Before starting my PhD I was doing a couple of research projects, one of which was a paper on the ways activists around issues of urbanism where using different methods and tactics to create a field for their cause that revolved around the city, and a better and more just city.
One of the very promising cases where a group of architects who wanted to change the vision of their profession, and took a -what I see as – a radical approach to “participatory planning” in a way that avoids the baggage of malpractice the concept has incurred, these have worked under the name of MADD-platform one of the many initiatives that flowered after the 2011 revolution.
Over three years this group has researched and tried to come up with an alternative plan to the one that had existed for Maspero triangle,and that threatened its inhabitants. They have worked with the ministry -when there was one- and recently have also been involved and were able to involve the residents in the urban project that is to be implemented in the area.
Tonight they will be launching the report of the research and the project, find the details of the event here.
There are many lessons learned and questions to be asked out of this experience, some of which I am sure will be discussed tonight. So far the project that has won the competition has raised some questions, two of the co-founders of the initiative MADD reflect on on Cairobserver, and in an article by the Guardian.
The event is key to those interested in the history of Cairo, its governance, its activism, mainstreaming parallel practices with state policies..etc. Tonight the 500 page report will be launched and will be later available and downloadable online.
Update: the report can be accessed via : http://issuu.com/maddplatform/docs/maspero_parallel_participatory_proj/1