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Ministerial Council for Housing and Construction in UAE

Ministerial Council for Housing and Construction in UAE

Arab Council for Housing and Construction endorsed the preparation of an Arab Strategy for Housing
and Sustainable Urban Development, whereas the League of Arab States (LAS) General Secretariat gives special
attention to developing strategies and programs of actions to achieve sustainable development in the Arab States, with the technical support of the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat). More recently this 36th Ministerial Council for Housing and Construction in UAE proceeded along and part of the above strategy as reported by Emirates News Agency.

الإمارات تستضيف الدورة 36 لمجلس وزراء الإسكان والتعمير العرب

UAE hosts 36th session of the Arab Ministerial Council for Housing and Construction

  • الإمارات تستضيف الدورة 36 لمجلس وزراء الإسكان والتعمير العرب

DUBAI, October 6, 2019 (WAM) — The UAE today hosted the 36th session of the Arab Ministerial Council for Housing and Construction.

The meeting was attended by Arab ministers of housing and construction, as well as Victor Kisob, Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), Kamal Hassan Ali, Assistant Secretary-General Head of Economic Affairs, League of Arab States, and representatives of Arab, regional and international organisations.

The meeting took place on the sidelines of the third round of the Arab Ministerial Forum on Housing and Urban Development held on 7th and 8th October.

The session began with the announcement of the UAE taking over the council’s presidency from Bahrain for its next session in 2019-2020. Its participants then discussed the main challenges facing the housing and urban development sectors in the Arab region, and other topics related to housing, most notably the Arab Housing Conference, Arab Housing Day, and the Award of the Council of Arab Ministers of Housing and Construction.

The meeting also discussed the cooperation between UN-Habitat, the forum, and relevant regional groups and foreign countries.

Bassem bin Yaqoub Al Hamar, Minister of Housing of Bahrain, thanked the UAE, represented by the Ministry of Infrastructure Development and the Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme, for its hospitality and reception.

Dr Abdullah bin Mohammed Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Infrastructure Development, welcomed the ministers and delegations participating in the session and forum, stating, “In 1975, the Arab ministers of housing and construction held their first meeting in the UAE. After 44 years, I am pleased to welcome you to your second country and wish you a pleasant stay.”

“I also hope that the meetings will yield outcomes that will help make positive changes to our housing and urban development sectors, which are the basis of overall development, happiness and quality of life,” he added.

WAM / Hazem Hussein / MOHD AAMIR

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Qatar Construction Increases  with Permit Issuance Up

Qatar Construction Increases with Permit Issuance Up

Qatar Construction Increases With Permit Issuance Up 51% by Ivy Heffernan and published by Live Trading News on August 21, 2019.

The Planning and Statistics Authority’s recently released data shows 51% general increase in July 2019 in the number of building permits issued when compared to June this year.    

The Planning and Statistics Authority (PSA) published the fifty-fifth issue of the monthly statistics of Building Permits and Building Completion certificates issued by all municipalities of the State.

According to PSA data on building permits issued during July 2019, Al Rayyan comes at the top of the municipalities where the number of building permits issued were 188, i.e. 27% of the total issued permits, while Doha municipality comes in second place with 151 permits, i.e. 22%, followed by Al Wakrah with 131 permits (19%), then Al Da’ayen with 85 permits, i.e.12%.

The rest of the municipalities are as follows: Umm Slal 58 permits (8%), Al Khor 39 permits (6%), Al Sheehaniya 31 permits (4%), and Al Shammal 15 permits (2%).

In terms of type of permits issued, data indicates that the new building permits (residential and non-residential) constitute 50% (352 permits) of the total building permits issued during the month of July 2019, while the percentage of additions permits constituted 48% (334 permits), and finally fencing permits with 2% (12 permits).

New residential buildings permits data indicates that villas top the list, accounting for 68% (198 permits) of all new residential buildings permits, followed by dwellings of housing loans permits by 24% (71 permits) and apartments buildings by 7% (20 permits).

On the other hand, governmental buildings were found to be in the forefront of non-residential buildings permits with 29% (17 permits), followed by industrial buildings e.g. workshops and factories with 27% (16 permits), then commercial buildings with 25% (15 permits).

Comparing the number of permits issued in July 2019 with those issued in the previous month a general increase of 51% was noted. The increase was noted in all municipalities as follows: Al Shammal (150%), Al Wakrah (68%), Al Sheehaniya and Al Khor (63%) each, Umm Slal (61%), Al Rayyan (50%), Al Doha (41%), Al Da’ayen (25%).

The press release added that a quick review of the data on building completion certificates issued during the month of July 2019, according to their geographical distribution, showed that Rayyan municipality comes at the top of the municipalities where the number of building completion certificates issued were 125 certificates, i.e. (33%) of the total issued certificates while municipality of Al Wakrah came in second place with 81 certificates, i.e. (21%), followed by municipality of Al Doha with 74 certificates (19%), then Al Da’ayen municipality with 53 certificates, i.e.(14%). The rest of the municipalities were as follows: Umm Slal 23 certificates (6%), Al Khor 11 certificates (3%), Al Sheehaniya 9 certificates (2%), and finally Al Shammal 7 certificates (2%).

