Living in the City of the Dead. A research-action project for an exceptional informal habitat - The article focuses on one of the most suggestive and controversial habitats of the Cairo megalopolis, the ‘City of the Dead’, as the vast areas of monumental cemeteries are collectively termed. Over time they have actually become a true and genuine ‘city’ within the city, inhabited by hundreds of thousands of people. It is a slum according to some definitions currently in use, but a very particular slum which is host to both a huge and special historical and architectural heritage and at the same time to a residential environment which is unique of its kind, in which a heterogeneous local society maintains the City of the Dead ‘in life’, by means of a specific residential culture linked to the sepulchral nature of the places. A research and action project intends to try and deconstruct the negative and destructive images currently adopted by Cairo’s urban planning policies for this urban environment. It does this by exploring the possibilities of a more detailed portrayal from different viewpoints in order to stimulate action to conserve and enhance the City of the Dead that is based on recognition of its value given by the ineluctable links between the monumental necropolis and the living environment.)" />
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Abitare nella Città dei Morti. Un progetto di ricerca azione per un habitat informale "di eccellenza"
Journal Title: TERRITORIO 
Author/s:  Paola Bellaviti 
Year:  2009 Issue: 50 Language: Italian 
Pages:  11 Pg. 9-19 FullText PDF:  1483 KB
DOI:  10.3280/TR2009-050002
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Living in the City of the Dead. A research-action project for an exceptional informal habitat - The article focuses on one of the most suggestive and controversial habitats of the Cairo megalopolis, the ‘City of the Dead’, as the vast areas of monumental cemeteries are collectively termed. Over time they have actually become a true and genuine ‘city’ within the city, inhabited by hundreds of thousands of people. It is a slum according to some definitions currently in use, but a very particular slum which is host to both a huge and special historical and architectural heritage and at the same time to a residential environment which is unique of its kind, in which a heterogeneous local society maintains the City of the Dead ‘in life’, by means of a specific residential culture linked to the sepulchral nature of the places. A research and action project intends to try and deconstruct the negative and destructive images currently adopted by Cairo’s urban planning policies for this urban environment. It does this by exploring the possibilities of a more detailed portrayal from different viewpoints in order to stimulate action to conserve and enhance the City of the Dead that is based on recognition of its value given by the ineluctable links between the monumental necropolis and the living environment.

Paola Bellaviti, in "TERRITORIO" 50/2009, pp. 9-19, DOI:10.3280/TR2009-050002

   

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