Can a university campus work as a public space in the metropolis of a developing country? The case of Ain-Shams University, Cairo, Egypt

Mona Ali, Youngmin Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Even though public open space has been taking more important roles in improving urban environments, most of the metropolises in developing countries suffer from lack of both quantity and quality of parks and green spaces. This research examined the possibility of opening the university campus to the public in order to improve the public space service of the city, focusing on the case of the Ain-Sham University campus in Cairo, Egypt. The study is structured in three steps: (1) Analysis of open space distribution at the district level to find out how the university campus can contribute to improving urban public service, and if it works as an open space; (2) Survey of resident and student groups to find a perception of opening the campus for public use; and (3) Interview with government officials and university faculty members. The level of agreement on opening the campus was neutral from both resident and student groups. However, the result shows some significant acceptance of opening specific places for public use upon employing proper strategies. According to the result, it is not appropriate to fully open the controlled public space of universities in the context of Cairo, following exemplary cases of developed countries. Although sharing privatized open space with adjacent communities can be a good solution for the fastgrowing metropolis, lack of proper public spaces, and insufficient resources, the process should be carefully designed with step-by-step implementation strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7229
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Volume12
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2020

Keywords

  • Greater Cairo
  • Open campus plan
  • Public space management
  • Public spaces
  • Universitycommunity relationship

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