Urban  Morphology  
A  Dichotomy  Between  Conservation  &   Transformation  
Word  Count:  10,596  Words              

Farida  Farag  
A  dissertation  submitted  in  partial  fulfillment  of  the  requirements  for  the   MSc  Building  and  Urban  Design  in  Development   5th  of  September  2011       Development  Planning  Unit   University  College  London  

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YOUR NAME: Farida Farag MSC PROGRAMME: Building and Urban Design in Development SIGNATURE: DATE: 5th of September 2011


Table  of  Content


List  of  Figures   Acknowledgements   Abstract   Introduction     Understanding  Urban  Form  
Urban  Form  as  Spatial  Text   Body  and  Space  Experience  

iv   v   vi   7   9  
9   12  

2.1   2.2    

3.1   3.2   3.3   3.4   3.5   3.6    

Between  Conservation  and  Transformation    
Power:  How  It  Manifests   Land  as  Commodity   Heritage  as  Commodity     Identity  as  Commodity     Time  as  Morphogenetic     Conclusion  


16   18   18   19   20   24  

4.1   4.2   4.3    

Case  of  Contested  Cairo  
Period  of  Colonialism   Period  of  Socialism   Period  of  Neoliberalism    


28   30   34  


Conclusion   References  and  Bibliography  

38   40


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List  of  Figures  
  Figure  1:  Land-­‐use  of  Birmingham  in  1995  of  the  Edwardian  fringe  b elt.       Figure  2:  V iew  north  towards  the  city  center  of  Birmingham  across  part      of  the  Edwardian  fringe  b elt.   12   22     28   29   30  

Figure  3:  Ismail’s  Cairo  1869-­‐1870,  view  of  the  n ew  city  west  of  old  city.       Figure  4:  Contrast  b etween  Cairo  and  Paris  Hausmannian  Town  Plans.     Figure  5:  Cairo  in  1993,  with  Ismail’s  city  in  the  center,  showing  expansions      and  city  boundaries  of  successive  generations.     Figure  6:  Mugamaa  in  Tahrir  Square.       Figure  7:  Greater  Cairo,  showing  new  settlements  a nd  new  cities  expanding     into  peripheral  locations.       Figure  8:  Housing  Estate  in  6th  of  October  City.      

31   34  


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  This   has   been   a   great   challenging   experience,   which   wouldn’t   have   been   possible   if   it   weren’t   for   the   people   that   have  supported  me  throughout  this  year.     I  would  like  to  thank  all  the  DPU  associates   for   this   great   opportunity   and   valuable   experience.   Special   thanks   to   Dr.   Camillo   Boano   for   his   great   support   and   valuable   feedback   during   this   dissertation   and   throughout  this  entire  year.     I   would   also   like   to   thank   my   parents   and   my   brother   for   their   continuous   love,   support   and   inspiration.   I   wouldn’t   be   here   if  it  weren’t  for  them.   Last  but  not   least,  I   would   like   to  thank  my   BUDD   colleagues   who   have   become   my   family  this  past  year.  I  am  grateful  for  all  the   good   and   stressful   times   we   have   shared   both   in   London   and   in   Bangkok.

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  The   urban   realm   is   a   powerful   educational   technique   and   space   for   investing   with   cultural   ideology.   However   it   is   a   space   for   socio-­‐spatial   conflict   pushing   cities   against   organic   growth   creating   gaps   and  

fragmentations   in   the   understanding   of   space.   This   paper   will   discuss   the   use   of   urban   morphology   as   a   method   to   contextualizing   the   complexity   of   urban   form   to   illustrate   how   physical,   social   and   symbolic   configurations   developed   through   time.   It   will   illustrate   how   this   historico-­‐ geographic   approach   can   highlight   growing   tensions,   and   drive   conservation   initiatives   promoting   socio-­‐spatial   integration   and   cultural   identity.   The   case   of   Cairo   will   be   used   contrasting   three   different   time   periods   to   illustrate   how   these   tensions   manifested   in   urban   space   through   history   and   contributed   to   a   growing   socio-­‐spatial   divide  and  fragmented  national  identity.    

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  “If   a   place   can   be   defined   as   relational,   historical   and   concerned   with   identity,   then   a   space   which   cannot   be   defined   as   relational   or   historical,   or   concerned   with   identity   will   be   a   non-­‐place   (Auge,   1996   cited  in  Dovey,  1999,  p.50).     The   urban   realm   is   a   product   of   layers   of   successive   generations   leaving   traces  

modern   development   as   destruction   with   change,   as   it   does   not   consider  the   creation   of  wholeness  and  rather  creates  incoherent   townscape   elements   leading   to   chaos   (1987).   This   mode  of  d evelopment  displaces   people  from  social  space  into  a  hierarchical   social   structure,   treating   past   and   existing   townscapes   as   wastage.   The   urban   realm   therefore   becomes   a   location   for   socio-­‐ spatial   conflict   over   the   use,   function   and   meaning  of  space,   where  the  new   meaning   is   the   absence   of   meaning   based   on   experience   (Castells   2003a,   2003b).  

embedded  in   the  urban  fabric.  As  it  frames   the  construct   of  meaning,   which  we   read   as   spatial   text   (Dovey,   1999),   it   acts   as   a   document  holding  h istoric   value  of  a  certain   society   in   geography   and   time.   Those   palimpsests   are   important   for   a   wider   understanding   of   urban   space,   as   it   represents  the  process  of  the  production  of   space   driven   by   social   patterns   in   history.   Blaut  explains  space  as  “a  relation  between   events   or   an   aspect   of   events,   and   thus   bound   to   time   and   process”   (cited   in   Madanipour,   1996,   p.6).   However,   to   what   degree   are   these   processes   considered   in   urban   development?   As   some   undergo   partial   or   complete   redevelopment,   urban   heritage   is   subject   for   removal,   loss   or   distortion,   as   other   forces   govern   urban  

Consequently,   a   huge   gap   emerges   that   hinders  the  u nderstanding  of  space.       Lefebvre   highlights   the   importance   of   a   dynamic   view   of   urban   space   to   address   urban   change   by   “integrating   a   time   dimension   into   the   process   of   spatial   change,   rather   than   only   focusing   on   a   particular   place   or   a   single   moment   in   this   process”   (Lefebvre,   1991   cited   in  

Madanipour,   2006,   p.   174).   As   this   offers   a   holistic   understanding   of   space,   it   defines   space   in   terms   of   its   historic   process.   The   following   chapters  will  consider  a  historico-­‐ geographical   approach   underlying   the   importance   of   integrating   time   to   a   socio-­‐ spatial  process.  According  to   Madanipour,   it   is   integrating   time   and   process   that  

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unleashes   the   gaps   and   fragmentations   that   hinder  the  understanding  of  space  ( 1996).     As   cities   are   seen   as   organisms,   urban   morphology  is  the  study  of  the   mutation  of   form   over   time.   It   is   the   study   of   the   evolutionary   process   of   the   urban   realm,   where   social   patterns   develop   form   and   construct  meaning  that’s  deeply  embedded   in   cultural   tradition   (Moudon,   1997).   It   contextualizes   the   complexity   of   urban   form,   while   highlighting   the   growing   tensions   that   molded   today’s   cities.   In   addition   to   being   used   as   a   tool   to   explore   the   descriptive   and   analytical   realm   of   urban   form,   it   provides   insight   into   the   normative   realm   for   a   cohesive   and   continuous   city   that   builds   upon   its   own   successions   rather   than   recreating   rootless   urban  spaces  (Vance,  1990).  This  framework   acts   as   a   basis   of   conservation   initiatives,   where   future   development   uses   past   as   a   reference   point   to   emphasize   the  



psychological   need   to   belong   in   time   and   space,   while   enhancing   the   interaction   between   body   and   space   for   socially   and   culturally   integrative   townscapes.   Finally,   this   paper   will   use   contrasting   cases   to   illustrate   how   these   growing   tensions   manifest   in   the   urban   form,   creating   gaps   and  fragmentations  in  urban  space.  

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contextualizing   the   process   of   formative   growth,   successions,   transformations,  

Understanding   Urban  Form  
  “During   the   life   of   any   society   in   fixed   geographical   location   its   past   and   present   experiences   thoughts   actions   and   behavior   patterns   and   aspirations   accumulate   to   form   the   distinctive   heritage   of   its   spiritual   possessions.   It   influences   its   actions   as   a   particular   society   in   a   particular   place   or   region   constituting   an   important   historical   factor”  (Conzen  2004,  p.39).     According   to   M.R.G   Conzen,   layers   of   different   periods   in   time   turn   townscapes   into   palimpsests   of  past  societies   that  have   left   their   morphological   record   embedded   in   urban   form.   However,   these   urban   documents   are   constantly   replaced   by   modernizing   efforts   and   thus   lose   interpretation   through   time   (2004).   As   he   explains   the   importance   of   reading   heritage,   his   attempts   to   study   urban   spaces  and  the  forces  that  contributed  to   its   production   are   based   on   this   historico-­‐ geographical   approach   to   physical   form,   where   his   main   focus   of   his   analysis   is   morphogenetic,   highlighting   major   physical   and   social   transformations   over   time   (Conzen,   1981a).   This   approach   focuses   on  

cycles,   decays,   catastrophes,   and   shifting   functions   (Kropf,   2001).   Conzen   further   highlights   that   a   formative   process   cannot   be   adequately   investigated   without  

considering   the   town   plan,   building   fabric,   and   land-­‐use   patterns,   as   they   form   a   holistic   understanding   of   urban   growth   (2004).   In   addition,   these   townscape   aspects   highlight   the   contrast   between   planned  and  unplanned   growth,  establish  a   body   and   space   relationship   that   enhances   well-­‐being,   reflect   the   genius   loci,   and   finally   illustrate   social   patterns   in   space   as   they   manifest   in   the   urban   realm   and   govern   social   behavior   (2004).   This   approach   therefore   aims   to   find   physical   and   spatial   cues   from   the   built   townscape   to   explore   physical,   social   and   symbolic   configurations   over   time,   which   will   be   explored  in  the  following  s ections.      

