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AUS students named winners in UN-HABITAT competition
Two students from American University of Sharjah (AUS) were named winners in the Urban Revitalization of Mass Housing International Competition, sponsored by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT). Israa Shaarani and Yara Abdel Rehim, recent graduates of the Bachelor of Architecture program, were informed that their entry won two prizes: they were the winners in the category of projects developed for Egypt and they received second place among all projects entered from the Arab States.
According to the competition website, "UN-Habitat is promoting a new urban planning paradigm that calls for planning in advance at the scale of expected development of cities with a better integration of urban uses - housing, business, retail, recreation, education, agricultural, social and cultural activities, amongst others, in an environmentally sustainable manner. The aim of this paradigm shift is to achieve adequate urban densities to minimize the impact of urban sprawl, improve mobility and reduce greenhouse emissions and pollution through decreased motorized traffic, increased social interaction, and boosted local economic development. The ultimate goal is to attain the social, economic, environmental and cultural sustainability of cities."
The winning project focused on the improvement of housing and the development of a women's center in the Dokki neighborhood in central Cairo. The proposal was completed as part of the Bachelor of Architecture final project that was co-supervised by Dr. Varkki Pallathucheril and Professor Kevin Mitchell. As part of the project, Israa and Yara carried out fieldwork in Cairo and completed a semester-long study focused on challenges associated with design for informal settlements in Egypt.
The competition attracted 97 teams from 55 universities in 35 countries.
More information about the competition can be found at http://www.masshousingcompetition.org.