History

PHASE 1

EZBET Project as a design project course or competition: This phase was part of university activity that required delivering an urban development design without any interaction between universities’ students and the local community in Egypt. The project started with the aim of improving the physical, spatial urban and architectural context of the informal area by means of establishing a community centre designed by students through an international competition.

EZBET as a design project course 

This phase was part of the normal university activities that ended with delivering the project and designs ideas without interaction between the universities’ students from Germany and Egypt or between them and the community, which are the users and the beneficiaries of the final product. Each of the two universities worked separately:

  • In 2011, the idea of the project started at the Städtebau Institut (SI) as a student project entitled “Centre for Ezbet Abu Qarn”. It was only for the students at the University of Stuttgart who had the task, to come up with ideas, to upgrade the informal settlement of Ezbet Abu Qarn.

  • In 2012, the same project was offered as a student competition to realize the ideas of the community center and deliver the designs to an NGO and the community to be implemented via participatory methods and techniques.

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PHASE 2

EZBET Project as an official Egyptian-German Academic project: In this phase, the project was established under the collaboration between the two academic universities from Egypt and Germany. EZBET start to work on Ezbet Abu Qarn and work on developing the area.

EZBET as an official Egyptian-German academic project

During this phase, the research project got established in collaboration between the two universities from Egypt and Germany with a strong community outreach and cooperation focus:

  • In 2013, the EZBET Project was officially founded as a German-Egyptian project.

  • In 2014, six prototypes of building materials were developed and later implemented at Ezbet Abu Qarn with the help of the community. It was the basis for the building materials and building techniques that the EZBET Project promoted for and suggested for the community centre that should be implemented in the area with the help of the NGO working there.

PHASE 3

EZBET Project as a leader for participatory development through initiating a bottom-up approach for sustainable development: This phase is the most effective phase in the project. Two research development tracks were defined as physical & social development. This three-year phase was fully financed by the DAAD.

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EZBET as a participatory development leader for sustainable development

During this phase, it achieved recognition as a well-established participatory research project, fully funded by DAAD. This phase specified the research development tracks. Moreover, research was undertaken on different projects on the ground. The team was able to practice an effective participatory process with the community:

  • In 2015, the project divided its research work into two main tracks for sustainable development:

  1. Urban development that includes built-up environment and infrastructure​

  2. Social development targets and effective participatory programs for the community in the whole process.)

  • In 2016, the project started to implement real projects on the ground with the support of the community. The focus of the development is the efficient participation of locals to achieve better understanding of the needs of the community. The process is flexible and adaptable according to the community needs assessment.

  • In 2017, Ezbet Project is concluding a pilot case study of Ezbet Abu Qarn with a successful three scale project in the area. Lately, it is expanding its work to learn new experiences in Geziret El-Dahab, which is classified as one of the informal settlements with agricultural features in the middle of the Nile in Greater Cairo.

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PHASE 4

EZBET Project heading Phase. This phase is very important as EZBET started to establish its Kairos Lab in Egypt as a research and consultation unit for sustainable informal development in Egypt as well as institutionalizing the project as an academic association for urban development in the global south.

CONCLUSION AND INSTITUTIONALIZATION OF THE EZBET PROJECT

In 2018, the EZBET Project will be concluded in Germany by launching the symposium and publishing its book of experience. Meanwhile, it seeks institutionalization through the city real lab “Kairos” at Ain Shams University.

 

The real lab is meant to integrate knowledge, knowhow and expertise from academia and local communities. It bridges the gap between science and practice to solve problems related to dynamic urbanization processes. “Kairos” is a pun linking the image of the city of Cairo to its ancient Greek meaning “the right moment”. The lab concept was created from the German “Real-labor” idea of knowledge transfer between science and real life. The main function is to apply scientific theories on real projects in the context of urban development problems in Egypt. Kairos builds on the experiences, findings and principles from the EZBET Projects.

EZBET Project Phases

The EZBET family has been growing ever since the beginning of 2011, starting from being a few students and professors to an entire coorperation ready to make the world a better place. EZBET is now bigger than ever and stll growing and looking for more people to join in ...