Technical assistance to the Alexandria Governorate for the regeneration of the industrial heritage of Minat al Bassal and Kafr Ashry district
Associated INTA members: François Noisette (Kalutere Polis), Lena Bouzemberg (Attitudes Urbaines), Dina Nassar, Shafik Khoury, Alaa Al-Dabaa, Marwa El-Sayed, Ragy Elgendy
The project is set on the Minat al Bassal and Kafr Ashry districts, central areas of Alexandria. The city covers 300km² and is Egypt’s second largest city, Cairo being first, and the country’s largest port. 4.5 million people live in it. However, the attraction and reputation of Cairo are far better, causing a brain drain phenomenon from Alexandria to Cairo. The Governorate of Alexandria, a key institution for the city urban governance, aims to get the city out of Cairo’s shadow. It aims to make it a Egyptian, Mediterranean and Arabian major metropolis, and to strengthen complementarities and synergies between these two major cities.
The SUP Alex 2032 (Strategic Urban Plan) was set up in this context and, following a diagnosis phase, elaborated a implementation plan. Urban development projects were proposed during a workshop on sustainable cities, organized by INTA, the Bibliotheca Anlexandrina, the AFD and the Marseille’s Integration Center for the Mediterranean (CMI). Among them, 4 priority subjects were determined: urban rehabilitation, urban regeneration, valorization of underused urban areas and institutional framework. Prefeasibility, legal, financial and technical studies were carried out for the presented projects. Among those, the Minat Al Bassal – Kafr Ashry had the most potential, and was added to the UPFI projects list.
The Minat Al Bassal district is made up of 8 large and adaptable industrial buildings, suitable for a reconversion and new uses. This heritage restoration would also stimulate the rehabilitation of the neighboring district of Kafr Ashry, a currently deprived neighborhood. The industrial rehabilitation of Minat al Bassal warehouses, through an adaptative urban reuse project, will allow the area to reintegrate the city of Alexandria, and to raise awareness of the culture and the industrial heritage among the Alexandrians, and to improve the public area of Mahmoudieh canal. The Kafr Ashry district will also be revalorized, through the creation of new employment opportunities for the inhabitants, brought by this urban rehabilitation project and the new synergies and complementarities between the two neighborhoods.
The renovations will in the first instance be environmental, so as to revitalize the waterfront by improving the environmental impact of the districts. Facing the West Port and near Alexandria city-center, this localization can allow them to become new dynamic and mixed activity area, with a specialization on touristic and commercial navigation. Their characteristic industrial vibe can attract users and investors. The creation of art, sport of social centers and new public spaces along the canal, as well as the rehabilitation of the clinic and the buildings renovation is planned it Kafr Ashry, to revitalize the neighborhood.
INTA’s mission was to support Egyptian stakeholders to prepare the project for implementation. A global master plan and a first global economic model were carried out, as well as an identification of the implementations phases.
Based on studies complementary of the prefeasibility already carried out, as well as interviews with stakeholders and market studies, INTA was able to diagnose the project area, and establish urban planning. An overall master plan of the project area has been carried out, in a phase of preparation for the project implementation. Then, INTA will work with the Egyptians authorities to select the investment and project packages, and will accompany the project leader in its implementation.