In terms of the type of certificates issued, data indicates that the new building completion certificates (residential and non-residential) constitutes 76% (291 certificates) of the total building certificates issued during the month of July 2019, while the percentage of additions certificates constituted 24% (92 certificates).

Comparing the number of certificates issued in July 2019 with those issued in the previous month we noted an increase of 38%. This increase was clearly noted in most municipalities: Al Shammal (250%),Al Wakrah (103%), Al Doha (76%), Al Rayyan (25%), Al Da’ayen (18%), Umm Slal (5%), On the other hand, there was a clear decrease in the municipality of Al Khor (35%), while Al Sheehaniya municipality maintained the same number of issued certificates.

Qatar Construction Increases  with Permit Issuance Up

Ivy Heffernan is a student of Economics at Buckingham University. Junior Analyst at HeffX and experienced marketing director.


View all posts by Ivy Heffernan

Building sites are going to look a bit different, in the future

Building sites are going to look a bit different, in the future

Building sites are going to look a bit different, in the future for many reasons such as those proposed by ScienceDirect a year ago in their introduction to “3D Printing of Buildings: Construction of the Sustainable Houses of the Future by BIM Mehmet Sakin*, Yusuf Caner Kiroglu”. This explains that 3D printing is a process by which physical objects are created by depositing materials in layers based on a digital model. All 3D printing processes require software, hardware, and materials to work together. The first 3D printer was invented in 1983 by Charles W. and over the last decades, 3D printing has become one of the fastest growing technologies nowadays. In its early days, it was very complicated and expensive technology.

Building sites are going to look a bit different, in the future is a picture of Shutterstock selected by 
Seyed Ghaffar, Brunel University London to illustrate his article published by The Conversation.

How to print a building: the science behind 3D printing in construction

File 20180619 126553 r7wi3p.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

It’s often claimed that 3D printing – known in the trade as “additive manufacturing” – will change the way we live. Most recently, a team from Eindhoven University of Technology announced plans to build the “world’s first” habitable 3D printed houses. But it’s one thing to build small, prototype homes in a park – it’s quite another to successfully use additive manufacturing for large scale projects in the construction sector.

Additive manufacturing uses a combination of materials science, architecture and design, computation and robotics. Yet in some ways, it’s not as futuristic as it sounds. The simple approach of layer-wise construction – where building materials are layered on top of each other to create a facade – has already been practised for a long time in the construction sector, for example in conventional brick layering techniques.

The true novelty of additive manufacturing lies in its ability to combine new, highly efficient and sustainable materials with architectural design software and robotic technology, to automate and improve processes that have already been proven manually. In this sense, additive manufacturing holds many potentially groundbreaking benefits for the construction sector.

3D printing can produce up to 30% less material waste, use less energy and fewer resources, enable in-situ production (which in turn cuts transport costs), grant greater architectural freedom and generate fewer CO₂ emissions over the entire lifecycle of the product.

Printable feedstocks

But there is still some way to go before additive manufacturing technology can deliver on its potential. There are several different components of additive manufacturing, each of which must be developed and refined before the process can be successfully used in large-scale construction.

One component is printable feedstocks – the materials which are actually “printed” to create the final product. There are many types of printable feedstock, but the most relevant one for large scale construction is concrete. Printable feedstocks are typically made from a combination of bulk materials – such as soil, sand, crushed stone, clay and recycled materials – mixed with a binder such as Portland cement, fly ash or polymers, as well as other additives and chemical agents to allow the concrete to set faster and maintain its shape, so that the layers can be deposited rapidly.

In a project I am currently working on at Brunel University, we are focusing on producing a printable cement feedstock. To create materials for 3D printed constructions, scientists must carefully control the setting time of the paste, the stability of first few layers and the bonding between the layers. The behaviour of the materials must be thoroughly investigated under a range of conditions, to achieve a robust structure which can take load.

The combination of cement, sand and other additives must be just right, so that the feedstocks don’t set while still in the printer, and don’t stay wet for too long once they have been deposited to form a structure. Different grades of feedstock need to be formulated and developed, so that this technology can be used to build a range of different structural elements, such as load-bearing and large-scale building blocks.

Building blocks

Another component is the printer, which must have a powerful pump to suit the scale of manufacturing in the construction industry. The pressure and flow rate of the printer must be trialled with different types of feedstocks. The speed and the size of the printer is key to achieving a good print quality: smooth surface, square edges and a consistent width and height for each layer.

How quickly the feedstock materials are deposited – typically measured in centimetres per hour – can speed up or slow down construction. Decreasing the setting time of the feedstock means that the printer can work faster – but it also puts the feedstock at risk of hardening inside the printer system. The printing system should be optimised to continuously deliver the feedstock materials at a constant rate, so that the layers can fuse together evenly.