Urban  Form  as  Spatial  Text  
  According   to   Conzen,   the   character   of   the   place   created   as   a   product   of   time   and   people   is   reflected   upon   the   town   and   forms   layers   of   historical   eras   or  

palimpsests   of   successive   generations   (2004;   Larkham,   2005).   Urban   morphology  

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focuses   most   of   its   analysis   on   direct   observation   of   the   urban   realm   through   analyzing   existing   geographical   town   plan,   existing   building   fabric,   and   land   utilization   patterns   in   a   hierarchical   sense,   which   Conzen   originated   in   his   study   of   British   Cities   (2004).   These   townscape   aspects   contribute   to   a   wider   understanding   of   the   complexity   of   urban   form.   By   tracing   the   interaction   between   these   elements   and   social   patterns,   this   section   aims   to   illustrate   how   spatial   configurations  

rather   than   individual   elements   that   create   incoherent   spaces.   Looking   at   Conzen’s   townscape   features   highlights   the  

contrasting   difference   between   a   planned   and   un-­‐planned   processes   that   formed   the   physical,   social   and   symbolic   realm   of   the   townscape.   This   contrast   therefore   aims   to   understand   the   forces   that   pushed   the   urban   realm   into   certain   directions   of   change   through   time,   as   each   period   adapted   to   conditions   based   on   its   formative  growth.       Second,  the  building  fabric  renders  building   patterns   of   townscapes,   which   set   the   character   of   the   place   and   represent   national   heritage.   These   building   types   reflect   age,   economic   and   social   history   of   the   urban   community   and   represent   the   established   culture   that   had   evolved   through   many   years   and   after   many   geographical   layers.   “It   is   the   geographical   result   of   changes   caused   by   functional   processes   in   the   town’s   history   and   represents   a   distinct   aspect   of   dynamic   morphology”   (Conzen   1981b,   p.62).  

develop  through  time.     First,   the   importance   of   the   existing   geographical  town  plan,  that’s  distinct  form   the   intended   town   plan,   is   to   highlight   the   complexity  and  limitations  that  a  “planned”   town   plan   brings   to   organic   growth   (Whitehand,   1981).   It   focuses   on   four   complex   elements:  the  site,  the  streets  and   their  street  system,  the  plots  and  their  plot   pattern,   and   the   building   arrangement   within  these  patterns.  These  aspects  are  the   basis   of   Conzen’s   morphological   study,   as   they   are   subject   to   direct   observation.   Some  elements  are  grouped  into  plan  units   or   “tissues”   forming   a   cohesive   whole,   due   to  their  common  process  of  transformation   in   common   time   periods   (Moudon,   1997).   This  h owever  suggests  that  a  holistic  growth   is   reliant   on   the   development   of   plan   units  

Thereby,   urban   fabric   is   a   product   of   time   and   social   interaction   with   the  

environment,   as   it   develops   according   to   desired   social   functions.   Kropf   introduces   the   concept   of   phylogenetic   change   as   involving   the   evolution   of   function   as   a  

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result   of   human   interaction   with   their   environment  and  their  response  to  d ifferent   stimulus   in   their   surroundings   (2001).   The   typological   process   Kropf   describes  

The   third   townscape   aspect   is   land   use   patterns,   which   investigates   change   in   use   of   space   patterns   on   different   scales,   as   they   influence   townscapes   in   relation   to   land   value.   The   analysis   is   also   devoted   to   studying   land   use   patterns,   geographical   and   economic   conditions   that   are   responsible  for  the  creation  of  urban  fringe   belts   or   fixation   lines   (Whitehand,   1987).   Fringe  belts  are  a  product  of  slow  process  of   town   stretching   related   to   land   values,   topographical   or   geographical   obstacles   to   housing   development,   or   a   decline   in   construction.   These   extensions   allocated   new   land   use   zones   for   industrial,   residential   or   commercial   use,   which   represented   former   peripheral   urban   uses   (Conzen   1981b;   Whitehand,   1987,   2005).   Whitehand  d evoted   much  of  h is  research   to   the   formation   of   fringe   belts   and   the   disconnect   they   fabricate   in   the   urban   realm  bringing  s evere  physical  limitations   to   current   urban   growth,   as   they   enclose   or   border   later   development   separating   old   from  n ew.  

illustrates   how   people   are   responsible   for   change   of   functional   needs,   which   leads   to   change   of   form,   as   form   follows   function   (Madanipour,  1996).  In  each  morphogenetic   period,   the   functions   and   roles   of   the   city   are   adapted   from   one   model   to   another.   For  example  in  a  medieval  model,   the  form   of   the   city   adapted   towards   that   specific   framework   and   generated   building   types   that   served   specific   social   functions.   A   building   type   implies   that   it   carries   a   common   shared   conception   repeatedly   following  a  particular  form  that  is  culturally   and   traditionally   driven   (Kropf,   2001).   This   form   is   then   replicated   throughout   history   and   adjusted   as   a   response   to   previous   interactions   between   body   and   space.   Therefore,  buildings   today  are  an  evolution   of   an   earlier   form   that   was   readjusted   according   to   developing   functions,   which   are   products   of   culturally   imbedded   interactions   (Dovey,   1999),   reflecting   social   cultural   identity.   Thus,   studying   the   building   fabric  aims  to  explore  the  symbolic  meaning   that’s   reflected   in   urban   structure   as   a   product   of   social   and   geographical  

conditions  leading  to  current  form.      
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to   constitute   and   transform   social   reality”   (Lefebvre,  1971  cited  in  Dovey,  1999,  p .46).   Therefore   urban   form   has   powerful   symbolic   meaning,   as   it   strengthens   the   relationship   between   people   and   their   environments   and   evokes   deep   feeling   (Alexander,   1987).   However,   the   loss   of   a   historical   association   and   a   fragmentation   of   form   and   time   can   produce   a   lost,   replaced,   or   distorted   understanding   of   space   (Dovey,   1999).   Urban   morphology   studies  the  evolution  of  form  through  time,   to   contextualize   social   and   symbolic    Figure   1:   Land-­‐use   of   Birmingham   in   1995   of   the  
Edwardian  fringe   belt.  By  W hitehand  2004  

configuration.   As   the   use   of   urban   morphology   justifies   authenticity   of   urban   form   and   aspects   that   enhance   social   well-­‐ being,   it   highlights   the   importance   of   history   in   the   urban   realm.   Whitehand   defines   the   historical   townscape   as   holding   practical,   intellectual,   and   aesthetic   values   (1987),   which   relies   on   the   body   and   space   relationship.     First,   the   physical   form   has   practical   utility.   It   is   used   to   give   people   a   sense   of   orientation,  as  identifying  localities  d epends   on  our   mental   map  and  capacity   to  function   spatially.   Urban   form   frames   everyday   life   guiding  behavior  and  use  of  space.  Without   the  ability  to  form  a  mental  map  of  a  place,   it   is   easy   to   feel   disconnected   and   lost   (Lynch,  1960).  As  Kevin  Lynch  has  d escribed,  

  This   spatial   disconnect   emerges   from   changing   social   patterns   that   demand   new   land-­‐use   patterns   following   functional   growth.   Therefore   space   is   governed   by   social   patterns,   while   urban   form   is   governed   by   functional   purpose   embedded   in  cultural  tradition.        

Body  and  Space  Experience  
  As   previously   mentioned,   the   relationship   between   urban   form   and   people   is   the   social   experience   that   constructs   symbolic   meaning   and   value   to   the   urban   realm.   “Urban   form   is   a   social   mirror,   which   helps  

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urban   forms   are   not   only   combinations   of   materials,   volumes,   colors   and   heights,   they   are   uses,   flows,   perceptions,   mental   associations,   systems   of   representations   whose   significance   changes   with   time,   cultures,   and   social   groups   (1960   cited   in   Castells,  2003,  p.25).  He  describes  the  basic   elements   of   the   city   as   paths,   edges,   districts,   nodes,   and   landmarks   (1960),   which   is   a   base   for   a   constructed   mental   map   of   a   certain   city   that   makes   it   more   legible   and   permeable,   since   the   sense   of   orientation  depends  greatly  on  the  capacity   to   recognize   and   identify   localities.   It   helps   enhance   understanding   of   space,   as   it   emerges   from   action   (Dovey   1999).   However   an   individual   needs   to   feel   that   they   belong   not   only   in   space   but   also   in   time,   where   ‘looking   back’   in   to   the   past   better   informs   ‘looking   forward’   (Larkham,   1996).   Urban   form   therefore   serves   the   need  to   know  city’s  past  as  reference  point   (Lowenthal,  1985),  as  historical  townscapes   provide   symbols   of   stability   and   a   visual   confirmation  of  the  past.       Second,   the   physical   form   has   intellectual   value.  It  functions  as  a  historical  document,   a   palimpsest   on   which   successive   historical   periods   have   left   their   trace   of  

everyday   interaction,   and   therefore   shapes   a   multi   layered   interpretive   image   by   different   groups   in   society.   It   also   strengthens   the   experiential   value,   which   signifies   the   importance   of   the   interaction   between   society   and   space   (Larkham,   2010).   It   places   society   on   a   timeline   of   an   evolving   societal   history,   by   means   of   a   strong   visual   experience   of   the   mixture   of   different  period  styles  narrating   the  history   of   the   place.   “The   physical   artifacts   of   history   teach   observers   about   landscapes,   people,  events  and  values  of  the  past,  giving   substance   to   the   cultural   memory”   (Lewis,   1975   cited   in   Larkham,).   It   also   invites   interpretation   where   written   records   of   past   historical   events   are   lacking   (Conzen,   2004).   Furthermore,   historical   townscapes   are   important   to   society   as   a   wider   emotional   experience,   as   it   stabilizes   group   identities   through   preserving   the   physical   form   with   its   culturally   educative   value.   Although   urban   form   holds   different   meaning   for   different   groups   of   people,   “the   meaning   of   architecture   is   both   individual  and   collective,  as  it  suggests  that   the  built  environment   can  be  important  for   stabilizing   group  identities”  (Hubbard  1993,   p.366).       Third,  the  physical  form  has  aesthetic   value.   Cullen   describes   the   city   as   a   “dramatic  

morphological   record   (Conzen,   2004).   Urban   form   invites   interpretation   through  

