Master Program Urban Design – Revitalization of Historic City Districts

Integrated Urban Development Workshop Cairo and Qusier, Egypt 09 / 2019

Water Sensitive Integrated Urban Development Planning

draft programme


BTU Cottbus, Cairo University  and Alexandria University introduced the Double Degree Master Program "Urban Design - Revitalization of Historic City Districts" back in 2014. The planned workshop "Water sensitive development in Qusier" will help develop and strengthen the main focus of the joint master's programme Urban Design. Furthermore, research activities within the programme are to be intensified and deepened. This is intended to provide further training for educators of the degree programme, to promote ongoing doctoral theses, to give students of the Master's degree programme method-based and research-based access to their later Master's theses, and to attract interested Bachelor graduates to the degree programme.

A total of approx. 25 Master students or graduates as well as at least 4 doctoral students and the lecturers of the partner universities will participate in the workshop.

In terms of content, the workshop concentrates on planning methodological questions of integrated urban development planning, using the case of the city of Qusier located in a desert region on the Red Sea. In particular, the question of water supply is at the centre of the challenges for urban development and for the life of the people in Qusier. Fresh water supply is one of the major challenges for Egypt as a whole.

In order to find suitable and accepted solutions with all population groups and representatives, integrated urban development planning offers great potential as a process- and participation-oriented planning approach. This approach has not yet been anchored in state and municipal development planning in Egypt.

In the intercultural cooperation of the planned workshop, the methods of integrated urban development planning will be explained, discussed and its relevance to real life challenges will be investigated. Thus, for both sides, the Egyptian and the German partners, important research and development issues are at the core of the jointly planned workshop.

The initiative for this workshop came from the Egyptian partners and was further developed in dialogue with colleagues from the BTU. The aim is to stabilise the joint degree programme and make it more sustainable for the future, and to expand the scientific and content experience background for students and graduates, thereby promoting career and research prospects for all participants.

History can and should be looked at as the origin of the environment we live in today. In this way it can also inform us about approaching and addressing our future. This is particularly clear in studying how natural environment is related and impacted by urban environment. Water in our urban history is a manifestation of the complex relation human being has with nature. In most of our historical cities and towns in Egypt water was regarded as a very precious resource. And as we are waking up to the reality of the water issue in Egypt it is important to look back to history of water and learn lessons that might help us in the future but will definitely enrich our present understanding of our urban environment and how our relation to water evolved over the years.


The city of Qusier is one of the oldest if not the oldest city at the red sea coast. The long history of the city which formally started with ancient Egyptians exploring and exchanging with east and horn of Africa particularly at the time of Hatshepsut and stretching to the present time witnessed not only a lot of events but more important a continuous habitation of the almost the same geographic place. The accumulation of the human traces along hundreds of years left its unmistakable mark on the today’s city.

The continuous habitation is as well an indication of the significance of the geographic location as well as the resources existing in and around the city. It has to do as well with the regional and international connections and trade routes that met at the city and help develop a city from a simple fishing and port town into and industrial city for a long period of its recent history which led inevitable to a significant population growth especially during the mid of twentieth century.

With the fluctuation of the industrial activities and touristic activities that brought even more residents from nearby upper Egypt Qeft and Qena as well as other parts of Egypt, emerged numerous challenges. The growing number of population needed an ever growing amounts of fresh water which the nearby water wells or event water carried from the Nile by camels could no longer satisfy.  The water desalination plant built in two phases produces amount of water that does not answer to the proper needs of the population. The water network in the city made to distribute this water pumps it for each part of the city for one day per week. A condition that made in house water storage a necessity for any residence in Quseir which can be observed easily everywhere. In addition to that the quality of desalinated water is not accepted by the citizens as water fit for drinking and food preparation. What the government did in respond to the fresh water problem is providing a water pipeline stretching form 80 km away Safag city to bring the Nile water to people who needed to get it in another way than water network existing in the city. 


The city of Quseir as any other coastal desert cities or towns depended mainly on fish as a prime food in addition to small life stock numbers depending of very few available desert vegetation. Some serial, vegetables and other food were imported from nearby regions to supplement the diet of the limited number city dwellers.  The rising numbers of the population and the undermining of fishing as permanent job where a fisherman can earn a decent living in favor of industrial jobs at the phosphate company or other touristic related work led to a significant changes in the local food productions and diets. The weekly market recently opened in the middle of the city is an indication of the almost total dependence to the very far sources of food. All sorts of food are being imported form a 600 km away El Obour wholesale market.  Some vegetables and fruits are also being imported from 180 km away Qift area. 