The geometry of the structures produced is the final piece of the puzzle, when it comes to using 3D printing in construction. When the printer and the feedstock have been properly set up, they will be able to produce full-size building blocks with a smart geometry which can take load without reinforcements. The shape stability of the truss-like filaments in these blocks is an essential part of printing, which provides strength and stiffness to the printed objects.

The ConversationThis three-pronged approach to adapting additive manufacturing for construction could revolutionise the industry within the next ten to 15 years. But before that can happen, scientists need to fine tune the mix ratios for the feedstocks, and refine a printing system which can cope with the rapid manufacturing of building blocks. Only then can the potential of 3D printing be harnessed to build faster, and more sustainably, than ever before.

Seyed Ghaffar, Assistant Professor in Civil Engineering and Environmental Materials, Brunel University London

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

 

Have settlements killed the two-state solution?

Have settlements killed the two-state solution?

Yesterday May 1st, 2017, we would have liked to ponder on Israel’s current housing situation. The idea was spurred by Al Jazeera that on April 28th had on their show animated by one of their sharpest Mehdi Hassan looking at the very topic but in a different way asked Israeli diplomat Dani Dayan “ Have settlements killed the two-state solution? “
This latter did not waste time defending settlement building and / or housing units development as undertaken and / or allowed by the Israeli government despite all the noise that this is engendering.  This made one wonder if all of the above was the result of what is presently on-going in not far from the West Bank territories where most of those above developments usually take place, but as it were in Israel proper.  According to a RealtyToday citing a recent Bloomberg report on the matter and like for all countries developed and developing alike, lack of sufficient and / or suitable housing as elaborated on in this article sounded as if coming as a surprise of some sort to all.
Here it is with thanks to the authors and publishers :

Israel Housing Problems Become Hot Discussion Ahead of Next Election

Posted by Staff Reporter (media@realtytoday.com) on March 29, 2016.

Israel is facing a housing crisis with home prices continuing in the upward trend and home inventory lacking 100,000 apartments.

As reported by Bloomberg, the housing market could determine how the Israeli politicians would fare in the upcoming election in the country. The publication noted that while the country is home to top scientists and engineers, the housing problem can seem to be solved.

House prices, which have more than doubled in less than a decade, resulted in a mass protest back in 2011. Last year, Israel’s home prices rose 7.8 percent, largely driven by the government’s low benchmark rate. The average home price in the country stands at $360,000.

There is a need to increase the country’s housing supply, but building data doesn’t seem good. Last year, housing starts rose 3.9 percent, but completion rate dropped 2.8 percent.

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Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon has some measures to introduce but analysts are skeptical they would generated results in the near future. While waiting for the long-term policies to bring results, Kahlon introduced some short-term measures such as the increase in taxes for investors. These, however, fail to address the core issues, said Michael Sarel, a former Finance Ministry chief economist.

“Raising taxes on investors simply reduces the number of rental apartments, which hurts the middle and lower classes as well,” he told Bloomberg.

The government recently issued a call for bids from foreign construction companies. According to Globes, six firms will be chosen and each will be allowed to bring up to 1,000 workers to Israel. The call aims to boost construction of residential properties in the country and consequently close the gap between supply and demand. The shortage in housing supply has been driving housing prices in recent years.

 

 

A First Comparison “Match” between Bouskoura and Darbouazza

A First Comparison “Match” between Bouskoura and Darbouazza

A study of 2 suburban districts of Casablanca, Morocco is believed to be a first comparison “Match” between Bouskoura and Darbouazza as recently undertaken by JUMIA House.

A report in French of the real estate analysis with graphics (see below) and comparative results was realised by Ranya S. Alaoui, Head of Communications & PR, Phone MA:0664604708, Skype ranya_alaoui, ranya.alaoui@jumia.com and released to the press together with a market analysis of JUMIA House General Manager Mr. Clément Tesconi on February 21st, 2017.

Here are below some excerpts of the report titled :

 

JUMIA House publishes a first comparison “Match” between Bouskoura and Darbouazza.

The main results of the study (see graphics and press release for more details) are in a nutshell :

More expensive purchase at Dar Bouazza than in Bouskoura;

Trends are reversed for renting, Bouskoura is more expensive;

According to our surveys, these two suburbs considered as “chic” are popular with people who want to get away from the city and invest in safe and more affordable real estate than those ‘premium’ neighbourhoods in Casablanca.

Why did we choose this subject?  The craze

JUMIA House wishes to put its expertise for the benefit of the Casablancan following the high-level of interest found within the platform.

Invest in Dar Bouazza or Bouskoura when trying to move away from the center of Casablanca? Rent or buy? And at what price?

  • Is it really cheaper than at the Center?
  • What is rather more expensive? How to decide?
  • A lot of Casablancans, whether couples, heads of families, or young single professionals who wish to settle only, are debating and / or considering their options.

In any case, it’s a topic that comes up in family meals, discussions of couples, or trips with friends.

Where do we get these figures?

