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A B S T R A C T This paper aims to question the level of success of one of Egypt’s contemporary architectural milestones which is the Aga-Khan Award winning project of the Child Park in Sayyeda Zeinab - designed by the Egyptian architect Abdel-Halim Ibrahim; from a community participation perspective. Stemming from the fact that the level of successful community participation in architecture and urban design projects affects the sustainability of the added value, this paper tackles the current process of operation of the Park and the adjacent pedestrian street, as complimentary aspects of a community participatory process, and evaluates the social sustainability of the project as well. The study sheds light on the operation of the park after twenty eight years of the initiation of the project, it explores its functional and social role in the district of Sayyeda, located at the center of Cairo city. However, the project has to be revised and analysed from a critical perspective to evaluate the degree of its success in affecting the local community, and the level to which it contributes to the approach of local community participation. In order to achieve this end, the paper adopts a two-fold methodology. The first is a literature review of the initial ceremonial participatory process of building the Park and the initial role intended by the architect whether related to the park itself or to the adjacent Abu-ElDahab Street. The second methodology is a qualitative analysis of the current state of the park and adjacent street, based on site investigations, behavioural mapping of the current status, analysis of the roles of the beneficiaries, interviews conducted with different stakeholders about the present challenges of the role of the park in the district. Based on those two main research approaches, the paper concludes with a framework and several guidelines to enhance the social sustenance of the place through rephrasing the park’s role in relation to the changing needs of the community.

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Re-visiting the Park: Reviving the “Cultural Park for Children” in Sayyeda Zeinab in the shadows of Social Sustainability * 1 Dr. ZEINAB SHAFIK, 2 Dr. MENNAT-ALLAH EL-HUSSEINY 1&2 Architecture Department, Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt E mail1: zeinabshafik@gmail.com E mail2: mennatallahelhusseiny@gmail.com A B S T R A C T This paper aims to question the level of success of one of Egypt’s contemporary architectural milestones which is the Aga-Khan Award winning project of the Child Park in Sayyeda Zeinab - designed by the Egyptian architect Abdel-Halim Ibrahim; from a community participation perspective. Stemming from the fact that the level of successful community participation in architecture and urban design projects affects the sustainability of the added value, this paper tackles the current process of operation of the Park and the adjacent pedestrian street, as complimentary aspects of a community participatory process, and evaluates the social sustainability of the project as well. The study sheds light on the operation of the park after twenty eight years of the initiation of the project, it explores its functional and social role in the district of Sayyeda, located at the center of Cairo city. However, the project has to be revised and analysed from a critical perspective to evaluate the degree of its success in affecting the local community, and the level to which it contributes to the approach of local community participation. In order to achieve this end, the paper adopts a two-fold methodology. The first is a literature review of the initial ceremonial participatory process of building the Park and the initial role intended by the architect whether related to the park itself or to the adjacent Abu-ElDahab Street. The second methodology is a qualitative analysis of the current state of the park and adjacent street, based on site investigations, behavioural mapping of the current status, analysis of the roles of the beneficiaries, interviews conducted with different stakeholders about the present challenges of the role of the park in the district. Based on those two main research approaches, the paper concludes with a framework and several guidelines to enhance the social sustenance of the place through rephrasing the park’s role in relation to the changing needs of the community. CONTEMPORARY URBAN AFFAIRS (2019), 3(2), 84-94. Doi:10.25034/ijcua.2018.4704 www.ijcua.com Copyright © 2018 Contemporary Urban Affairs. All rights reserved. 1. Introduction Reviews of many renowned projects reveal that the level of successful community participation in architecture and urban design projects affects the sustainability of the added value of such projects in their contexts. This paper aims to question the level of success of a contemporary architectural milestone in Egypt; namely the Aga-Khan Award winning project of the Child Park in Sayyeda Zeinab - designed by the Egyptian architect Abdel-Halim Ibrahim; from a community participation perspective. The Children Park was complemented by the project of Abu-ElDahab Pedestrian Street, both projects functioned collaboratively to respond to the needs of the adjacent community and establish the participatory approach for a sustainable development. After 28 years of its initiation the study revisits the project