 The city of Quseir is almost totally dependent on other places and cities for its daily life and existence. In case where emergencies took place regarding fresh water, electricity or transportation of food only crisis can be expected. Furthermore as those source cities and regions are growing their ability to export surplus will diminish leaving the city of Quseir in a dire situation.  This clearly unsustainable condition cannot last for a long time. The climate change impacts and consequences at the red sea and other parts of Egypt and the globe will make this situation very critical soon.


01.09.2019 Arrival in Cairo

Monday 02.09.2019, afternoon       DAAD , Cairo

Welcome, prelude and introduction

Lecture : integrated urban development 1 (BTU)

Lecture, History of water challenge in Qusier (Nabeel Elhady)

Tuesday 03 .09.2019

Lecture: integrated urban development 2 (BTU)

Lecture: urban development challenges of Qusier

Presentation of the results of the Urban Development Project Qusier, summer term 2019

Available Materials and data

Formation of working groups (5 working groups with approx. 6 persons each) for project work in and on Qusier

Wednesday: 04.09.2019                   Sakkara, Cairo

Excursion to Areas related to the red sea at the ancient Egyptian time

Whole day at Sakkara, Memphis area with an explanation of the red sea connection during ancient Egyptian time.

Thursday 05 .09.2019

Lecture: …

Elaboration and presentation of a work plan of the respective working groups

Friday 06 .09.2019     Transfer Cairo - Qusier by coach, 600 km approx. 8 - 9 hrs

Meeting point in front of the main gate of Cairo university at 8:30 and take off at 9 am

Expected arrival time 5 pm at (Flamenco Hotel – Qusier)

Saturday 07 .09.2019                       old hospital building, Qusier

9:00 am Welcome note by head of the city ( TBC)

Explaining the day activities and plan

10:00 am historical city walk ( using Anandit walking routes of Qusier)

1:00 pm Lunch by the sea ( fish restaurant in historical area0

3:00 pm touring the Italian phosphate company

Sunday 08.09.2019

Exploring the Nile river connection, Qusier

Whole day excursion to Qift at the nile river ( 160 km away) with stops along the road to look at the ancient Egyptian granit quaries , roman caravan stations and others.

Monday 09.09.2019               old hospital building, Qusier

9:00 am – 1:00 pm visiting water facilities, desalination plant, public housing

1:00 pm Lunch

3:00 – 7:00 pm group work

Tuesday 10.09.2019             old hospital building, Qusier

 Team work / group work

Elaboration of scenarios, guidelines / principles / objectives

Draft first projects and measures for development

Intermediate presentation and discussion of the first results of the work in the group as a whole and with local experts and participants.

11.09.2019                              old hospital building, Qusier

Team work / group work

12.09.2019                             old hospital building, Qusier

Elaboration of the working results and concepts of the working groups

Final presentation

Evening: common final event

13.09.2019 Departure from Qusier

December 2019

Presentation of a publication and an exhibition of the work results at Cairo University with guests

Unsere Webseite verwendet Cookies. Diese haben zwei Funktionen: Zum einen sind sie erforderlich für die grundlegende Funktionalität unserer Website. Zum anderen können wir mit Hilfe der Cookies unsere Inhalte für Sie immer weiter verbessern. Hierzu werden pseudonymisierte Daten von Website-Besuchern gesammelt und ausgewertet. Das Einverständnis in die Verwendung der technisch nicht notwendigen Cookies können Sie jeder Zeit wiederrufen. Weitere Informationen erhalten Sie auf unseren Seiten zum Datenschutz.


Diese Cookies werden für eine reibungslose Funktion unserer Website benötigt.


Für den Zweck der Statistik betreiben wir die Plattform Matomo, auf der mittels pseudonymisierter Daten von Websitenutzern der Nutzerfluss analysiert und beurteilt werden kann. Dies gibt uns die Möglichkeit Websiteinhalte zu optimieren.

Name Zweck Ablauf Typ Anbieter
_pk_id Wird verwendet, um ein paar Details über den Benutzer wie die eindeutige Besucher-ID zu speichern. 13 Monate HTML Matomo
_pk_ref Wird benutzt, um die Informationen der Herkunftswebsite des Benutzers zu speichern. 6 Monate HTML Matomo
_pk_ses Kurzzeitiges Cookie, um vorübergehende Daten des Besuchs zu speichern. 30 Minuten HTML Matomo