Urban Metabolism and Quality of Life in Informal Areas

Title
Urban Metabolism and Quality of Life in Informal Areas
Author(s)
Heba Allah E. Khalil SaharAttia
Year
2015
Source
REAL CORP - International Conference on Urban Planning and Regional Development in the Information Society
Abstract
The 21st century is known as the century of urbanization. Numerous debates are currently taking place to
definecities and what they should aspire to be. A number of terms have appeared in this arena,such as
sustainable city, eco-city and green city to name a few. However, the main question remains how to measure
the performance of a city in regards tothese aims. In addition, it is vital to note that major urbanization
activities take part in cities of the developing world, where informalization is synonym to urbanization, thus
necessitating a profound study of informal areas and their potential role in achieving sustainable cities. This
paper studies how acity performs in terms of consuming and producing resources and how they flow through
its various systems, described as urban metabolism. The paper particularly discusses how informal areas
perform regarding their metabolism, focusing on water flow through these areas as a priority identified by
the residents. Imbaba district, one of the largest informal areas in Cairo, is investigated as a case study to
determine the actual quality of life of local residents and their ecological footprint and to providepractical
insights. The whole process depends on a multidisciplinary participatory research where the citizens and
local community based organization are the focal point. In addition, the process depends on open source data
and data sharing as a way to empower local communities to identify their needs and issues and hence their
appropriate interventions. This is conducted through questionnaires and interviews to identify what the
current conditions and processes in informal areas provide for the residents. The paper concludes with
identifying points of leakages in the resources flows and the possible interventions to improve the quality of
life in the area while maintaining an efficient use of local resources and minimizing the impact of
urbanization of the ecological footprint of cities. This will assist cities to become more resilient in the face of
water scarcity, and provide a more vibrant life for its residents.
Access
Open Access
More Information
http://www.corp.at/archive/CORP2015_19.pdf

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