which was launched with much publicity raising high hopes to achieve its noble aspirations. The methodology adopted in this paper as shown below in (figure 1), is based on primarily, a literature review of the community participatory approaches in contexts of Heritage Value, followed by intial ceremonial particpatory process of building the Park and the intial role intended by the architect whether related to the park itself or to the adjacent Abu-ElDahab Street. Following that a qualitative analysis of the current state of the park and adjacent street is conducted, based on site investigations, behavioral mapping of the current status, analysis of the roles of the beneficiaries, interviews conducted with different stakeholders about the present challenges of the role of the park in the district. Based on those two main research approaches, the paper concludes with a framework and several guidelines to enhance the social sustenance of the context through rephrasing the park’s role in relation to the changing needs of the community. Figure 1: Research Methodology, Authors, 2018. 2. Theoretical Overview to Community Participatory Approaches in Contexts of Heritage Value. According to (Bens, 1994), the international scale resources for social welfare services are becoming very limited. This is due to the pressures of population increase and the consequent changing priorities of governments. and the changing priorities for governments, (Bens, 1994). Thus, the utilization of non-professionals through citizen involvement mechanisms to address social problems has become more applicable in addressing the development demands of local communities, (Kaufman and Poulin, 1996). The term community participation is itself a rich concept that differs according to its application and definition. The way participation is defined also depends on the context in which it is implemented. The definitions selected here focus on the main spectrum of interest of this specific research study. Oakley and Marsden (1991) defined community participation as the process by which individuals, families, or communities assume responsibility for their own welfare and develop a capacity to contribute to their own and the community’s development. In the context of urban development, community participation refers to a dynamic process in which the beneficiaries influence the direction and execution of development projects rather than merely receive a share of project benefits (Bamberger, 1991). As to Arnstein (1969), citizen participation is the same as citizen power. However, she argues that there is a critical difference between going through the empty ritual of participation as a process only and having the real power needed to affect the outcome of the process itself. In the realm of urban development, participation in housing and urban service management is a process where people as consumers and producers of housing and urban services are involved in the planning, implementation and maintenance of the projects. Participation is based on voluntary relationships between various actors, which may include government institutions, individual housing and urban services users, community-based organizations, user groups, private enterprises, and non-governmental organizations, (Nour, 2011). Nour (2011) further asserts that the concept of participation in development is certainly not a new one. According to Moser (1987), in rural development, community participation has been evidenced as an important success factor since 1950.

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Re-visiting the Park: Reviving the “Cultural Park for Children” in Sayyeda Zeinab in the shadows of Social Sustainability * 1 Dr. ZEINAB SHAFIK, 2 Dr. MENNAT-ALLAH EL-HUSSEINY 1&2 Architecture Department, Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt E mail1: zeinabshafik@gmail.com E mail2: mennatallahelhusseiny@gmail.com A B S T R A C T This paper aims to question the level of success of one of Egypt’s contemporary architectural milestones which is the Aga-Khan Award winning project of the Child Park in Sayyeda Zeinab - designed by the Egyptian architect Abdel-Halim Ibrahim; from a community participation perspective. Stemming from the fact that the level of successful community participation in architecture and urban design projects affects the sustainability of the added value, this paper tackles the current process of operation of the Park and the adjacent pedestrian street, as complimentary aspects of a community participatory process, and evaluates the social sustainability of the project as well. The study sheds light on the operation of the park after twenty eight years of the initiation of the project, it explores its functional and social role in the district of Sayyeda, located at the center of Cairo city. However, the project has to be revised and analysed from a critical perspective to evaluate the degree of its success in affecting the local community, and the level to which it contributes to the approach of local community participation. In order to achieve this end, the paper adopts a two-fold methodology. The first is a literature review of the initial ceremonial participatory process of building the Park and the initial role intended by the architect whether related to the park itself or to the adjacent Abu-ElDahab Street. The second methodology is a qualitative analysis of the current state of the park and adjacent street, based on site investigations, behavioural mapping of the current status, analysis of the roles of the beneficiaries, interviews conducted with different stakeholders about the present challenges of the role of the park in the district. Based on those two main research approaches, the paper concludes with a framework and several guidelines to enhance the social sustenance of the place through rephrasing the park’s role in relation to the changing needs of the community. CONTEMPORARY URBAN AFFAIRS (2019), 3(2), 84-94. Doi:10.25034/ijcua.2018.4704 www.ijcua.com Copyright © 2018 Contemporary Urban Affairs. All rights reserved. 