Monthly Archives: June 2015


PDP’s 2nd Stakeholder workshop in combination with the 3rd Advisory Board for Climate Change in Cities (AB-CCC), May 05, 2015

On Tuesday, May 05, the Climate Change Component of the Participatory Development Programme in Urban Areas (PDP) organized the 2nd Stakeholder Workshop in combination with the 3rd Advisory Board for Climate Change in Cities (AB-CCC) in order to follow up the piloting of several small scale measure for better climate change adaptation in Ezbet el-Nasr as well as encouraging a vibrant and fruitful knowledge exchange between relevant actors in the field. The half-day event that took place in Flamenco Hotel in Zamalek brought together stakeholder from various institutional settings, namely representatives of academia, national and local authorities, civil society, public research centres, development cooperation, NGOs and the private sector.

The importance of further pursuing climate change adaptation activities in the context of informal settlements was expressed in an initial opening speech by Ms. Shahira Abdel-Raziqon behalf of the Ministry of Urban Renewal and Informal Settlements (MURIS)  – PDP’s new political partner and by Mr. Hisham Eissa on behalf of the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA). In the following presentation Johannes Lueckenkoetter of Plan and Risk Consult and PDP’s partner for developing and implementing a comprehensive adaptation strategy, explained the scientific approach upon which the 9 small scale measures have been developed.

The scientific elaborations were followed by May El-Ibrashi’s representation of the current status-quo of implementing the small scale measures in Ezbet El-Nasr as part of MEGAWRA’s local consultancy. The audience got informed that the community of Ezbet El-Nasr will realize the implementation of façade plastering, painting and planting as well as covering roof tops and streets for better sun shading after designing the respective measures in a participative manner in the following Catalyst Event.

With regard to the idea of mutual exchange and knowledge transfer upon which the AB-CCC is based, participants were given the chance to discuss and further develop the topic within an open discussion round led by Yasser Sherif of Environics as well as in the following roundtables. Many promising ideas were expressed especially concerning institutionalization, integration of different stakeholders and initiation of synergies. In the end of the day, the great success of the workshop was perfectly expressed by Ms. Zizi Assaad, Head of Urban Upgrading Unit Giza, stating that the link between PDP C2’s climate change activities and the role of the Public Authorities was once more made explicit and reasonable.

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Dr.-Ing. Günther Wehenpohl, Participatory Development Programme in Urban Areas Coordinator, is one of the panelists in the “Informal Areas and Low Income Neighborhoods.”

Egypt is facing rapid informal development that has reshaped the form and nature of Egyptian cities over the past several decades. In the early-90s the government began preparing plans to develop informal areas in most of the Egyptian governorates. Currently, about 37.5 % of urban mass in Egypt is unplanned with densities of around 500 person / fd while this percent increases to 95% in villages. Many intervention activities target upgrading informal settlements; improving the living conditions of residents and promoting local economic development. Thus the Participatory Development Programme in Urban Areas (PDP) contributed to the first Egyptian Urban Forum held on June 14th-16th 2015 in Cairo.

Under the theme of Urban Planning and Renewal came the Panel is to discuss the various approaches, methodologies and techniques that the Ministry of Urban Renewal and Informal Settlements ( MURIS)  is adopting and the gaps and disconnections that affects the effectiveness of upgrading efforts. Add to this the foreseen future and the role of NGOs in improving the conditions of informal areas. Moreover; the panel discussed the most important projects that should be considered while upgrading informal areas in the cultural or service sector.

Dr. Guenther Wehenpohl, PDP Coordinator, was one of the panelists in the “Informal Areas and Low Income Neighborhoods.” Dr. Wehenpohl started his word stating that we have to improve the physical situation in the informal areas as we are all working on behalf of the people living there. Dr. Wehenpohl stated also that people coming from rural areas to the city are only seeking better economical situation, and this is the case why the buildings in the informal areas are getting higher and bigger. He also mentioned that a lot of organizations in Egypt are working in developing the informal areas, and as GIZ is one of the organizations working for the same cause, PDP is one of the programs that has a participatory approach towards developing the informal areas. Meaning that, PDP does the best to get the people involved in the all the activities specially in planning stages so as  to get their full support and to recognize and identify their needs within their local communities.

The main governorates that the program is working on are Cairo, Giza and Qalyubia under the intergovernmental agreements that the PDP has with different authorities.



Safa Ashoub from Participatory Development Programme in Urban Areas moderates the Informal “Economy, Growth and Equity” session in the first Egypt Urban Forum.

Safa Ashoub, Institutionalisation Advisor, from Participatory Development Programme in Urban Areas moderates the Informal “Economy, Growth and Equity” session in the first Egypt Urban Forum.