The study was conducted on a representative sample of the population of Casablanca and is based on figures taken from our analytical expertise. This “match” proposes to offer to those wishing to invest in one or other of these posh suburbs an accurate and reliable comparison between the products and services available in the region. JUMIA House notes that prices are based on products marketed by estate agents, and that affordable homes are excluded from the study. For the sake of credibility, these prices were discussed with 6 agencies specializing in this segment.

JUMIA House, a subsidiary of the JUMIA Group, and whose vocation is to propose some relationship between supply and demand in real estate products, led the first comparative study in Morocco between Dar Bouazza and Bouskoura following the high-level of interest for either of these 2 districts of our platform. This study is intended for all those considering their settling in one or the other of these posh suburbs, be it under a lease or a purchase.

With this, JUMIA House wishes today to communicate to its customers some of its understanding of these markets.

JUMIA House notes that prices are based on products as currently marketed by estate agents and search of real estate in these districts continue to grow whereas some other neighbourhoods of Casablanca do stagnate (Maarif, Gauthier) or even decline (Racine, Bourgogne). As a result, JUMIA House wishes to propose to people currently in active research several items so as to allowing them to compare on several criteria such as price, facilities available, or above all accessibility.

Although the price of rent of the average square metre is higher at Dar Bouazza than that at Bouskoura, the trend is reversed if compared to the purchase price of the same square meter. According to several surveys made by JUMIA House, these two suburbs considered “chic” are mainly popular with people wishing to get away from the town centre through investment in estates in its nearest suburban developments. This was substantiated by surveys, conducted on a sample of 804 people resident in Casablanca, that showed that the urban ultras would be ready to move away from the present downtown in order to avoid the transport time inherent to their way of life (62% of respondents said they wish to leave the city center of Casablanca).

To invest in Dar Bouazza or Bouskoura would also enable them to avoid the already dense towncentre, since these two areas not only semi-detached or detached villas with land plots are offered but also studios, apartments or even duplexes in most importantly less dense environments. The two districts also offer at their respective centres recreational facilities but still near residences, as well as facilities in continuous improvement. Half of our sample appreciate Dar Bouazza as a more appropriate choice for investors than Bouskoura, although two-thirds (68%) say they currently lack information to wisely make their decisions.

Through this study, JUMIA House aims therefore to answer certain questions.

Purchase : Dar Bouazza more expensive than Bouskoura a comparison of the price of the purchase by the square meter shows that apartments are more expensive in Dar Bouazza, whereas prices are established in MAD9,379 per square meter, that in Bouskoura, which is around MAD5,341/m². Prices for the villas lie as well around MAD14,252/m² at Dar Bouazza against MAD13,067/m² at Bouksoura. The price of real estate in these posh suburbs is considerably less than premium downtown neighbourhoods that may exceed for apartments MAD19,000 in Gauthier, or even MAD20,000 in Racine per meter square.

Renting : the trends are inversed as unlike buying, the average rent per square meter of apartments in Bouskoura is more expensive than in Dar Bouazza, which at MAD75/m², a 100 m² apartment is trading around MAD7,000 against MAD67/m² at Dar Bouazza  in Premium Gauthier or Racine neighbourhoods are at around MAD100/m²).

Moreover, the average rent per square metre of the villas at Bouskoura costs MAD51/m² against MAD39/m² at Dar Bouazza. This can easily be explained by a more abundant supply in Dar Bouazza, stretching along the coast, but also by the preponderance of designer houses in Bouskoura, rarer in Dar Bouazza, where new real estate represents a very large part of the supply.

Bouskoura vs. Dar Bouazza: Green Life vs Beach Life.

Two styles of life; in recent years, Dar Bouazza and Bouskoura have emerged as of the most popular destinations in Casablanca. Located respectively at 21 and 22 kilometres from Casablanca town centre, these two districts offer a quieter and more secure environment than that of the economic capital.

Bouskoura is ideally located at the edge of a 3,000 hectares wooded area that is ideal for a Sunday walk. Dar Bouazza, on the Atlantic with its 10 km of coastal road stretch has a resort and an aquatic Center.

The analysis of Clement Tesconi, GM, found that :

“The real estate sector has been “sluggish” and after the recent flat patch, we now are seeing a mutation in demand and supply.

Demand dropped in the town centre neighbourhoods in full gentrification as Casablanca urban supply, at least in its inner parts is gradually moving now towards exclusive high-quality range, preventing access to property for a large part of the population.

Land, that is increasingly sought by professionals and the development of Casablanca as a major economic centre and among other things through Casa Finance City, tend help accelerate this transformation.

Dar Bouazza, a golden spot and already fairly well served and Bouskoura, with the near completion of the cable car of Sidi Maarouf, whose first phase should be completed before the end of year 2017, would lead to believe that these two posh suburbs have many years of prosperity real estate ahead of them!”

JUMIA House Morocco is an international real estate portal dedicated exclusively to emerging countries. The platform allows users to buy, rent and sell with ease and in safety. JUMIA House was launched in January 2014, and offers more than 50,000 ads in Morocco. JUMIA House, part of JUMIA Group, is African first group website.

