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Alternative Housing Models

Title of the Session

Alternative Housing Models

Time and Venue

16 June 2015, Marriott Hotel Zamalek – 11:00 am-12:30 pm


Housing Units which are built by the government are often criticized in many parts of the world for being too rigid and unable to respect the organic social fabric of communities. Many citizens prefer informal housing not only for its low price but also because it preserves the community structure as it allows them to be accommodated in the same house or neighbourhood with the extended family. Housing models have thus to be rethought in order to make public housing more attractive and suitable for local communities needs and priorities. This session explores different housing models in Egypt and beyond, seeking to learn from international experience and from the advantages offered by informal housing units in Egypt.

The aim of the Panel is to discuss:

  • The standard government housing model is very rigid and uniform. Should there be more range of unit sizes, and should there be more mixing of land use and social groups within a neighborhood (superblock)? What about row-housing and infill housing?
  • What can be learned from the informal housing dynamic and the dominant owner-builder model? Is there a future for sites and services projects?
  • What can we learn from the German experience in cooperative housing?
  • What is the relation between livelihood and the different housing models (formal and informal) with a special focus on the livelihood and public housing projects in Egypt?
  • What are the new attractive construction models being discussed at MURIS?


Dr. Asad Salama, Ministry of Urban Renewal and Informal Settlements

Arch. Amal Abdou, Head of Architecture Department, Faculty of Fine Arts

Mr. Maher Boshra, Executive Director, Better Life Association for Comprehensive Development in Minya

Eng. Salma Khamis, PhD Candidate, Habitat Unit, TU Berlin


Dr. Mohamed Salheen, Prof. of Integrated Planning, Director of Integrated Urbanism and Sustainable Design Program & Lab, Ain Shams University