In developing countries the informal economy plays a crucial role in providing diverse job opportunities that are more accessible to the labor market. On the one hand, the informal economy is an important survival strategy for the poor, while on the other hand, it is often regarded as troublesome as informal businesses evade taxes and operate outside of state control, which can also offer illegal activities.

The first part of the session covered the patterns of the street vendors in downtown and different informal areas. It was highlighted that the importance of the government role in developing and putting those markets into structure in order to reach a mechanism that all parties agrees on; merchants, people living in the area, and the government.

The second part covered the significant connection between the countryside and the urban regions and how both affects each other in a direct way starting from planting the seeds until the fruits and vegetables reach the people living in the urban regions. Also, the session covered the small and medium recycling business in Manshiet Nasser and the challenge this industry is facing regarding resources, better places to work and legalizing their work as well, and they raised the flag for the government in order to try and reach a solution for it as well.

The session ended with an open discussion between the panelists and the attendees which shed light on the importance of the topics discussed and how it affects different parties on different levels, and the proposed solutions proposed to solve these issues.


PDP/C2’s Study Tour to Germany “German Perspectives on Climate Change Adaptation in Cities” (07.06.15 to 12.06.15)

“How can cities better adapt to climate change on a local scale and what institutional background is needed therefore? How are concepts of green and sustainable infrastructure integrated into the city scape? What is the relation between urban agriculture and food security? How can exchange platforms and international networks enhance the climate change adaptation performance of cities around the world?”

All these questions were tackled within the study tour called “German Perspectives on Climate Change Adaptation in Cities” which was organized by the Climate Change Component (C2) of the Participatory Development Programme in Urban Areas (PDP) from Sunday, the 7th of June to Friday, the 12th of June in Germany. There, unique insights on climate change adaptation from a German perspective based on an international scale were offered. The study tour was accompanied by acknowledged experts from the most important fields of climate change adaptation in Egypt. Namely, representatives from the Ministry of Urban Renewal and Informal Settlements (MURIS), the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA), the Governorates of Cairo, Giza and Qalyubia, as well as the private sector, represented by Schaduf Company and MEGAWRA on behalf of the civil society.

The study tour was organized around the annual “Resilient Cities Conference” of ICLEI – the world leading organization for climate change adaptation on a local level. The outstanding highlight of the 3 days of conference was the GIZ presentation about “Adaptation capacities in densely populated areas”. Thereby, PDP/C2’s recent climate change adaptation project which has been successfully initiated in one of Cairo’s informal settlements (Ezbet el-Nasr) was introduced to and further discussed with the audience. The other sessions were evolving around various themes, such as food security, health implications of climate change, multi-stakeholder approaches for building resilience, ect.

On the first day of the study tour, a meeting with ICLEI representative Ms. Eva Madeira was held in order to give the participants the possibility to grasp a comprehensive overview of the ICLEI activities around the world. The meeting motivated the participants to discuss the possibility of engaging the Greater Cairo Region in upcoming ICLEI activities as well as possibly becoming the first city-member of the Arab region.

In order to enhance the theoretical input of the conference, a half-day trip was organized to the city of Andernach, which is known as the “Edible City”. There, the delegation members were introduced to the concept of city-wide urban agriculture regarding its ecological, economic and social aspects.

In addition to the attendance of the conference in Bonn, the second part of the study tour was taking place in Stuttgart, which is the partner city of Cairo Governorate. The city has put great efforts in the last years to develop a climate-sensitive agenda for the whole metropolitan region. This engagement resulted in the production of a “Climate Atlas” functioning as basis for the development of a city-wide climate change adaptation strategy. In order to successfully challenge the heat island effect and high pollution rates, which Stuttgart is known for due to its location in a valley, the strategy includes green corridors as well as green rooftops and fresh air channels. The “Green Living Room” project in the neighbouring city of Ludwigsburg that the delegation was also visiting in a half-day trip perfectly exemplified the planning and implementation of urban green infrastructure for enhancing the micro climate in the urban context. Both, the green living room in Ludwigsburg as well as Stuttgart, provided the delegation with particularly interesting insights on climate change adaptation as direct links could be drawn to the case of the Greater Cairo Region.

Overall, the study tour was a great success as many promising connections and networks could be initiated and deepened. The delegation members were provided with manifold information, new aspects and promising approaches for a better climate change adaptation on the local level, but from an international perspective. The study tour was also a good opportunity for the participants to exchange about mutual future cooperation between national and local levels and even with the private sector. Last but not least, the particular strength of the study tour was the possibility for the participants to gain real hands-on experience and to perceive personally the positive impact of small scale measures for climate change adaptation.