 

NB : the average income in Casablanca stands at MAD6,000 net for workers affiliated to the CNSS, and MAD11,000 for those CIMR affiliated employees, although these average wages do not reflect the reality of the informal sector wages.

 

Middle East 1 in 20 displaced people from their homes

Middle East 1 in 20 displaced people from their homes

As highlighted in this WEF latest article written by Emma Luxton, Formative Content, on human displacements in the world, most are from the north-east end of the MENA region.  This is due principally to a certain lack of good governance that is coupled to and / or consequent to the prevailing historically defined under-development of the majority of the nation states of the region.  The title of the WEF quotes 1 in 100 but adds later on in the article that in the Middle East 1 in 20 displaced people from their homes is the current picture. 

One objection, though, could be the huge numbers of expatriate workers displaced from their original homes in south Asia, the Philippines, Nepal, etc. and number up to 90% in some of the GCC countries are also displaced for this time obvious economic reasons.  Would not they count as displaced as well?  Meantime [. . .]

Nearly 1 in 100 people worldwide have been driven away from their homes

refugee-camp-life

Syrian citizens account for one in five of the world’s displaced people.

 

There are more than 65 million people displaced from their homes, a record high since World War II.

This amounts to 0.8% of the global population, or to put it another way, roughly the population of France; or of Canada, Australia and New Zealand combined.

Image: UNHCR

Image: UNHCR

The UNHCR, the UN’s refugee agency, has been collecting data on displaced people since 1951, and in recent years it has seen numbers increase drastically. In 2015 alone, 5.8 million people were displaced.

Conflict, persecution and human rights violations have driven people from their homes in search of safety. The UNHCR Global Trends report looked at the figures for 2015 and found that 24 people were forced to leave their homes every minute.

Image: Pew Research Center

Image: Pew Research Center

The UNHCR’s definition of a displaced person includes those who still live in their country of origin (internally displaced people), as well as those who have fled across borders (refugees and asylum seekers).

The Middle East is hosting many of the world’s displaced people, both the internally displaced as well as refugees and asylum seekers.

In fact, as this chart from the Pew Research Center shows, more than one in 20 people in the region are displaced. Many of them have fled the Syrian conflict, which has been a major contributor to the steep rise in people driven away from their homes.

Image: Pew Research Center

Image: Pew Research Center

Since the war began in 2011, almost 5 million refugees have made their way to another country in search of safety, and 6.6 million are now internally displaced within Syria.

Syrian citizens account for one in five of the world’s displaced people.

Countries with the most internally displaced people include Colombia (6.9 million), Syria (6.6 million) and Iraq (4.7 million).

Lebanon hosts the largest number of refugees in relation to the size of its population, with 183 refugees per 1,000 citizens.

Overall, Turkey is providing sanctuary to the largest number of refugees – 2.5 million people took refuge there in 2015.

Pakistan has more than 1.5 million Afghan refugees who have fled the conflict in Afghanistan, and who make up more than half of the displaced population living in the country.

Children are often those most at risk, and the UNHCR estimates that they made up over half of the world’s refugees in 2015.

Many were separated from parents and family, or travelled to a different country alone.

Speaking earlier this year, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon warned: “We are facing the biggest refugee and displacement crisis of our time. Above all, this is not just a crisis of numbers; it is also a crisis of solidarity.”

The Sustainable City of Ksar of Tafilelt of Beni-Isguen story

The Sustainable City of Ksar of Tafilelt of Beni-Isguen story

The Sustainable City of Ksar of Tafilelt of Beni-Isguen story was known to the local people since its inception.  It has been rewarded last Monday in Marrakech, Morocco, by the 1st Sustainable City Prize, following an online vote called “Internet’s users Favourite City”, the Algerian Press Service (APS) reported on Wednesday citing officials of the Amidoul Foundation, initiator of the Ksar.

ksar-tafileft

Amidoul Association    A very special human experience, by its social, urban and ecological approaches . . .

The Ksar of Tafilelt, which was regarded as a very human experience in the northern edge of the Sahara and an eco-city in the desert, had more than 600 votes of the built environment professionals of the world, for having combined architecture, sustainable development, preservation of the environment and local lifestyle, said Moussa Amara, the Project Manager of the Ksar of Tafilelt.

This consecration was obtained as a result of the first edition of the Green City Solutions Awards competition, organized by the network Construction 21 that campaigns for the promotion of building and development of innovative and sustainable urban districts, at the COP 22 of Marrakech, as informed by Dr. Ahmed Nouh, president of the Amidoul Foundation.

The Ksar of Tafilelt has also been ranked second for the Grand Prize of the Sustainable City by an international jury, which considered it an example to follow and replicate in Algeria and elsewhere, said Dr. Nouh.

The ceremony of trophy handing over to the representatives of the Amidoul Foundation took place in Marrakech in presence of official delegations of the sector of water resources and the environment.

The Ksar of Tafilelt had already obtained, the first Arab League Prize for the environment in 2014 in the same city of Marrakech, Morocco.

