the classical segregation between private and public in Islamic cities. This paper reports that the harah is basically a construct of social spheres that are organized spatially by the flexible development of individual buildings over time and in response to changes in individuals’ needs and capabilities. In order to achieve sustainability in old urban quarters, the paper concludes, the focus should be directed towards the local organization of activities and a comprehensive upgrading of deteriorating buildings to match the changing needs of current population.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Civil Engineering and Architecture
Creators: Abdelmonem, M.G.
Publisher: David Publishing Company
Date: November 2011
Volume: 5
Number: 11
ISSN: 1934-7359
Divisions: Schools > School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment
Record created by: Jill Tomkinson
Date Added: 12 Jun 2017 13:25
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2017 13:25
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/30939

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