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event   in   the   environment,   a   gathering   of   people   who   create   a   collective   surplus   of   enjoyment   and   a   gathering   of   buildings   that   can   collectively   give   visual   pleasure”   (1971   cited   in   Madanipour,   1996,   p.47).   Features   such   as   churches   and   castles   stimulate   and   have   a   powerful   visual   impact.   The   quality   of   the   environment   and   its   attraction   in   character,   also   defined   as   the   Genius   Loci,   offers   a   psychological   sense   of   well-­‐being   (Larkham,   2010).   Conzen   highlighted   the   importance   of   capturing   the   city’s   genius   loci   and   its   unique   mnemonic   powers   as   cultural   palimpsests,   which   are   embedded   in   the   urban   fabric   as   a   product   of   the   successes   and   failures   of   past   societies   (2004).     Urban   morphology   is   an   approach   to   study   the  development  of  form  through  time  as  a   product  of  social  patterns.  It  contextualizes   the  complexity  of  urban  form  through  direct   observation   of   townscape   aspects,  

confirming   cultural   belonging   to   a   wider   society   placed   on   a   historical   timeline.   As   some   studies   suggest   that   the  

strengthening   and   experiential   values   of   urban   form   can   persist   in   the   absence   of   form   (Larkham,   2010),   the   lack   of   a   direct   relationship   between   form   and   people   disturbs   social   balance   and   disconnects   urban   form   from   its   powerful   symbolic   meaning.   Therefore   the   body   and   space   relation  is  responsible  for  the  production  of   meaning,   which   is   influenced   as   this   urban   form   is   altered.   As   meaning   varies   from   those   that   are   unique   to   individuals,   those   that   are   shared   between   similar   socio-­‐ cultural   backgrounds,   and   those   that   are   shared  globally  (Rapoport  cited  in  Hubbard,   1993),  people  assign  functions  and  s ymbolic   meaning   through   “human   agreement”   (Madanipour,   2003),   as   well   as   through   social   conflict   (Castells,   2003a).   According   to   Castells,   urban   design   is   the   symbolic   attempt  to  express  the  city’s  urban  meaning   in   the   urban   fabric,   however   urban   realms   are   contested   with   the   multiplicity   of   aims   reflecting  a  conflict  in  the  use,  function  and   meaning  of  space.  The  following  s ection  will   explore   the   conflicts   emerging   through   this   multiplicity   as   they   manifest   in   the   built   form,   affecting   the   body   and   space   relationship.

contrasting   the   planned   and   un-­‐planned   configurations   as   they   take   place   in   urban   space.   The   urban   realm  is   therefore   s een   as   a  manuscript  that  consists  of  physical,  s ocial   and   symbolic   configurations   evolving  

through   time.   Through   the   interaction   between  body  and  space,  symbolic   meaning   is   constructed   as   a   product   of   palimpsests   or   historic   layers   in   the   urban   realm  

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dominant   class.   The   urban   fabric   is   therefore  in   constant   redefinition   as   human   action   towards   a   specific   mode   of   development   expresses   the   interest   of   the   particular   agents   of   change   (Castells,   2003b).   However,   according   to   Alexander,   cities  grow  organically   towards  a  creation  of   wholeness   (1987),   where   development   should   be   in   continuation   of   past   societies,   responding   to   the   existing   anatomy   of   the   urban   realm   to   generate   new   extensions   (Strike,   1994).   As  urban   morphology   studies   the  anatomy  of  urban  form,   it  h ighlights  the   gaps   and   fragmentations   created   as   urban   tensions   drive  cities   a gainst   organic  growth.   Amid   the   urban   design   pressure   between  

Between   Conservation  &   Transformation  
  “The   basic  dimension   in   urban   change   is   the   conflictive   debate   between   social   classes   and   historical   actors   over   the   meaning   of   urban,   the   significance   of   spatial   forms   in   the   social   structure,   and   the   context   hierarchy,   and   destiny   of   cities   in   relationship   to   the   entire   social   structure”   (Castells  2003a,  p.1)  

According   to   Castells,   urban   design   is   the   symbolic   attempt   to   express   meaning   in   urban   form   based   on   a   collective   shared   conception   of   the   collective   urban   experience.   However,   he   further   argues   that   cities   are   shaped   through   social   conflicts   with   destructive   implications   on   the   physical   fabric,   social   patterns   and   symbolic   value.   They   are   conflicts   over   the   definition   of   use,   function   and   meaning   of   space   arising   from   the   variety   of   different   needs,  interests,   and   goals   in   a   city   (2003a).   Conflicts   over   the   understanding   of   space   and   its   function   are   mediated   into   the   urban   fabric,   as   urban   form   frames   spaces   based   on   contextual   interests   of   the  

conservation   and   transformation,   the   main   social  conflict  is  between  land  and  property   exploitation   for   capital   gain   versus   art,   aesthetic   and   historical   appreciation   (Larkham,   1996).   However   in   contested   space,   urban   fabric   reflects   the   meaning   of   the   dominant   class   holding   prominent   power  to  impact  the  forces  of  urban  change   and  design  decisions,  where  a  capital  mode   of   production   becomes   dominant   (Castells,   2003b).   Consequently,   land,   heritage   and   identity   are   commodified,   which   according   to   Karl   Marx,   is   a   process   of   placing   a   natural   or   labored   good   in   the   economic   realm   to   satisfy   human   wants   for   the   exchange   value   of   its   use   (Shultz,   1993).  

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These   are   objectified   and   treated   as   commodities   transforming   the   significance   of   their   use,   function   and   meaning.   The   following   s ections  will  illustrate   this   process   as   it’s   manifested   in   the   urban   realm,   transforming   townscape   aspects   into  

space   and   understanding   of   its   implication.   One  form  of  power  is   ‘force’,  as  it  deprives   part   of   society   from   choice.   This   form   is   mediated   through   the   concept   of   enclaves,   walls,   fences,   or   security   cameras,   which   implies   that   some   underprivileged   are   excluded  from  use  of  that  space,  as  it  p laces   them   under   conditions   of   surveillance   (1999).   The  use  of  space  is   therefore   limited   and   controlled   as   spatial   boundaries   segregate   to   wall   some   people   in   while   keeping   others   out   (UN-­‐Habitat   2001,   cited   in   Singermann   and   Amar,   2006,   p.11).   This   form   of   ‘power   over’   justifies   superiority   over  controlled  subjects,  forcing  compliance   in  urban  and  social  space.       ‘Coercion’   is   a   threat   of   force   through   intimidation,   where   power   is   manifested   in   people’s   conception   of   urban   form   (Dovey,   1999).   However   it   is   an   indirect   force,   as   it   leads   people   to   voluntarily   comply   through   symbolic   spatial  order.  In   the   built   form  it  is   manifested   through  spatial  domination  and   intimidation,   where   form   is   exaggerated   in   scale   belittling   surrounding   forms   (1999).   The   symbolic   meaning   is   manipulated   to   legitimize   intimidation   and   conduct   certain   behavioral   patterns.   Public   monuments   are   commonly   used   to   impose   social   order,   as   they   hold   powerful   symbolism  

commodities,   and   governing   the   direction   of  urban  growth.      

Power:  How  It  Manifests  
  As   built   forms   have   practical   value   in   providing   a   sense   of   orientation   through   constructing   a   mental   map,   it   also   controls   social   behavior   and   use   of   space.   Dovey   analyzes   here   the   built   form   as   it   frames   places   as   a   means   to   mediate,   construct   and   reproduce   power,   where   frame   is   a   context   rather   than   a   tool   for   representing   spatial   text.   This   suggests   that   form   is   produced   to   serve   a   certain   interest   controlled   by   people   with   power,   which   Dovey  remarks  as  “the  interest  of  people  in   empowerment   and   freedom,   the   interest   of   the   state   in   social   order,   and   the   private   corporate   interest   in   stimulating  

consumption”   (1999,   pp.1).   He   considers   forms   of   power   manifested   in   the   built   form,   such   as   force,   coercion,   manipulation,   seduction,   and   authority,   which   alter   and   mediate   social   behavior   in   their   use   of  

communicated   through   their   historic   and  

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aesthetic   value.   On   the   other   hand,   urban   form   induces   another   form   of  

image   of   society   that’s   driven   by   power   holders.  The  perception  of  aesthetics,   which   is   subjective   and   offers   a   sense   of   well-­‐ being   (Larkham,   2010),   however   is  

organizational   spaces,   which   today   is   enforced   by   zoning   laws,   land-­‐use   patterns   and   building   codes.   It   mediates   space   allowing   for   certain   “programmed   action”,   while   excluding   others   (Dovey,   1999).   Certain   activities   can   be   conducted   in   certain   types   of   spaces   such   as   areas   dedicated   to   economic   activity.   Thereby   exchange   value   is   gained   through   use   of   that  programmed  space.       ‘Manipulation’   is   another   form   of   power   that  relies  on  the  ignorance  of  participants,   where   they   are   forced   into   a   behavioral   structure   in   the   urban   realm   resembling   free   choice   (Dovey,   1999).   People   are   disconnected   from   the   public   realm   and   social  space,  however  unaware  of  the  force   behind   this   fragmentation.   As   Larkham   highlights  the  psychological  n eed   to  “belong   somewhere   in   space   and   time”   (1996,   p.6),   Dovey   further   traces   the   manipulation   of   the   sense   of   orientation   and   history   as   a   force   to   maintain   ignorance   and   insure   compliance.   As   manipulative   force   controls   behavior   through   social   displacement,   ‘seduction’   manipulates   and   transforms   people’s   interests   and   self-­‐identity   (1999).   Urban   meaning   is   fabricated   into   an   imagined   desire,   thus   reflecting   a   distorted  

manipulated   into   a   fabricated   perceived   image  that  is  disconnected  from  reality.       Finally,   force   of   ‘authority’   is   associated   with   institutional   societal   structure,   which   legitimacy   is   associated   with   its   duty   to   serve  public   interest  in  return  of  recognition   and   unquestioned   compliance   (Dovey,   1999).  As  built  form  s ymbolizes  stability,  the   meanings   it   carries   through   institutionally   embedded   symbols   are   validated   and   justified   as   symbols   of   social   structure.   According   to   Barnes,   they   have   the   power   to   “affirm   violence   and   wealth   as   the   base   of   power   at   the   same   time   as   they   affirm   friendship   and   solidarity”   (1988   cited   in   Dovey,  1999,  pp.12).       All   these   different   forms   of   power   manifested   in   urban   realm   remove   the   possibility   of   resistance   by   society,   and   according   to   Lefebvre   are   concealed   under   the   guise   of   innocence   and   transparency.   Use   of   space   is   framed,   constructing   illusions   of   freedom   hidden   through   spatial   representations  (1991  cited  in  Dovey,  1999,   p.46).   Ignorance   is   maintained,   while   identity   in   social   space   is   manipulated   in  

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accordance  to  the  powerful  few  as  the  mold   today’s  cities.       As   the   urban   tensions   unfold,   a   dichotomy   exists   between   conserving   the   past   as   intrinsic   value   and   the   need   for  

and   street   system   (Levy,   1999).   With   growing   densities   in   cities,   new   space   is   designated   or   programmed   for   specific   function,   where   the   exchange   value   of   space   is   the   return   on   the   allocation   of   residential   and   commercial   use   areas.   Through   the   use   of   global   trends,   such   as   housing   enclaves,   shopping   malls,   and   corporate   towers,   places   integrate   in   a   global   property   market   (Dovey,   1999).   Public   spaces,   which   Madanipour   (1996)   justifies   as   promoting   unity   as   people   carry   out   common   activities   in   a   common   social   space,   is   replaced   by   vast   open   spaces   reserved   for   new   economic   bases,   such   as   shopping   malls,   business   parks   and   parking  

development   (Nasser,   2003).   The   following   sections   will   illustrate   these   tensions,   as   urban   design   reflects   the   interests   of   the   dominant   class,   where   financial   interests   dominate  over  cultural  values  (Singermann,   2009).        

