AUTHOR: Dalila Ghodbane
CONTEXT: Presentation at the "Roundtable on the Challenges and Possibilities Related to the Regeneration of the Built Heritage in Alexandria," Swedish Institute Alexandria, Egypt, 4.6.2017
KEYWORDS: Cairo, loss, heritage, memory, climate, thermal heritage
Solutions to preserve heritage cannot be isolated from the whole range of other urban issues. It is necessarily intertwined with wider questions like access to networks of urban services, affordable housing, urban pollution, urban poverty, etc.
We have no difficulty to admit that preserving a building does bear consequences beyond the structure of the building itself (attracting new people and new uses in a neighborhood, revitalizing economic activity for example). The other way around, it might be relevant to consider how other forms of heritage, tangible and intangible, like crafts but also rituals/ceremonies or specific practices can bring support to the maintenance of the built heritage.
One of the problems often encountered is the lack of adaptation to our imperatives of comfort, mainly thermal comfort. A/C, or efficient heating system, disturbs the integrity of the building. That is why I argue that studying precisely resident’s practices is an absolute prerequisite to find inclusive solutions.