Questioning New Public Space Practices in Post-revolution Cairo

Kamel; Elhusseiny
June 2014
Australian Journal of Basic & Applied Sciences;2014 Special, Vol. 8 Issue 8, p184
Academic Journal
Public space plays an important role in understanding the socio-political changes occurring within the rapidly transforming Cairene society. One of the outcomes of the mobilization of the people to the streets in January 2011 was the reclaiming of public space. Based on the observations of new trends of practice in public space, which have lately emerged in urban development around Cairo, the paper explores these new trends from a socio-political perspective. New practices of public space are being dominated by corporate bodies which inhabit open space within their territory of consumption. This has led to the demonstration of neo-liberal practices that originally initiated the uprisings of the January revolution. The main reasons could be narrowed down to the neglect of democracy and lack of equity and social justice. The reflection of these new practices is manifested in new spatial forms and structures that presumably reflect more liberal user-activities and correspond to the slogans of the 25th of January revolution; freedom, livelihood and social equity. In order to understand this new trend of public space, the paper will adopt a methodology based on primary observations of the new practices, spatial settings, responsive activities and use of public space in the 6th of October city. The outcomes of these observations are then reflected on what could be called the "modern Cairene urban space" developed in the years of Egyptian rule following the 1952 revolution an up to the 25th of January. The reflection questions the transformations in socio-political dimensions and there representative spatial order and user activities. The outcomes of this comparison unveil whether or not this new public space order adopts the slogans of the 25th of January revolution.


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