1. Introduction Reviews of many renowned projects reveal that the level of successful community participation in architecture and urban design projects affects the sustainability of the added value of such projects in their contexts. This paper aims to question the level of success of a contemporary architectural milestone in Egypt; namely the Aga-Khan Award winning project of the Child Park in Sayyeda Zeinab - designed by the Egyptian architect Abdel-Halim Ibrahim; from a community participation perspective. The Children Park was complemented by the project of Abu-ElDahab Pedestrian Street, both projects functioned collaboratively to respond to the needs of the adjacent community and establish the participatory approach for a sustainable development. After 28 years of its initiation the study revisits the project which was launched with much publicity raising high hopes to achieve its noble aspirations. The methodology adopted in this paper as shown below in (figure 1), is based on primarily, a literature review of the community participatory approaches in contexts of Heritage Value, followed by intial ceremonial particpatory process of building the Park and the intial role intended by the architect whether related to the park itself or to the adjacent Abu-ElDahab Street. Following that a qualitative analysis of the current state of the park and adjacent street is conducted, based on site investigations, behavioral mapping of the current status, analysis of the roles of the beneficiaries, interviews conducted with different stakeholders about the present challenges of the role of the park in the district. Based on those two main research approaches, the paper concludes with a framework and several guidelines to enhance the social sustenance of the context through rephrasing the park’s role in relation to the changing needs of the community. Figure 1: Research Methodology, Authors, 2018. 2. Theoretical Overview to Community Participatory Approaches in Contexts of Heritage Value. According to (Bens, 1994), the international scale resources for social welfare services are becoming very limited. This is due to the pressures of population increase and the consequent changing priorities of governments. and the changing priorities for governments, (Bens, 1994). Thus, the utilization of non-professionals through citizen involvement mechanisms to address social problems has become more applicable in addressing the development demands of local communities, (Kaufman and Poulin, 1996). The term community participation is itself a rich concept that differs according to its application and definition. The way participation is defined also depends on the context in which it is implemented. The definitions selected here focus on the main spectrum of interest of this specific research study. Oakley and Marsden (1991) defined community participation as the process by which individuals, families, or communities assume responsibility for their own welfare and develop a capacity to contribute to their own and the community’s development. In the context of urban development, community participation refers to a dynamic process in which the beneficiaries influence the direction and execution of development projects rather than merely receive a share of project benefits (Bamberger, 1991). As to Arnstein (1969), citizen participation is the same as citizen power. However, she argues that there is a critical difference between going through the empty ritual of participation as a process only and having the real power needed to affect the outcome of the process itself. In the realm of urban development, participation in housing and urban service management is a process where people as consumers and producers of housing and urban services are involved in the planning, implementation and maintenance of the projects. Participation is based on voluntary relationships between various actors, which may include government institutions, individual housing and urban services users, community-based organizations, user groups, private enterprises, and non-governmental organizations, (Nour, 2011). Nour (2011) further asserts that the concept of participation in development is certainly not a new one. According to Moser (1987), in rural development, community participation has been evidenced as an important success factor since 1950.

Journal of Contemporary Urban Affairs
Girne American University

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This page is a summary of: Re-visiting the Park: Reviving the “Cultural Park for Children” in Sayyeda Zeinab in the shadows of Social Sustainability, Journal of Contemporary Urban Affairs, June 2018, Journal of Contemporary Urban Affairs (JCUA), DOI: 10.25034/ijcua.2018.4704.
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