The Issue of Urban Character in the Suez Canal Region: A Proposed Matrix for Developing the Area’s Urban Character in Light of the Egyptian State’s Development Plans

Waleed Hussein Ali Hussein


Because of its environmental, social and humanitarian dimensions, the problem of urban character and absence of identity and authenticity is one of the issues of greatest concern in urban planning. There are thus several justifications for this research, including the importance of urban character for Suez Canal cities and the significance of place-identity and local character in Arab cities at large. This paper aims to observe and report on actual urban conditions in some of the districts in the Suez Canal governorates and to propose recommendations to support the process of development and urban conservation in an effort to ensure the continuity of the distinctive urban character of built-up areas of value. The methodology adopted in the first section of this paper to observe and assess existing urban conditions involves making use of earlier research and field studies dealing with the cities of Port Said, Ismailia and Suez where built-up areas developed in a natural, planned manner according to the needs and limitations of the cities. The Suez Canal Company traversed the Suez Canal water barrier and built the district of Port Fouad on the east bank of the Canal, thus dividing the city’s built-up area into two districts or quarters: the eastern quarter (Al Sharq) and the western quarter (Al Gharb). (1)This paper also sheds light on the stages of growth and development of urban masses at different periods and examines the three growth axes in the cities concerned as well as the different types of land use. (2)The type of urban fabric, the characteristic attributes and the visual aspects of cities in the Suez Canal region are explored towards the end of the paper. Mixed residential land use is widespread while touristic, commercial and touristic / residential uses are concentrated mainly along the Mediterranean coast and (mixed with commercial land uses) eastward along the banks of the Suez Canal. Land use along the main streets of the cities is primarily residential / commercial – an attribute that has a visual and functional impact on city planning and that must therefore be taken into consideration by development plans and by all the parties involved in the planning process. (3)

Keywords: Suez Canal Region – Urban Character – Port Said – Suez – Ismailia – Al Arab Quarter – Western Quarter – Architectural Character

Full Text: PDF
Download the IISTE publication guideline!

To list your conference here. Please contact the administrator of this platform.

Paper submission email:

ISSN (Paper)2224-607X ISSN (Online)2225-0565

Please add our address "" into your email contact list.

This journal follows ISO 9001 management standard and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Copyright ©