American University in Cairo’s Tahrir CultureFest Spotlights Urban Development Plans with Dar Director of Architecture Ayman Abdo

American University in Cairo’s Tahrir CultureFest Spotlights Urban Development Plans with Dar Director of Architecture Ayman Abdo


Location Africa



The American University in Cairo’s Tahrir CultureFest was held for the first time this year on April 17-22, 2024, celebrating the revival of Downtown Cairo across six days of cultural and academic events. These included panel discussions, musical performances, art exhibitions, a book bazaar, homegrown markets, and more, creating an atmosphere of community and cultural celebration.

As part of the festival’s activities, a panel discussion titled “Cairo: Growing Metropolis” took place on April 20 at AUC’s Tahrir Square Campus and featured Dar’s Director of Architecture, Ayman Abdo, alongside esteemed urban planners, academics and leaders in the fields of architecture and urban development. The discussion centred on the urbanisation efforts planned for the next 40 years across Cairo and nearby areas, from social housing to an entirely new capital, and how these endeavours can strike the right balance between heritage and modernisation.

The panel was moderated by Momen El-Husseiny, Assistant Professor at the Department of Architecture of AUC, and featured:

  • Abeer Elshater - Professor, Department of Urban Design and Planning, Ain Shams University; Adjunct Professor, AUC; Assistant, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research.
  • Ahmed Zaazaa - 10 Tooba | Applied Research on the Built Environment, Co-founder and Participatory Upgrade Coordinator.
  • Ayman Abdo - Director of Architecture, Dar Al-Handasah.
  • Dalia Wahdan - Co-founder, Bureau Gladys for Urban Studies; Adjunct Associate Professor, AUC.
  • Deena Khalil - Manager, MENA Urban Housing Hub and Habitat for Humanity International; Adjunct Professor, AUC.

In his discussion, Ayman highlighted the instrumental role Egypt’s New Administrative Capital will play in addressing the urban challenges facing Cairo and the wider urban context. He explained how this ambitious project aims to alleviate the high urban density of Cairo, providing adequate urban infrastructure to address community needs.

The new capital, featuring a prominent Central Business District, is envisioned as a dynamic hub for future economic and cultural growth. Dar has been contributing to this vision through comprehensive master planning, architecture and engineering services, aiming to design a city that is smart, sustainable, and modern, while also honouring and preserving Egypt’s unique heritage and culture.