Constitutionalizing the Right to the City دسترة الحق في المدينة

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Produced by Tadamun: The Cairo Urban Solidarity Initiative, Constitutionalizing the Right to the City is now available as a single, bilingual report in English and Arabic at Tadween Publishing.

The Egyptian state has faced many problems of urbanization and the environment, leading to debates about urban planning, development priorities, and urban governance. It has also devoted significant resources to addressing these issues, as urbanization has increased significantly, affordable housing is harder to find, and informality and insecurity of tenure complicate residents' lives and futures. Overcoming these challenges not only requires new public policies and professional expertise, but the engagement of the city’s residents.

Following the Arab Spring in 2011, as the Egyptian Parliament and general public debated constitutional revisions, a collaborative campaign that involved several organizations and individuals arose to raise awareness of the principles of social justice, sustainability, and equality in Egypt. Tadamun: The Cairo Urban Solidarity Initiative participated in this collaboration and it published the “Constitution Campaign” as a series of online briefs in English and Arabic between 2013 and 2014 (see www.tadamun.co). The campaign’s aims were to propose a comprehensive set of interdependent economic, social, cultural, urban, rural, and environmental rights and to suggest ways in which Egypt’s Constitution might guarantee these rights.

Although many years have passed since the passage of the 2014 Constitution, and the publication of those online briefs, the issues highlighted at the time remain highly relevant today. We have thus decided to publish our analysis in one comprehensive monograph, after minor editing and updating. We hope that our framework, which details best practices for ensuring the rights of urban residents, might expedite the inclusion of these rights should a new opportunity arise. Each chapter also discusses constitutions across the globe that already have included many of these important rights. The inclusion of these rights has had a positive impact on issues of the environment, urban planning, housing, public space, and public services in these countries.

About TADAMUN: The Cairo Urban Solidarity Initiative

The TADAMUN Initiative believes that all citizens have an equal right to their city, as well as a shared responsibility towards it. TADAMUN also believes that solidarity among citizens is the only way to achieve social justice and a decent standard of living, particularly for many who have been ignored for too long. TADAMUN strives to work with all stakeholders as it builds alliances and coalitions to encourage change and introduces realistic alternatives and solutions for existing urban problems. What we need is not more undemocratic and elitist decisions, but for all citizens to claim and demand their urban rights and to devise new urban policies that are more effective, equitable, participatory, and sustainable.

For more on TADAMUN, please visit their website at http://www.tadamun.co/


عن تضامن: مبادرة التضامن العمراني في القاهرة

تؤمن مبادرة تضامن أن لجمية المواطنين حقاً متساوياً في مدينتهم، كذلك مسئولية مشتركة تجاهها، وأث تكاتفهم جميعاً هو السبيل الوحيد لتحقيق العدالة الاجتماعية والحياة الكريمة لسكانها وخاصة الذين طالما تعرضوا للتهميش. وتسعى مبادرة تضامن للعمل مع جميع الأطراف من خلال بناء الشراكات والتحالفات من أجل التغيير، وتقديم بدائل وحلول واقعية لمشاكل عمراننا القائم. فما نحتاجه ليس مزيداً من القرارات التي يتخذها المسئوولون بأساليب تفتقد الحوار والمشاركة، ولكن نحتاج لأن يطالب كل المواطنين بحقوقهم العمرانية وأن يصيغوا معاً سياسات عمرانية جديدة أكثر كفاءة وعدالة واستدامة تضمن إشراكهم بصورة مباشرة في إدارة مدينتهم واتخاذ القرارات المتعلقة به.

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