Instituting order: the limitations of Nasser’s post-colonial planning visions for Cairo in the case of the indigenous quarter of Bulaq (1952–1970)

Gehan Selim

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This paper investigates the limitations of postcolonial planning practices that aimed to modernise Cairo’s urban spaces during Gamal Abdel Nasser rule (1952–70). Following the Free Officers revolution of 1952, ambition to display urban order through forceful change in the city’s built environment was in action. Nasser’s visions of modernity were explicit in a series of attempts to reshape several prime locations in central Cairo, which included the old traditional waterfront quarter, in Bulaq Abul Ela. An analysis of the Bulaq planning scheme drafted in 1966 reveals insights into how notions of order were spatialised to integrate with Cairo’s complex urban fabric. The official plans to regularise Bulaq also strongly demonstrates how this was a top-down, centralised process in terms of governance, with full utilisation of state resources, namely the military and the media. From a wider perspective, planning practices under Nasser demonstrated an evident break with the past to eliminate memories of colonisation and disorder. Drawing on original resources, archival material, meeting minutes and maps of this historical but dilapidated quarter of Cairo, this paper gives an insight into how Nasser’s government attempted to convey a sense of order in a revolutionary country without, however, having an understanding of order as a coherent, multilayered and sequential process of change.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)67 - 89
    Number of pages23
    JournalPlanning Perspectives
    Volume29
    Issue number1
    Early online date01 Jul 2013
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

    Keywords

    • order; post-colonial Cairo; Bulaq Abul Ela; urban planning

    Fingerprint

    Dive into the research topics of 'Instituting order: the limitations of Nasser’s post-colonial planning visions for Cairo in the case of the indigenous quarter of Bulaq (1952–1970)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this