Launched in 1997, this new Ksar, laid on a rocky 22 hectares site, provides 1,050 houses.  It was designed for a better quality of life as based on the ancestral interpretation of the architectural heritage and the preservation of the local environment.  It nestles on the top of a plateau that overlooks Beni Isguen palm grove and the M’Zab Valley.

ksar-tafilelt-nestles-on-the-top-of-a-plateau-that-overlooks-beni-isguen-palm-grove-and-the-mzab-valley

Ksar Tafilelt nestles on the top of a plateau that overlooks Beni Isguen palmgrove and the M’Zab Valley

The initiators of the project made use of local materials (stone, lime and Palm trees wood) for the construction of the city buildings and amenities all as inspired by the surrounding Ksars’ old construction of the M’zab but combined with modernity in the houses interior.

ksar-tafileft-interior-1

SONY DSC

New Ksar of Tafilelt is part of an ecological and social program as inspired by ancestral heritage contained in traditional Ksour of M’zab Valley classified in 1982 as universal heritage by UNESCO.

The experience of the Ksar of Tafilelt is considered by many specialists in the building industry as a reference in the preservation of architectural heritage combined with modernity, comfort and the bioclimatic and ecology.

Its initiators are working to implement the unique strategies for management of household waste, intensification and conservation of green areas, purification organic wastewater of the city as well as the agrementation of the daily life of the people by creating a park animal and plant of desert areas and natural.  The vision that prevailed in the construction of this city whose special feature is the community spirit that motivated it, stems from the will to build integrated urban projects, sustainable, based on precise needs knowledge and the choice of solutions to outdoor areas to strengthen social cohesion.

They committed themselves to carry out all the work of household waste management by establishing a system of fixed collection and a system of recovery and recycling of waste, the creation of a system of biological treatment wastewater by macrophytes herbal plants and a solar public lighting system.

ksar-view

For more information, click here .

Translation from French by Microsoft / FaroL  faro@farolco.onmicrosoft.com .

Urban areas expanding and CO2 Emissions increasing

Urban areas expanding and CO2 Emissions increasing

As urban areas continue to expand, it was confirmed at the recently held UN Habitat III Conference that most of the growth is unplanned and unregulated in most countries of the world.  The MENA region stands generally amongst the worst affected with the North-African half of it like Egypt literally leading the way.  The Middle-Eastern north side painfully drawn into conflict and consequent divestment is not exactly far behind.  The south-eastern as represented by countries of the GCC, have recently made giant steps in planning and regulating their respective urban spaces.  This UN sponsored Habitat III gathering in Quito, Ecuador Summit aimed at helping shape future urban living as a response to pressing demands for housing, transport, infrastructure and urban development. It counselled that this should only be other than an increase of the same sprawl of those existing urban fabrics and their ensuing impact on the environment.  With more than half of the world’s population now living in urban areas, one of the biggest impact would certainly not be a decrease in CO2 emissions.  This contribution is about relating Urban areas expanding and CO2 Emissions increasing.

Last week, surveyed CO2 levels were found to have surged to a new high thus marking the world’s changing climate in a definite way.  Global sources of CO2, dominated heavily by the US, China and Europe’s emissions have reached levels in the atmosphere unknown before and are believed not to reduce for “many generations”. 

The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) has declared that 2016 could be the first time in recorded history that in a full year, a certain 400 parts per million benchmark was over-taken globally.

Human emissions of CO2 notably from the ever increasingly urbanised centres of the world were aggravated by some sort of weather mishaps themselves it is confirmed were due to human activities in those centres atmosphere.

Apart from agreements to phase out HFC gases, the WMO advises that nations must thereafter focus on cutting their CO2 emissions so as, in the end, hopefully help temperatures not to increase more than 2°C.  Around 200 nations signed and ratified last year the Paris COP21 Agreement and will meet again in Marrakesh next month to wishfully decide on steps forward.

The WMO published their report on October 24th, 2016 and it is fairly explicit as to the possible effect of such phenomenon.  We believe, this will be reviewed and acted upon at the COP22 summit.

High greenhouse gas levels mark start of new era of climate reality

new-spike-in-co2-emissions-by-wmo

Globally averaged concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached the symbolic and significant milestone of 400 parts per million for the first time in 2015 and surged again to new records in 2016 on the back of the very powerful El Niño event, according to the World Meteorological Organization’s annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin.

CO2 levels had previously reached the 400 ppm barrier for certain months of the year and in certain locations but never before on a global average basis for the entire year. The longest-established greenhouse gas monitoring station at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, predicts that CO2 concentrations will stay above 400 ppm for the whole of 2016 and not dip below that level for many generations.

The growth spurt in CO2 was fuelled by the El Niño event, which started in 2015 and had a strong impact well into 2016. This triggered droughts in tropical regions and reduced the capacity of “sinks” like forests, vegetation and the oceans to absorb CO2. These sinks currently absorb about half of CO2 emissions but there is a risk that they may become saturated, which would increase the fraction of emitted carbon dioxide which stays in the atmosphere, according to the Greenhouse Gas Bulletin.