Land  as  Commodity  
Commodifying  land  is  the  process  of  capital   accumulation  and  profiting  from  the  sale  of   land   (Vance,   1990).   Rising   land   values   driven   by   economic   forces   limits  

lots.   Streets   are   also   transformed   into   highways,   contributing   to   the  

despatialization   of   activities   in   the   public   sphere   reducing   cultural   significance   of   the   social   space   to   a   programmed   spatial   function  for  specialized  behavior.      

possibilities   for   conservation,   as   arguments   over   maintenance   costs   of   historical   buildings  are  claimed  to  b e  exceedingly  high   while   having   no   profitable   capital   gain.   Therefore   wholesale   destruction   takes   place   by   modern   planners   overlooking   cultural,   historical   and   developmental   influences  (Conzen,  2004).  Plots  are  divided   into   construction   zones   and   planning   sectors   owing   to   land   consolidation,   thus   losing   urban   form’s   structuring   role   and   relationship  with  corresponding  open  space  

Heritage  as  Commodity  
  The   process   of   land   exploitation   for   capital   gain   is   driven   by   forces   of   globalization,   where  land  is  d isplaced  in  the   global   market   to   establish   a   universal   identity   that’s   recognized   globally.   As   heritage   is   defined   as   history   processed   through   mythology,  

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ideology,   nationalism,   local   pride,   or   romantic   ides,   it   is   also   processed   through   plain   marketing   into   a   commodity  

Madanipour   argues   that   the   image   of   city   becomes   a   means   of   product  

differentiation,   as   cities   compete   globally.   Thereby   urban   space   is   stripped   of   its   emotional  and  cultural  value,  and  treated  as   a  commodity  (1996,  2006),  rather  than  as  a   collective   possession,   as   global   “cultural   industries”  dominate  (Nasser,  2003).      

(Schouten,   1995   cited   in   Larkham,   1996,   p.14).   This   process   of   heritage  

commodification   or   tourism   is   a   process   of   city   promotion   and   legitimization.   According   to   Harvey,   authenticity   of   space   is   legitimized   and   accentuated   as   it’s   p laced   in   the   global   commodity   culture   (1996).   He   further  discusses  that  the  image  of   the  city   becomes   an   important   aspect   in   the   competitive   global   space.   The   identity   and   heritage   of   place   is   thus   exploited   and   treated   as   “brand-­‐new   infrastructure…to   convey   a   completely   different   image   that   appeals   to   a   wide   range   of   better-­‐off   potential   (Madanipour   visitors   2006,   and   p.181).   investors”   Thereby,  

Identity  as  Commodity  
  Madanipour   argues   that   design   is   a   sign   of   social   status   and   aesthetic   taste   (2006).   As   heritage   becomes   a   global   icon,   a   conservation   pattern   towards   elite  

architecture   emerges   representing   biased   national  identity.  Therefore,  there’s  a  rising   stigma  of   the  subjectivity  of   the  perception   of   space   with   the   accusation   of   elitism   in   the   conservation   initiatives   (Hayden,   1995;   Hubbard,   1993;   Nasser,   2003;   Larkham,   1996;   Vance,   1990).   The   practice   of   urban   conservation  was  initially  led  by  intellectual   elite   societies,   who   have   sufficient   amount   of   capital   to   invest   and   thus   designate   the   elite   portion   of   architectural   past,   such   as   mansions   and   rich   buildings   designed   by   famous  architects.  Therefore  the  conserved   townscape   acts   as   a   representation   of   dominant   class   national   identity   and   focuses   on   individual   buildings   rather   than  

identity   is   objectified   for   the   purpose   of   its   exchange   value.   Ouf   further   argues   that   in   response   to   this   global   attention   to   historically   significant   spaces,   urban  

designers   direct   their   efforts   to   create   tourist   attractions   (2001),   rather   than   locally   induced   spaces.  As   h eritage   is   p laced   in   a   global   realm,   on   a   local   level   residents   are   displaced   and   expelled   from   social   space,   which   b ecomes   reserved   for   tourists.   Therefore   preferred   national   imagery   is   accentuated,   as   the   spirit   of   the   place   or   genius   loci   is   focused   on   tourist   corridors.  

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area-­‐based.   “This   landmark   policy   distorts   the   real   past,   exaggerates   affluence   and   grandeur,   and   denigrates   the   present”   (Ganz,   1975   cited   in   Hayden,   1995,   p.69).   This   only   allows   for   the   urban   to   reflect   a   preferred   historical   imagery   that   is   not   necessarily   tied   to   a   collective   cultural   identity,  but  creates  more  tension  between   dissenting   groups   and   their   conflicting   ideologies  (Hubbard,  1993;  Larkham,  1996).   The  question  of  “whose  heritage”   is  that  of   numerous   critiques,   as   it   is   an  

over   time,   the   continuous   transformation   in   relation   to   historically   distinct   periods   is   examined   through   each   townscape  element   and   its   interaction   with   each   other,   as   well   as   with   society.   This   is   also   defined   as   the   study   of   morphogenetics.   The   aim   of   this   study  introduced  b y  Conzen  is  to  investigate   the   evolution   of   each   townscape   aspect,   signifying   urban   growth   through   time,   and   comparing   their   evolution   in   parallel   to   contrasting   time   periods.   In   his   study   of   British   cities,   Conzen   suggested   a   division   into   three   morphogenetic   periods   defined   by   major   shifts   in   urban   patterns,   altering   the   morphology   or   organic   evolution   of   space.   As   these   d ivisions   were   largely   based   on   evolutionary   patterns   of   western   societies  (2004),  this  great  shift   in  the   west   acted   as   global   forces   subsequently   affecting   third-­‐world   developing   countries   with   a   concentration   of   elites   and   decision   makers   finding   new   significance   in   a   globalizing  world  ( Madanipour,  2006).   Large   Middle   Eastern   cities   for   example,   are   pushed   towards   patterns   of   modernization   (Singerman,   2009)   keeping   up   with   international   pressures,   such   as   capitalized   economies  and  trade.  The  following  section   will   illustrate   how   Conzen’s   morphogenetic   periods  took  shape  based  on  the  agents  and  

objectivication   of   the   social   mind   (Conzen,   2004)   and   therefore   socially   constructed.   The   notion   of   heritage   is   responsible   for   symbolizing   anything   inherited   from   the   past   forming   layers   in   the   urban   realm   to   create   the   sense   of   place   and   represent   urban   identity.   However,   with   the  

domination   of   the   ruling   class   heavy   influencing   the   decision-­‐making   process,   local   cultures   are   displaced   and   therefore   lose  their  local   identities   as   urban   form   fails   to   represent   obscure  groups,   usually   from   a   lower   social   and   income   class   (Larkham,   1996;  Nasser,  2003).        

Tensions  as  Morphogenetic  
To   understand   the  gaps   and   fragmentations   in   the   urban   realm   that   have   accumulated  

forces  of  change.    

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The   first   period   Conzen   describes   is   the   early   phase   of   continuing  colonial   traditions   of   low   density   and   weakly   differentiated   land-­‐use   structures   (2004).   This   phase   contributed   greatly   to   the   form   and   character   of   the   place   of   today’s   cities,   as   early  town  p lans  are   established   embedding   colonial   identity   in   the   building   fabric.   As   societies   settled   and   adapted   to   the   geographical   conditions,   means   of   capital   accumulation,   such   as   trade   or   resource   of   labor   and   capital   were   formed   (Vance,   1990).   These   processes   developed   and   became   institutionalized,   as   the   sale   of   goods,  including  land,   b ecame   the  center   of   activities.   Economic   activities   took   place   in   the   center   of   the   city   where   all   merchants   got  together   to  exchange   goods   or   s ervices.   Those   are   also   called   metropolitan   areas,   where   production   and   consumption   are   centralized   in   this   public   spatial   unit   (Castells,   2003b).   They   were   seen   as   nodes   or   “lively   enclosures   in   urban   space”   that   brought   people   together   for   various   activities,   which   acted   as   infrastructure   for   social   life   (Madanipour,   2003).   Madanipour   further   highlights   its   growing   social   significance  as  it  promoted  togetherness  or   collectivity   of   citizens   carrying   out   certain   common   activities   and   expressing   common   functional   needs   in   a   shared   social   space   (1996,   2003).   It   is   thus   used   for   public  

celebrations,   or   for   demonstrations   and   revolutions   stabilizing   group   identities   particularly   in   times   of   stress   (Hubbard,   1993).   Therefore,   in   addition   to   the   economic   and   social   significance,   central   collective   spaces   have   had   major   political   significance   as   they   promoted   unity   and   social   strength,   increasing   possibility   of   resistance.     The   second   is   defined   as   a   transitional   phase   of   major   central   density   increases,   centrifugal  and  centripetal  land-­‐use  sorting,   and   major   experiments   in   new   building   forms   (Conzen,   2004).   In   this   period,   locations   central   to   the   city   became   specialized   according   to   the   specific   means   of   production   and   the   interest   of   capital   (Castells,   2003b)   thus   increasing   central   density   inwards.   Centripetal   sorting   established   new   uses   and   functions   to   existing   central   locations,   while   centrifugal   extended   the   urban   fabric   outwards   in   search   of   new   land-­‐use   units,   which   is   also   the   process   of   fringe   belt   formation.   In   relation   to   the   older   built   up   town   plans,   land   use   units   in   peripheral   locations   are   transformed   into   new   functional   bases   forming   a   distinctive   zone   that   separated   older   from   younger   1987).   developments   Thereafter   an  


