The City of the Dead as a place to live: unpacking the narratives about tomb communities

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dc.contributor.author Logan, Lindsey
dc.date.accessioned 2020-05-08T13:42:30Z
dc.date.available 2020-05-08T13:42:30Z
dc.date.issued 2020-05-01
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/2097/40618
dc.description.abstract The housing crisis in Cairo, Egypt is a “wicked problem” that has stumped planners and built environment professionals for decades. Cairo’s 20 million residents are engaged in an everyday struggle for space, particularly housing. The current housing stock does not respond to the residents’ everyday needs. Overpopulation and lack of affordable housing has resulted in residents squatting and self-building housing. My research centers around one such “informal” settlement called the City of the Dead (COD). A series of cemeteries located in Cairo’s city center, COD is home to many of Cairo’s poor and rural migrants. Planning efforts such as the Masterplan Cairo 2050 outline intentions to evict these residents, without details on their rehabilitation. Standing between decision makers and new or modified development, are embedded place narratives that cannot be erased. Narratives hold power to shape, change, and ignore what already exists. This thesis explores the narratives about the City of the Dead that are ignored in Masterplan Cairo 2050. Using qualitative methods, I focus on unpacking these narratives about COD, held by major stakeholders such as government officials, urban planners, popular media, and other sources, in order to elucidate how these, determine the negative planning outcomes proposed in policy documents. Based in the analysis of primary and supplementary data, I unpack the dominant narrative based in themes around legality, relocation, services, historical and cultural aspects, urban fabric, planning and governance. Through this in-depth analysis of themes and terminology used by respondents, I show that the dominant narrative about COD imagines it to be a cemetery and not a residential settlement. Also, evident in the plans and policies pertaining to COD, and in the terminology used to describe those who live in COD, this dominant narrative ignores the value that COD brings as a place to live to its residents. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.subject Informal settlement; City of the Dead; Greater Cairo Region; Narrative; Cemetery planning; Slums en_US
dc.title The City of the Dead as a place to live: unpacking the narratives about tomb communities en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.description.degree Master of Regional and Community Planning en_US
dc.description.level Masters en_US
dc.description.department Department of Landscape Architecture/Regional and Community Planning en_US
dc.description.advisor Major Professor Not Listed en_US
dc.date.published 2020 en_US
dc.date.graduationmonth May en_US


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