Between 1990 and 2015 there was a 37% increase in radiative forcing – the warming effect on our climate – because of long-lived greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide (N2O) from industrial, agricultural and domestic activities.

“The year 2015 ushered in a new era of optimism and climate action with the Paris climate change agreement. But it will also make history as marking a new era of climate change reality with record high greenhouse gas concentrations,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas. “The El Niño event has disappeared. Climate change has not.”

“The recent agreement in Kigali to amend the so-called Montreal Protocol and phase out hydrofluorocarbons, which act as strong greenhouse gases, is good news. WMO salutes the commitment of the international community to meaningful climate action,” said Mr Taalas.

“But the real elephant in the room is carbon dioxide, which remains in the atmosphere for thousands of years and in the oceans for even longer. Without tackling CO2 emissions, we can not tackle climate change and keep temperature increases to below 2°C above the pre-industrial era. It is therefore of the utmost importance that the Paris Agreement does indeed enter into force well ahead of schedule on 4 November and that we fast-track its implementation.” he said.

WMO and partners are working towards an Integrated Global Greenhouse Gas Information System to provide information that can help nations to track the progress toward implementation of their national emission pledges, improve national emission reporting and inform additional mitigation actions. This system builds on the long-term experience of WMO in greenhouse gas observations and atmospheric modelling.

WMO is also striving to improve weather and climate services for the renewable energy sector and to support the Green Economy and sustainable development. To optimize the use of solar, wind and hydropower production, new types of weather services are needed.

Read more at the above mentioned WMO website.

Greater Cairo Region (GCR) many Challenges

Greater Cairo Region (GCR) many Challenges

Of all the MENA countries capital cities, the Greater Cairo Region (GCR) with a present population well over the 20 million mark is a vast agglomeration with many challenges.  It is a place of unique political and cultural significance for the world.  It has always and still is the prime engine of economic growth and the main population centre in Egypt.  The newly settled leadership facing enormous challenges has wisely decided to involve two of the many influencing factors of the country, i.e. its youth and transportation.

Prior to diving the thick of the subject, and as highlighted in an article of the UN HABITAT, Cairo lives with many key challenges; most importantly planning, infrastructure and service delivery which has been managed to barely keep up with the very rapid urban growth over the past four decades, we would like to propose in this context, this article of Centre for Mediterranean Integration of Marseille, France, titled:

Promoting Public Private Partnership “PPP” to Include Transportation Start-ups in Greater Cairo

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October 3, 2016

Transportation has direct impact on the economy, the environment and people’s mobility. On one hand, the air quality is getting worse and there is pollution due to vehicle emissions resulted from the increasing fuel consumption. On the other hand, the large number of people working in places far away from their residence directly affect traffic negatively.

Due to the poor performance of the public transport system, there have been major changes in the methods of travel in Greater Cairo. Private cars have become the favourite mode of transport for a large percentage of Cairenes, and among the public transport users there has been a move from the formal public transport services (Metros, buses, minibuses and rails) to the informal and private services (taxis, microbuses, minibuses and three wheeled rickshaw) which have a great impact on urban transportation as it is filling the gaps of the formal public transport services in terms offering accessibility, speed, and route flexibility.

As a result of the challenges that the government faces in meeting the transportation and mobility needs; solutions have been more complicated and untraditional, that is why citizen-based innovation and initiatives are strongly encouraged to take place in solving the problem. Few years ago, new private initiatives in Egypt have offered diverse solutions to alleviate transportation problems in Greater Cairo, such as crowdsourcing mobile applications and customized ride sharing platforms, promoting fewer car usage and ownership; besides other flexible routing transit services that facilitate commuters’ trips.

Although the emergence of transport start-ups and the solutions they provided might help in solving the transport complications, and might have a great contribution to the community if successful, some of them had a short life span for various internal and external reasons (as shown below), and might be terminated at any phases of the start-up’s life cycle. It has been noticed that there is no one-size-fits-all; the start-ups that survived are the ones that are most adaptable to change, cope with the transformations and keep offering what people want. Perseverance as well as agility are core features in the success of any start-up. The question is how to keep the transport start-ups, having solutions to the severe transportation problem, to sustain?

According to some conducted researches, below are some recommendations for the Transportation Start-ups to help them survive for some time:

Since the objective of the transportation start-ups is to solve community problems, they should have a clear strategy on how they would expand in the market and affect a larger segment to attract the attention and to be sustainable.

For the transport industry, Business to Customer (B2C) service needs a large amount of funding, as it needs a quick market spread. Money will be generated when many vehicles are operated and more clients opted for the service.

The transportation field needs to be managed in a way that protects the passenger from both the road hassles and drivers harassments. Developing monitoring and evaluation system would help in that sense.

To offer a transportation service to be used by the public, it is all about developing IT. In this era, investing in a strong IT platform will distinguish one service provider from the other.

