Authored book
Understanding the gap between heritage conservation and local development in Egypt: Towards an integrated strategic model for Pompey’s pillar and the Catacombs area in Alexandria

Publication Details
ElGamal, M.
Ain Shams University
Cairo, Egypt
Publication year:


For decades, Egypt has been facing many challenges in the fields of heritage con-servation  and  local  development.  These  challenges  continue  to  increase  due  to  rapid  urbanization  in  historical  cities  thus  resulting  in  complicated  juxtaposed  contexts of heritage resources and deteriorated dwellings, where slum areas are dotted with heritage structures. Nowadays, these complicated contexts are cha-racterized by their severe deteriorated conditions as the majority of them lack of basic amenities and suffer from many socioeconomic problems. In parallel, many archaeological sites suffer from a continuous destruction due to the deteriorated conditions of their surroundings as well as the lack of a sustained maintenance. This situation reflects the conflict between heritage conservation and local deve-lopment in Egypt. It further indicates the incapacity of different stakeholders in-cluding national and local Egyptian governments, NGOs, and the community to deal with the complexity of such urban contexts. In this regard, the thesis studies heritage conservation and local development aiming to understand the gap bet-ween both practices in Egypt. The main objective of the research is to develop an integrated strategy for archaeological sites and deteriorated areas in juxtaposed contexts in Egypt, and to introduce an integrated strategic model for  the main case study area ‘Pompey’s pillar’, the ‘Catacombs’ in Alexandria, Egypt. First,  the  relationship  between  conservation  and  development  is  thoroughly examined and linked to wider literature reviews. This examination discusses their different definitions, approaches, perceptions as well as shifting agendas aiming to understand the evolution of their trajectories, highlights potentials to bridge the gap, and develops evaluation criteria to analyze related case studies. Afterwards, both practices are discussed in reference to a number of case studies in  cities  of  the  Global  South,  i.e.  Porto  Alegre,  Brazil,  Agra,  and  Mumbai.  Pro-found analyses of these case studies are conducted aiming to investigate the main key aspects of success through cross case studies analysis (Matrix). This matrix could help create a delineation of an integrated strategy for future interventions in similar contexts, namely the case study of Alexandria, Egypt.         Afterwards, the research shifts to study the gap between conservation and development  in  Egypt  by  exploring  its  historical  background.  The  study  traces  the  gap  through  the  modern  history  of  Egypt  from  the  second  half  of  the  nine-teenth century, and studies the discourse between both practices. Furthermore, the Egyptian administrative system that manages archaeological sites and deteriorated areas is reviewed. The study contains analyses of laws and regulations re-garding urban management and heritage conservation on national, regional and local levels. It further determines different governmental entities that manage the Egyptian urban context. In order to bring about a better understanding of the Egyptian context, the examination is discussed in reference to three case studies in  Egypt,  Ezbet  Khyrallah,  ElMatarya  and  Al-Drab  Al-Ahmar,  Cairo.  Thus,  the  research highlights shortcomings that cause the gap in Egypt. It further examines applicability of the main key factors of success, which have been identified ear-lier, in the Egyptian context. Consequently, it builds the foundations upon which a properly integrated strategy will be developed in their regarding.        Subsequently, the thesis introduces the main case study in Alexandria, and provides  profound  analyses  of  its  physical  characteristics,  socioeconomic  pat-terns as well as different positions of actors and institutions involved in the area. Additionally, the study analyzes former interventions carried out by different en-tities  in  the  area  showing  their  impact  on  the  welfare  of  residents.  Ultimately,  the research develops an integrated strategy for heritage conservation and local development in Egypt based on analyses of the gap and learning from successful case studies in the Global South. Furthermore, an integrated strategic model for the main case study in Alexandria is proposed based on the examination of the Egyptian context, analyses of successful case studies in similar contexts and ana-lyses of the case study area.

Last updated on 2019-16-04 at 09:06