accumulation   of   “late   comers”,   such   as  

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religious   institutions,   community   centers   and   industries   contributed   to   the  

continuous   urban   growth   (1987).   The   change   or   expansion   of   uses   and   functions   of   cities   governed   mobility   of   the   people,   whether   their   migration   is   inward   to   the   city   to   increase   proximity   to   industries   or   outward   as   a   form   of   urban   extension   or   geographical   integration.   Conzen   described   this   as   an   increase   from   small   to   large   territorial   units   intending   to   diversify   functional   purposes   in   the   metropolitan   area   (Conzen,   2004).   With   this   horizontal   expansion   of   the   city   in   use   and   function,   new   residential   units   are   established   as   high-­‐income   classes   settle   away   from   the   center,   contributing   to   a   growing   socio-­‐ spatial   gap.   However   in   other   cases,   some   peripheral   units   are   reserved   for   relocating   low-­‐income  groups,  while  elites  reclaim  the   city   through   urban   regeneration   and   gentrification   (Madanipour,   2003)   towards   a   capitalist   mode   of   production   and   commodification   of   the   city   (Castells,     2003b).       The   third   is   the   period   of   transportation   technology,   which   took   a   very   important   role   in   urban   formation   characterized   by   high   density   and   residential   segregation.   This   period   is   also   characterized   by   the   despatialization   of   social   activities   and   lack   of  engagement  with  public  collective  space.   Original   form   got   little   attention   in   design  

continuous   rapid   expansion   of   the   urban   fringe   belt   around   the   older   town   with   its   wall   as   its   “ancient   fixation   line”   (Conzen,   1981a).   These   zones,   according   to  

Whitehand,   are   characterized   by   scattered   and   disconnected   patches  with  limited   road   network   going   through   the   fringe   belt.   Therefore,   it   is   often   forming   a   spatial   boundary  between  historically  distinct  areas   and   relatively   modern   town   plans,   while   completely   neglecting   the   original   plan   of   the  city  (1987).      

Figure   2:   View   north   towards   the   city   center   of   Birmingham   across   part   of   the   Edwardian   fringe   belt.  Calthrope   Estate  1985.  By  W hitehand  2004  

  Alexander   explains   this   as   part   of   an   incoherent   and   fragmented   planned  

development   with   a   superficial   order.   He   further   explains   that   this   type   of  

development   hinders   a   holistic   and  

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decisions  of  modern  development  and  thus   lost   any   historical   association.   The  

of   highways   and   motorways   that   would   avoid   these   densely   central   spaces.   The   relationship   between   street   and   physical   form   has   therefore   disappeared   as   streets   lacked   any   connectivity   with   urban   form   and   social   interaction   (Madanipour,   1996).   In   contrast   to   the   earlier   morphogenetic   periods,   where   streets   were   designed   as   shared   communal   spaces,   today   they   have   become   reserved   for   a   simple   space   for   movement,   killing   “the   street   as   public   space”  (Levy  1999,  p .83).       While   in   earlier   periods   the   relationship   between   those   elements   established   a   holistic   meaning   and   value   of   the   urban   fabric,   this   period   created   a   disconnect   between   the   body   and   space   relationship,   hindering   any   construct   of   symbolic   meaning   to   take   place.   This   resulted   in   a   redefinition   of   the   relationship   between   public   and   private   space,   bringing   severe   social   consequences   such   as   segregation,   congregation   and   junction   (Vance,   1990).   Specialized   activities   that   used   to   be  carried   out   in   public   open   spaces   available   for   the   general   public   have   become   exclusive   to   a   limited   ‘clientele’   in   a   restricted   area   of   specialization   (Vance,   1990)   defined   by   zoning   laws,   which   according   to  

modernist   planner   favored   vast   open   spaces   for   flexible   use   in   contrast   to   historically  created  public  spaces  of  the   city.   Modern   development   tackled   the   element   of   public   space   separate   from   corresponding  built  form  or  streetscape  and   therefore   created   unused   spaces   that   had   little   or   no   connection   with   others   in   the   city  (Madanipour,  2003).  Levy  (1999)  called   this  “the  freeing  of  the  ground”  revolution,   where  the  new  urban  elements  are  entirely   autonomous,   rather   than   d eveloped   as   plan   units   or   tissues   of   a   cohesive   whole.   “Constructed   space   no   longer   corresponds   to   the   plot.   There   is   no   longer   a   clear   relation  between  one  building  and  another,   and   between   buildings   and   streets   or   open   spaces.   Elements   are   freed   form   all   relationships   between   them   and   the   urban   fabric”   (Levy   1999,   p.83).   Thereby,   urban   spaces  b ecame   incoherent  and  not  part  of  a   whole.   With   the   rise   of   the   capitalist   city   and   the   extension   of   urban   areas,   density   has   dramatically   increased   specifically   in   central   areas   of   the   city.   New   peripheral   residential   locations,   created   as   a   form   of   urban   extension   separating   rich   and   poor   residential  areas,  was  followed  by  the  need   for   better   connectivity   and   fast  

Madanipour,   deteriorate   the   relationship   between  townscape  features.  Therefore  the  

transportation.   This   led   to   the   construction  

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availability  of  space   is  subject  to  a   complex   set   of   rules   and   conditions,   where   a   large   number  of  people  may  not  b e  able  to  use  or   access   particular   space   (1996,   2003).   Moreover,   public   spaces   have   been   transformed   into   elevated   walkways,  

established   through   the   morphogenetic   study  of  townscapes  d emonstrated   how  the   shifts   from   one   morphogenetic   period   to   the   other   are   led   by   a   strong   financial   interest   through   urban   growth.   Financial   interests   therefore   dominate   over   culture   and   heritage,   which   contributes   to   the   divide   in   social   existence.   The   outcome   of   this   dominating   capitalistic   mode   is   a   comprehensive   redevelopment   plan   that   treats   urban   heritage   as   wastage   of   past   societies,   rather   than   using   an   adaptive   approach   to   reshape   the   existing   urban   fabric   (Larkham,   1996).   This   process   lacks   consideration   and   a   clear   understanding   of   what’s   already   there   and   deepens   the   loss   of   connection   with   cultural   identity   and   origin,   creating   p laceless   and   rootless   urban   areas.   “If   a   place   can   be   defined   as   relational,   historical   and   concerned   with   identity,   then   a   space   which   cannot   be   defined   as   relational   or   historical,   or   concerned  with  identity   will  b e  a  non-­‐place”   (Auge,  1996  cited  in  Dovey,  1999,  p.50).     As  urban  form  is  a  powerful   means   to  invest   with   social   meaning   and   promote  

podiums,   or   car   parks   catering   for   private   businesses   and   shopping   malls,   while   destructing   the   relationship   between   open   spaces,   urban   forms   1996,   and   Levy   people   1999).  


Consequently,  the  form  of  the  city  changed   over   time   according  evolving   social   patterns   pushed  b y  particular  agendas.      

  Each  morphogenetic   p eriod   is   characterized   by   its   major   shifts   in   social   patters   that   redefined  the  use,  function  and  meaning  of   urban   space   through   time.   Space   has   transformed   from   a   social   function   promoting   group   stability   and   collective   unity   to   a   fragmented   hierarchical   social   structure.   As   Castells   defines   the   city   as   space   for   social   conflicts   and   struggle,   he   describes   spatial   form   as   expressing   the   interest   and   identity   of   the   dominant   class   (2003a),   who   force   a   certain   mode   of   development   or   patterns   of   human   action   in   the   urban   realm.   The   patterns  

collectivity,   it   is   also   means   to   manifest   power   to   control   and   manipulate   social   patterns   in   use   function   and   meaning   of   space.   According   to   Dovey,   social  

interaction,  or  lack  of,  is   crucial  for  practices  

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of   force.   Therefore   as   the   organization   of   space   and   time   promotes   social  interaction,   the   loss   of   sense   of   orientation   and   history   can   be   conductive   to   coercive   control     (1999).   However,   this   suggests   that   assimilation   to   historical   orientation  

to   demonstrate   how   these   conflicts   manifest   in   the   urban   realm,   particularly   in   the   context   of   a   developing   country   that’s   heavily   influenced   by   global   forces.  This   will   illustrate   the   importance   of   understanding   urban   space   before   attempting   to  

advocates   collectivity   and   thus   can   be   a   powerful   tool  for  resistance.  This  illustrates   that  “urban   morphology  can   turn  its  back   to   whatever   internal   power   struggles   are   taking   place   within   geography   and  

transform   it,   while   highlighting   the   gaps   created   through   history   contributing   to   a   growing  socio-­‐spatial  divide.    

transcend   the   adolescent   strifes   plaguing   city   planning,   architecture,   real   estate   and   construction”   (Moudon   1997,   p.   8).   A   normative-­‐prescriptive   realm   of   urban   morphology   therefore   aims   to   drive   integrative   townscape   approaches,   which   enhance   the  relationship  b etween  form  and   people,   while   using   past   as   a   reference   point  for  future  developments  promoting  a   historic   orientation.   This   suggests   that   urban   morphology   can   be   a   basis   for   conservation   approaches   (Whitehand,  

2007;   Hubbard,   1993),  which  focuses  on  the   body,   space   and   time   relationship   that   aim   to   create   a   cohesive   socially   and   culturally   integrative  townscape.     The   following   sections   will   illustrate   these   concepts   through   contrasting   different   distinct   historical   periods   of   Cairo,   Egypt.   The  purpose  of  using  Cairo  as  a  case  study  is  
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definition   of   a   Cairoen   became   ambiguous.   Egypt’s   late   neoliberal   government,   which   was   brought   down   on   February   11th   2011,   continuously   used   force   and   manipulation   for   the   benefit   of   the   elites,   framing   indigenous   groups   in   situations   of  

The  Case  of   Contested  Cairo  
  “Urban   form   generally   tends   to   legitimize   the  regime  which  produces  it”  (Dovey  1999,   p.85).     Egypt   has   experienced   a   great   number   of   power  shifts  in  the  past  centuries,  which  are   a   product   of   different   contrasting   political   agendas.   All   these   power   shifts   have   used   urban   form   as   a   means   to   manifest   power   and   ideology   by   framing   social   space   in   situations,  where   compliance  is  guaranteed.   Consequently,   over   the   years   this   popular   approach   completely   altered   social   patterns   in   space   as   well   as   damaged   national   identity.   Cairo   is   a   city   with   multiple   identities,   but   also   is   a   city   that   lacks   a   collective   image.   Its   form   references   different   eras,   and   different   historical   periods,  however  holds  a  distorted  s ymbolic   meaning   as   a   result   of   an   approach   that   only   focused   on   the   normative-­‐prescriptive   realm   of   townscape   management.   As   each   historical   period   sought   to   reconstruct   the   image   of   the   city   led   by   economic,   political   and   social   forces   (Singermann,   2009),   past   was   considered   wastage,   while   the  

desperation   (Armburs,   2011).   Today   in   an   unsettled   dispute   over   which   direction   Egypt’s   fate   is   going,   it   is   certain   that   a   rehabilitation   of   national   identity   can   be   a   tool  for  resistance  (Dovey,  1999).     As   Morphogenetic   periods   are   defined   by   periods   of   major   transformation   in   town   plan,   building   fabric   and   land-­‐use   patterns,   Cairo’s   morphogenetic   periods   are   defined   by   these   townscape   transformations   that   are   specific   to   Colonial,   socialist,   and   neo-­‐ liberal   movements.   These   periods  

conducted   major   physical,   social   and   symbolic  transformations   through  time   that   have   kept   Cairo’s   identity   in   constant   redefinition.   With   the   use   of   these   townscape   aspects   as   vehicles   for   urban   transformation   towards   certain   interests   of   the   dominant   class,   symbolic   meaning   is   lost   through   time   leading   to   a  

fragmentation   in   society   and   space   in   the   urban  realm.     This  s ection   will  illustrate  how  a  historic  city   center   was   lost   due   to   power   shifts   over  

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time   that   modified   the   morphology   of   the   city   and   reflected   national   identity.   As   forces  of  power  and  global  capital  manifest   in   the   urban   realm,   the   public   becomes   displaced  from  Cairo’s  social  space.      

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Period  of  Colonial  Traditions  
  According   to   Conzen   the   first  

morphogenetic   period   is   the   phase   of   continuous   colonial   traditions,   which   gave   the  city  most  of  its  image  through  investing   in   its   town   plan.   It   is   marked   by   the   major   shift  in  Cairo’s  identity  and  global  image.  In   the   1870s   Khedive   Ismail   took   power   and   was   inspired   by   all   his   traveling   to   Europe,   specifically   Paris   to   attend   the   1867   exhibition.   There   he   was   greeted   by   Hausmann,   who   designed   the   new  

urbanization   plans   of   Paris   between   1850s   to  1870s  (Raymond,  2001).   Upon  his  return   for   the   inauguration   of   the   Suez   Canal,   Cairo   was   expecting   an   international   audience   to   attend   the   celebrations.   Prior   to  this  p eriod,  Cairo  had  not  s een  any   major   urban   developments   for   decades   and   was   considered   trapped   in   a   traditional   non-­‐ modern   time   that’s   associated   with   disorder   and   chaos   (Singermann,   2009).   Therefore   Ismail   realized   the   need   for   a   new   face   to   the   city   and   sought   to   re-­‐ imagine   a   city   that   reflects   a   modern   era   with  an  identity  competing  with  global  cities   in   response   to   international   movements,   such   as   the   American   City   Beautiful   movement   of   the   1890s.   Inspired   by   international   intervention   and   seeing   huge   economic  growth  in  Egypt  due  to  the  cotton    
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Figure  3:  Ismail’s   Cairo  1869-­‐1870,  view  of  the  new   city  west   of  old   city.  By  Raymond  2001  



boom,   Ismail   was   able   to   commission   French   architects   to   replicate   the   layout   of   Paris   and   to   develop   the   city’s   first   urban   plan   giving   it   a   western   and   European   association,   which   was   also   called  

Haussmannization.     The   process   of   Hausmannization   sought   to   establish   a   new   spatial   organization,   which   in   contrast   to   the   old   city   would   project   a   new  urban   identity.  It  focused   on  the  town   plan   and   was   built   on   the   foundations   of   displaying   order   in   townscape   patterns.  


Straight   lines   and   geometric   grids   were   used  in  streetscapes  that  connected  to  vast   open   squares   and   boulevards   uniting   them   with   apartment   blocks,   to   which   Deboulet   argued  as  being  associated  with  modernity,   holding   power   to   symbolize   discipline,   organization   and   progress   by   most   colonial   and   post-­‐colonial   urban   planners   (cited   in   Singermann,   2009).   This   new   modern   plan   was  built  in  a  vacant  zone  northwest  of  old   Cairo  due  to  the  lack  of  construction  time  to   adopt   the   Hausmannian   model   in   the   old   city   (Raymond,   2001),   as   the   focus   was   on   the   fast   construction   of   a   new   dynamic   identity.   However   according   to   Sanders   many   old   buildings   got   destroyed   in   order   to   widen   streets   and   implement   the   new   townscape  (cited  in  S ingermann,  2009).       This  strategy   was  not  to  develop  the  city   in   continuation  of  the  old  city  but  “would  give   the   city   a   façade   of   urban   respectability”   (Raymond   2009,   p.   314).   Thereby   this   transformation  initiative  was  pushed  by  the   conception   that   the   urban   realm   is   reflective   of   its   people’s   identity,   as   design   is  a  sign  of  social  status  and  aesthetic  taste   (Madanipour,   2006).   This   plan   used   the   power   of   seduction   in   urban   form,   which   steered   the   construction   of   people’s   d esires   and   self-­‐identity   (Dovey,   1999).      
Figure   4:   Contrast   between   Cairo   and   Paris   Hausmannian   Town   Plans.   By   Zaazaa   2009    

It   influenced   users   of   space   as   it   shaped   their  imagined   interests.   As  Ismail’s  agenda   was   completely   driven   by   the   need   for   development   and   a   reconstruction   of   national   identity,   he   sought   to   accentuate   social  interaction  in  the  public  realm,  which   the  Hausmann  p lans  offered.     The  architectural  vehicle  in  this  p eriod  is  the   complete   redevelopment   through   master   planning,   generating   new   townscape  

elements   in   urban   structure   and   street   patterns.   The   urban   form   and   architectural   language   shifted   in   order   to   restore   reflected  collective  urban  identity  and  social   patterns.   However,   his   town   plan  

overshadowed   the   old   city   b y  the   dominant   streetscapes   and   public   squares.   The   old   city  adopted  a  deeper  image   of  disorder  as   it   became   overruled   by   the  

commodification  of  elite  identity.  

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Period  of  Socialism  
  This   period   shares   similar   characteristics   of   the   colonial   morphogenetic   period,   as   it   focused   on   image   constructing   with   huge   shift   in   national   identity   and   image   of   the   city.   The   international   intervention   of   downtown   Cairo  came  to  an  end  following  a   number   of   events,   such   as   the   national   economic  d ebt  crisis,  the  British  occupation,   and   finally   the   rise   of   the   socialist   movement.   The   urban   landscape   directly   preceding   the   1952   revolution   was   seen   as   a   symbol   of   elitism,   where   downtown   was   an  area  of  class  and  bourgeoisie  associated   with   a   western  world,   to   which   the   majority   of   Egypt’s   population   were   not   invited   to   participate.   Cairo   therefore   slowly   became   a   capital   of   socialist   restructuring   in   the   years  of   the   Nasser  revolution   of  1952-­‐1973   (Raymond,   2001;   Singermann,   2009).   In   response   to   these   interests,   the   Soviet   Union   sought   Egypt   as   a   potential   alley   in   the   late   40s   and   formed   relationships   targeting   middle   class   citizens,   since   they   became   victims   of   the   elite’s   capitalization   interests   and   grew   more   interested   in   communistic   ideologies   (Ginat,   1993).   Socialism   became   very   popular   among   the   low   and   middle-­‐income   class,   which   eased   the  rapid  transformation  of  the  city’s  urban   fabric   and   the   manipulation   of   its   identity.  
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Figure   5:   Cairo   in   1993,   with   Ismail’s   city   in   the   center,   showing  expansions  and  city   boundaries   of   successive   generations.   By   Raymond   2001  


Nasser’s   era   is   marked   by   a   heavy   interest   in   post-­‐colonial   nationalism   followed   by   “state   intervention   and   active   social   policy   resulting   in   the   nationalization   of   the   concessionary   companies   and   of   public   utilities,   the   construction   of   low-­‐income   housing,   and   the   freezing   of   rents”   (Raymond   2001,   p.348).   His   period   also   marks   the   beginning   of   the   second   morphogenetic   period   with   major   central   density   increases   followed   by   a   housing  


crises  that  separated  zones  based  on  socio-­‐ economic  s tatus.     The   alterations   that   took   place   in   Cairo’s   downtown,   earlier   the   capital   of   European   identity,   focused   on   transformation   in   the   building   fabric,   which   sets   the   character   of   the   place   and   reflects   national   heritage   (Conzen,   2004).   Those   are   the   elements,   which   Nasser   sought   to   reconstruct   reflecting  a  fabricated  economic,  social  and   cultural   history   based   on   socialist  

block,  which  referenced  a  simplified  Islamic   style   (Zaazaa,   2009),   holds  municipal   offices   for  around  18,000  employees  and  around  a   dozen   ministries   (Williams,   2009).   The   centrality   of   functions   legitimizes   authority   and  connects  its  existence  to  serving  public   interest,   therefore   enforcing   sense   of   fear   and   threat,   as   well   as   solidarity   (Dovey,   1999).      

ideologies.   Furthermore,   his   approach   to   this   transformation   was   redefining   the   relationship   between   urban   form   and   people   in   use,   function   and   meaning   of   space.   The   first   major   contribution   to   this   period  is  in   Cairo’s  downtown  Ismail  square,   which   was   renamed   Tahrir   or   Liberation   square   symbolizing   liberation   from   foreign   occupation.   The   square   was   given   the   Mugamaa,   a   building   block   that   was   believed   to   be   a   gift   from   the   Soviet   Union   prior   to   the   revolution   (Williams,   2009).   Although   it   was   completed   before   the   revolution,   the   building   holds   a   collective   symbol   of   Nasser’s   era   today   (Raymond,   2001).   The  purpose  of   the   Mugamaa,   Arabic   for  ‘bringing  together’,  is  to  centralize  all  of   state   functions   in   one   building   symbolizing   the   high   centrality   of   Egypt’s   bureaucratic   system.   This   fourteen-­‐story   soviet   inspired  
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Hossam   Eddin  2011  

Figure  6:  Mugamaa  in  Tahrir  Square.  By  Mohamed  

Further   alteration   to   the   building   fabric   were   his   concrete   blocks,   housing  

ministries,   national   enterprise   and   civil   servants   (Zaazaa,   2009),   which   referenced   soviet   architecture.   To   make   way   for   such   intervention,   many   downtown   buildings   were   subject   to   demolition.   Despite   their   potential   for   reuse,   the   act   itself   of   demolishing   an   old   ideology   was   a  


necessary  symbolic  act  (Golia,  2004  cited  in   Zaazaa,  2009).     His  approach   was  to  transform  the  building   fabric,   which   contributes  to  the  character  of   place.  He  sought  to  a chieve  a  character  that   would   overrule   Ismail’s   constructed   town   plan  b y  adding  spatially  dominating   building   blocks.   Rather   than   transforming   existing   town   plan,   he   focused   on   transforming   its   symbolic   meaning   from   elitist   to   post-­‐ colonial   nationalist.   The   built   form   thus   became   prime   role   as   ideology,   which   people   call   culture   (Dovey,   1999).   The   spread   of   socialist   ideologies   transforming   the   built   form   is   a   response   to   forces   of   coercion,   where   compliance   is   assured   through   domination   or   intimidation   of   urban   form   altering   spatial   behavior   and   relationship   between   body   and   space   (Dovey,   1999).   Built   in   downtown   Cairo   amid   Ismail’s   modern   urban   plan,   the   Mogamaa   completely   changed   the  

its   exaggerated   scale   and   dominant   spatial   and   central   location,   which   Dovey   explains   as   “belittling   the   human   subject   as   it   signifies   the   power   necessary   to   its   production”   ( 1999,   p .10).   The   nature  of   this   fourteen-­‐story   soviet   block   dominates   downtown  Cairo  as  it  belittles  Ismail’s  Cairo   and  western  identity,  forcing  subjects  under   the   cover   of   voluntarism   to   comply   with   socialist   identity.   The  use  of  form  that  a lters   the   dynamics   of   the   space   is   also   an   act   to   constantly   remind   people   of   the   symbol   of   authority,   which   implies   unquestioned   recognition   and   compliance   (Dovey,   1999)   through   constructing   a   physical   icon   or   landmark   with   a   distinct   symbolic  

configuration.   The   replication   of   this   soviet   concrete   block   design   affirms   socialist   ideologies,   where   institutional   and   non-­‐ institutional   buildings   hold   uniform   s ymbols   of  authority.     On  a  smaller  scale,   Nasser  sought  to  reverse   the   symbolic   meaning   that   Ismail  

morphology   of   the   area,   altering   behavior   and   flow   around   the   area.   Its   presence   in   such   a   central   location   increased   density   and   traffic   flow   towards   the   center,   as   people  all  around  Egypt  needed   to  visit  the   Mugamaa   for   official   reasons,   such   as   processing   most   legal   documents.   As   the   Mugamaa   frames   everyday   functions   and   behaviors,  it  signifies  threat  of  force  due  to  

constructed   by   distorting   its   image   and   significance.   His   aim   was   not   to   transform   the   façade   or   layout   of   Ismail’s  

Hausmannization   plans,   but   used   tenure   as   vehicle   to   transform   the   relationship   between   form   and   people.   Rent-­‐control   laws  were   passed   on   all  existing   rental   units   freezing  rent  at   the  1947   level,   which  were  

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again   stabilized   and   intensified   in   Nasser’s   era   for   all   existing   and   new   units.   The   purpose   was   “achieving   greater   social   and   economic   equity,   which   led   to   the   redistribution  of   wealth  and   major  changes   in   the   country’s   social   stratification”   (Arandel   &   Batran   1999,   p.4),   where   physical   and   symbolic   significance   were   eliminated.   These   reforms   protected  

status   therefore   was   equalized   between   Nasser’s   and   Ismail’s   building   fabric.   “Downtown   no   longer   was   the   stage   of   certain   behaviors   or   codes   of   dress,   for   better   or   worst,   it   has   lost   any   signs   of   alienation   and   it   has   been   fully   integrated.   Greater   Cairo   has   lost   its   center”   (Zaazaa,   2009).   This   intervention   striped   Ismail’s   down  town  out  of  its  h istorical  meaning  and   symbolic   value,   while   discrediting   the   need   for  conservation   initiatives  for   this   historical   town  plan.  The  architectural  vehicle  for  this   intervention   is   therefore   the   manipulation   of   the   building   fabric,   as   well   as   the   relationship   between   form   and   people,   which   achieved   a   dramatic   shift   in   identity   and   meaning   of   space.   Ismail’s   Cairo   was   nothing   but   a   lost   identity   with   lost   urban   behaviors   following   the   disappearance   of   Cairo’s  city  center  (Zaazaa,  2009).        

tenants   from   rising   rents   and   eviction,   however   led   to   the   deterioration   of   the   building   fabric   as   maintenance   cost   exceeded   rent   paid   by   tenants   (Raymond,   2001).  As  tenants  gained  inheritance  rights,   landlords   were   unable   to   attend   to   their   buildings  and  thus  left  buildings  in  decaying   conditions   while   some   destined   to  

complete  collapse  (2001).       The   relationship   between   form   and   people   therefore   completely   shifted,   as   sense   of   ownership   and   pride   was   lost   along   with   living  conditions.  The  built  form  shaped  the   perception   and   cognition   of   the   subjects,   manipulating   their   desires   to   overrule   Ismail’s   constructed   s ymbolic  meaning   for   a   more   socially   just   urban   structure.   Ismail’s   town   plan   was   subject   to   distortion   as   seduction   forces   were   used   in   the   recreation  of  meaning   to  existing   built   form   holding   significant   implications   for   self-­‐ identity   (Dovey,   1999).   Reflected   social  

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Period  of  Neoliberalism  
  This  morphogenetic  period  is  marked  by  an   increase  in  population  and  continued  urban   extension   into   peripheral   locations   in   response   to   economic   and   socio-­‐political   forces.   Consequently   to   the   decaying   conditions  of  downtown’s  housing  units  and   infrastructure,   new   rental   stock   in   Cairo’s   center   dramatically   declined.   In   the   second   half   of   the   twentieth   century   downtown   was   increasingly   becoming   lower   class   district   (Zaazaa,   2009),   driving   middle   and   high-­‐income   class   residents   away   into   peripheral   locations.   The   city   expanded   outwards   serving   class-­‐segregated  
Figure   7:   Greater   Cairo,   showing   new   settlements   and   new   cities   By   expanding   Raymond   into                                           2001     peripheral   locations.  


communities,   drawing   unevenly   developed   zones   in   Cairo’s   urban   realm   (El   Shakry,   2006).  Thereby  public  sector  gained  control   over   housing   distribution,   targeting  

supported   free   trade,   free   market   and   private   property   rights.   Those   were   guaranteed   functioning   through   state   intervention   (2007).   In   response   to   these   structural   adjustments,   entrepreneurs,  

different   socio-­‐economic   classes   s eparately.   This   period   was   led   by   Anwar   Sadat   when   he   opened   Egypt   up   to   foreign   capital   and   global   market   in   the   1970s.   This   mode   of   capitalization   was   intensified   in   the   following  decades  to  present   time  reducing   public   services   and   subsidies   throughout   the   country   while   changing   laws   to   attract   foreign   capital   (Singermann,   2009).  

public   contractors   and   state   authorities   redefined   their   alliance,   while   public   resources   were   reallocated   for   the   benefit   of   the   elites   (Armburst,   2011).   As   developers   gained   credit   advantages,   entrepreneurs   purchased   overvalued   land   at   a   low   price   to   develop   luxury   housing   communities   in   desert   land   (Denis,   2006).   Therefore   this   era   in   Egyptian   history   marked  the  shift  from  “social  welfare  mode  

According   to   David   Harvey,   this   form   of   neoliberal   political   economic   practice   generated   institutional   frameworks   that  

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of   regulation   to   a   neoliberal   mode   of   regulation”  (El  Shakry,  2006).       The   outward   expansion   pushed   by  

transportation.   These   urban   types   are   a   response   to   “historical   conditions   of   capitalism”   mediating   a   globally  

constructed  and  exploited  sense  of  place  to   justify   form   and   power   (Dovey   1999,   p.44).   A   global   image   was   therefore   sought.   This   model   demonstrated   an   ‘Egyptianized   American   dream’   (Singermann,   2009),   reflecting   a   modern   townscape,   by   which   this   global   trend   of   housing   enclaves   to   “wall   some   in   and   keep   others   out”   (UN-­‐ Habitat   2001,   cited   in   Singermann   and   Amar,  2006,  p.11)  legitimized  superiority  of   new  over  old,  and  rich  over  p oor.    

economic   forces   into   the   city’s   peripheries   created   new   functional   purposes   and   land-­‐ use   patterns   for   the   d eserted   land,   which  in   Whitehand’s   terms   is   characterized   as   the   process   of   fringe   belt   formation.   In   response   to   topographical   and  geographical   obstacles   to   housing   development,   new   land-­‐use   units   were   sought   in   the   city’s   peripheries,   creating   a   residential   zone   encircling   original   city   and   separating   old   from  n ew,  as  well  as  rich  from  p oor  (1987).      

This   hierarchical   spatial   division   is   not   just   defined   by   income   groups   but   by   college   degree,   where  families  are  d eclined  housing   rights   despite   being   able   to   afford   units   (Shakry,   2006).   Therefore   uneducated   families   are   forced   to   stay   in   poor   living     standards,   as   their   identity   is   defined   by   their   intellectual   value.   Cairo   once   more   became   a   dual   city,   characterized   by   two   distinct   identities,   imposing   residential   segregation   between   the   elite   and  

Figure   8:   Housing   Estate   in   6th   of   October   City.   By   Evergreen   2008    

Those   new   settlements   adopted   the   American  model   of   h ousing  enclaves,  which   displayed   modernity,   order   and  

indigenous  inhabitants  (Singermann,  2009).     In   a   neoliberal   society,   the   urban   experience   is   limited   and   controlled   through  policies  restraining  use  of  space  by   indigenous   citizens,   while   manifesting  

organizational   values.  However,  an  induced   form   of   despatialization   emerged   as   public   space   was   reduced   to   luxury   shopping   malls,   or   streets   as   spaces   for   highway  

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symbolic   power   in   the   urban   realm   to   prevent   any   form   of   resistance.   Public   spaces   hold   political   significance  






(Elsheshtawy,   2006).   However   as   spaces   of   significance   accumulating   become   capital,   means   they   for  

symbolizing   power   of   the   state,   however   Madanipour   further   argues   that   it   is   also   a   space   for   challenging   authority   through   demonstrations   and   revolutions   (2003).   As   the  state   views  the  general  public  as  “threat   that   has   to   be   dealt   with   and   contained”   (Elsheshtawy   2006,   p.297),   the   use   of   ‘manipulation’  as  form  of  coercion  enforces   compliant   behavior   in   the   urban   realm.   However,   according   to   Dovey,   it   relies   on   the  ignorance  of   the  subject  concealing  the   intent   of   the   ruling   class   and   decision-­‐ makers.   The   architectural   vehicle   in   this   current   period   is   the   despatialization   of   locals   from   the   public   realm   and   historical   context.   “The   fragmentation   of   space   and   time,  the   loss  of  a  sense  of  orientation  and   history   can   be   conductive   to   coercive   control”  (Dovey  1999,  p.11).     As   the   struggle   for   public   space   intensifies,   developers   are   consumed   with   the  


inaccessible   to   locals   and   therefore   culturally  removed  and  displaced  into  global   realms   (Singermann,   2009).   The   state   and   developer’s   intent   is   to   replace   the   symbol   of   poverty   and   illiteracy   to   a   symbol   of   a   world-­‐class   historical   city,   while   eliminating   the   threat   of   the   marginalized   public.   Deboulet   argues   that   local   developers   “superficially   quantify”   people,   as   their   social   and   historical   identities   are  

disregarded,   as   well   as   their   relationship   with   the   built   form   and   how   they   interact   with  it  (2009).  Locals  are  removed  from  the   cultural   realm,   the   relationship   between   body   and   space  is   d estructed,   and  historical   monuments   characterized   by   elite   architecture   are   restored   and   reserved   to   serve  tourists.  Thereby  the  definition  of  the   local   public   becomes   ambivalent,   as   economic,   political   and   social   forces   despatialize   the   marginalized   and   strip   them   off   their   historical   orientation.   Consequently,  as  the  interrelation  between   space  and  time   mediates  social   interaction,   coercive   control   manipulates   marginalized   groups   to   live   as   “atoms,   wholly   in   the   public   realm,   under   surveillance,   but   as   far  

production   of   elite   spaces   or   tourist   attractions,   where   “financial   interest  

predominates  over  cultural   values”  ( Ibrahim   2009,  p.258).  This  process   is  defined  as  the   “quartering   of   urban   space”,   where   public   space   is   reserved   to   attract   tourists   or   global   investors   for   an   economic   goal   of  

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as   possible   without   social   relationships”   (Barned,  1988  cited  in  Dovey,  1999,  p .11).     Consequently,   this   urban   extension  

urban   form   and   the   manipulation   of   the   building   fabric   within   the   established   town   plan   was   a   means   to   enforce   power   over   the   colonial   townscape   by   manipulating   its   constructed   symbolic   meaning   belittling   its   existence   and   value.   As   neoliberal   Cairo   took   over,   the   main   interest   was   capital   accumulation   and   the   global   market.   The   manipulation   of   land-­‐use   pattern   was   the   approach   to   establishing   new   overvalued   land   at   low   prices,   belittling   the   old   town.   The   fate   of   downtown   Cairo   is   a   deteriorated   district   associated   with   poor   living   conditions   and   run-­‐down   urban   realm.   Cairo’s   urban   fabric   therefore   becomes   multi-­‐center   fragmented   with   zones   accommodating   contrasting  

completely   changed   the   morphology  of  the   entire   city,   as   it   was   not   created   in   continuation   of   the   old   original   city   and   therefore   created   disconnected   patches   in   the   urban   realm.   The   relationship   between   new   towns   and   Cairo’s   center   becomes   foreign   with   a   fragmented   collective   identity.   The   major   transformations   in   Cairo’s   urban   realm   sought   to   correct   previous  image  and  identity  as  the  struggle   for   power   and   contrasting   ideologies   is   reinforced   in   the   urban   realm   (Raymon,   2001).   In  each  morphogenetic   p eriod   as   the   city   grew   in   scale,   tensions   on   different   levels   governed   the   scale   and   direction   of   the   urban   landscape   (Larkham,   2005).   These   forces   shaped   city’s   based   on   their   contextual   interests   through   manipulating   townscape   aspects.   In   colonial   Cairo,   the   transformation   of   the   general   town   plan   sought   to   establish   a   western   identity   through   its   geometric   shapes,   reflecting   order   and   modernity   to   its   citizens.   It   was   identified   by   its   public   squares   and   wide   open   streets   to   enhance   the   social   experience.  However,  socialist  Cairo  sought   to  reverse  western  identity  towards  a  post-­‐ colonial   nationalistic   identity.   The   use   of  

economically   divided   groups   of   Cairo’s   social   space   (Zaazaa,   2009).   The   notion   of   collectivity   becomes   undefined,   while   the   notion   of   public   or   Cairoen   remains   ambivalent.      

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and   space,   and   therefore   is   conductive   to   coercive   control   (1999).   Accordingly,   it   can   be   concluded   that   historic   orientation   can   be   a   powerful   tool   of   resistance   and   reconstruction  of  marginalized  identities.       Madanipour   underlines   the   importance   of   understanding   the   history   of   spatial   evolution   for   many   reasons.   A   historic   approach   offers   an   understanding   to   the   original   use   and   function   of   space,   which   suggests  a  certain  social  pattern.  By  tracing   the   change   in   those   patterns   through   time   and   historical   shifts,   the   gaps   it   created   that   distorted  original  meaning  can  be  identified   and   rehabilitated   into   integrative  

  “We  need  to  locate  urban  design  within  the   context   of   the   urban   development   process,   and  s ee   what   roles   it   plays,   what  gaps   it  fills   and  what  meanings  it  carries”  (Madanipour   2006,  p.176).     According   to   Madanipour,   there’s   a   huge   gap   in   understanding   urban   spaces,   where   planned   development   operates   against   organic   growth,   creating   incoherent  

fragmentations  (1996).  With   every  historical   shift,   urban   form   is   transformed   based   on   the   redefinition   of   use,   function   and   meaning   of   space.   These   conflicts   however   have   strong   implications   on   the   urban   realm,   as   space   is   treated   as   a   commodity   governed   by   cultural   industries   and   social   hierarchical   divisions.   Looking   at   the   urban   realm,   we   can   see   traces   of   past   societies   embedded,   which   are   sometimes   adapted   and  reused,  replaced  b y  new  developments,   or   placed   in   the   global   realm   of   tourism.   Thus  collective  heritage  is  controlled  by  the   powerful   decision   makers   and   manipulated   according  to   their  interests.  Dovey  justifies,   the   fragmentation   of   space   and   time   disintegrates  the  relationship  between  body  

townscape   plans.   Therefore   learning   from   past   design   decisions   and   acknowledging   past   social   patterns   is   a   powerful   tool   for   future   development   towards   a   socially   cohesive   urban   realm,   which   acts   as   a   tool   for   resistance   against   the   loss   and   fragmentation  of  national  identity.     In   the   case   of   Cairo,   people   are   displaced   from   social   space   and   time,   where   the   historic   fabric   is   subject   to   loose  

interpretation,   damaging   collective   historic   identity   (Singermann,   2009).   In   this   case  we   can   conclude   that   forces   of   change   throughout   history   were   power   and   global   forces   that   eventually   left   an   urban   realm  

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that   is   completely   stripped   our   of   Cairo’s   social   space,   contributing   to   a   deepening   divide   between   contrasting   identities.   As   different   zones   are   dedicated   to   different   social  groups,  the  question  of  who  and  what   an   average   Cairoen   represents   remains   ambiguous.   Consequently,   with   the   displacement   of   the   nodes   of   social   interaction,   the   urban   fabric   becomes   an   exclusive   urban   space   (Madanipour,   2006),   governed   by   segregation   policies   limiting   use   of   space   according   to   social   group   membership.   A   few   questions   remain,   namely   how   can   this   multiplicity   of   identities   be   stabilized,   and   how   can   integrative  townscapes  b e  initiated?     According   to   the   previous   analysis   on   urban   morphology,   it   can   be   concluded   that   socially   integrative   townscapes   can   be   achieved   through   strengthening   the   relationship   between   body   and   space,   which   is   responsible   for   establishing   the   practical,   intellectual   and   aesthetic  

in   the   urban   realm,   public   history   can   be   a   means   to   increasing   social   interaction.   The   bond   between   place   and   identity   can   thus   be   manifested,   creating   a   sense   of   belonging  and  collectivity  in  a  larger  society   (Hubbard,   1993).   Following  this   body,   space   and   time   triad,   Singermann   describes   a   conservation   approach   should   be   a   tool   towards   engaging   the   wider   public   in   a   process   of   evaluating   values   behind   the   construction   of   the   urban   fabric,   as   well   as   the   meaning   that   was   assigned   by   past   societies   who   actively   engaged   with   them   through   history   (2009).   While   conservation   can   be   a   tool  to   alienate   p eople   from   urban   space,  an  integrative  townscape   can  only  b e   achieved   when  “people   with  different  levels   of   power,   stations   in   life,   and   perspective   share   the   public   and   private   spaces   of   the   city”  (2009,  p .30).  

attributes   of   the   urban   realm   that   enhance   psychological   well-­‐being   (Whitehand,   1987;   Larkham,   1996).   Furthermore,   an  

integrative   townscape   can   be   achieved   by   treating   the   past   as   a   reference   point   for   future  development,   which  strengthens  the   orientation   of   space   and   time   (Lowenthal,   1985;   Larkham,   1996).   By   placing   heritage  
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