Since many governmental entities are looking at the benefit they will get in return of their provided support, the transportation start-ups have to cater to the needs of the Ministry of Transportation in solving the transportation problems. Upon the applicability of the service, and how much it aligns with the Ministry’s needs, the start-up might be supported.

Transportation start-ups that deliver almost the same service have to coordinate with each other to cover a big range and get a large number of users. The transportation start-ups should be implemented in a bigger scale to make a real difference and get the needed support.

Moving to the concept of Public Private Partnership (PPP), the role of the public sector is always needed for the progress and the development of the community services. The public sector believed in innovation and entrepreneurship and noticed that those two components play a significant role in the economic growth, thus, several governmental entities launching centres to incubate start-ups and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), few years ago, to help them build their companies professionally, yet these entities are not well marketed and their capacities are not fully utilized.

Focusing on the transportation services, the government has to encourage people and give them incentive to leave their own cars and go for the public transport as an initiative to reduce traffic jam. To achieve so, things should be prioritized, for instance: developing a good infrastructure, managing traffic properly and handling parking management. At the same time the government has to encourage and facilitate the operations of the private sector that offers solutions in the transportation domain and provides services to the public that decrease the congestion such as ride sharing in the form of carpooling, bus pooling and car-hailing services.

Finally, the first step to solve a problem is to tackle its roots. To do so, there should be cooperation between different sectors, the private sector, the public sector as well as the social community; all these segments must play a role in developing the country. Solving transportation problem is a strategic project and if all sectors worked together to solve this problem, it will be solved.

Passant Fakhr El-Din, MPA

Passant is a Faculty Affairs Officer at the American University in Cairo (AUC). She has a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the AUC, School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, and a B.Sc. in Business Administration from Ain Shams University, Faculty of Commerce, the English Section. Her research analyses the Egyptian start-ups and entrepreneurs; she is trying to highlight the crucial role of the public sector in the entrepreneurial domain and promoting the concept of Public Private Partnership “PPP”.

2016 Theme: Housing at the Centre

2016 Theme: Housing at the Centre

World Habitat Day is observed on the first Monday of October of each year since 1986.  The purpose of the day is to reflect on the condition of the world wide human dwelling basic systems and their adequate provision and timely maintenance.  2016 Theme: Housing at the Centre comes at a time where apparently more than a billion people worldwide live in very sub-standard living conditions.  The MENA region has as bespoke a portfolio of housing stock as it has diverse geo political systems.  Some are very advanced in their specification whilst others are either as backward as one can imagine and / or are presently in traumatic war conditions.  In any case, there was nothing special about yesterday’s celebrations, or at least worth reporting in this article; that is before being reminded of this vital anniversary by EcoMENA

We propose to republish the UN’s Habitat article here for its wide spread and reach, starting with a word of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

“On this World Habitat Day, I urge national and local governments, city planners and communities everywhere to keep “Housing at the Centre”. Guaranteeing dignity and opportunity for all depends on people having access to affordable and adequate housing. I look forward to a successful Habitat III Conference that will help us advance our sustainable development agenda for the benefit of all humankind.”whd-2016-1

2016 Theme: Housing at the Centre

In Resolution 40/202 of 17 December 1985, the UN General Assembly designated the first Monday of October of every year as World Habitat Day.

The 2016 World Habitat Day campaign aims to raise awareness about the need for affordable housing for all in urban areas, towns and cities.

Access to adequate housing is a global challenge growing fast with urbanization. Around one quarter of the world’s urban population continues to live in slums and informal settlements.

An increasing number of urban dwellers, especially the poor and vulnerable groups (women, migrants, persons with disabilities and HIV, elder, youth and LGBT) are living in precarious conditions, addressing their housing needs informally, lacking access to basic services and living space, isolated from livelihood opportunities and vulnerable to forced evictions or homelessness.

Every day, as people are born in or move to urban centres in search of opportunities, the demand for housing grows. Globally, a billion new houses are needed by 2025 to accommodate 50 million new urban dwellers per year.

Habitat III, the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development will take place in Quito, Ecuador, from 17 – 20 October 2016.

We are also proposing the reading of this article of Habitat.org for its obvious interest and good intent.

World Habitat Day 2016

More than 30 years ago, the United Nations General Assembly took an important step in promoting the idea that everyone deserves a decent place to live by declaring that the first Monday in October would be World Habitat Day.

On Monday, Oct. 3, 2016, Habitat for Humanity joins with our partners around the world to rededicate ourselves to recognizing the basic right of everyone to adequate shelter. Habitat for Humanity asks everyone to join together as one global network in communicating the message that every one of us deserves the opportunity for a better future, and that a decent place to live can remove barriers to opportunity, health and success that might have been part of a family’s life for years, and in many cases for generations. See how you can support our efforts below.

Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity has grown from a grassroots effort that began on a community farm in southern Georgia in 1976 to a global nonprofit housing organization in nearly 1,400 communities across the U.S. and in over 70 countries. People partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Through financial support, volunteering, or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower.