Chronicle of the Middle East and North Africa

Urbanism in the Middle East and North Africa



Places where we work, commute and reside, differ from one another and can never be the same. What interests the people in a city like Cairo is different from Beirut. What works for the residents of Jeddah varies from Amsterdam.

Urban formation plays an essential role in our daily life and impacts the majority of our decisions and lifestyle. Should we take public transportation or buy a car? Live in the center or in the suburbs? Work from home or go to the office?

Cultural, economic and physical regenerations have impacted most of the cities. Millennials strive for something different than what they  inherited, yet many cities remain unable to keep up with the futuristic aspects the world is aiming for, and many are attached to the heritage their cities hold.

How can a city preserve its legacy and evolve at the same time? How will its evolution impact the quality of life there and elsewhere? How does mass migration affect the challenges for regional urban areas and the stability of societies?

Cities are different, people are different and so are solutions. So what does the future hold?

Fanack explores the variations between urban areas. Together with urban specialists, we study the factors that made cities what they are today, going through various aspects including history, religion, culture, economy, resources, and more.
Fanack will offer a better understanding of the cities and the lifestyle they carry, away from assumptions and misbeliefs.

Experts in the Urban innovation field will be given a voice on Fanack’s website. Together with them, we will explore ideas and solutions to improve the quality of life and upward mobility of people in urban areas.

We, at Fanack, believe that urban design along with its linkage to urban planning and architectural design is the main outcome of the socio-economical and political agenda, its quality is directly proportional to humans quality of life and happiness. We try to explore and track urbanism’s effect on human life in the MENA region along with possible future solutions.

We offer a platform for professionals / non professionals in the urbanism field to express their thoughts, ideas and innovative solutions to give our audience the needed information for a better understanding. Through the presented content, we aim to trigger conversations that directly involve quality of living in the region.


Topics of Discussion


Quality of life is one of the main concerns of residents and expatriates. The users define what they want, what they need and in which space they are most comfortable in. Below is a list of topics that we aim to convey. These topics can be explored from a regional, local, and city-level perspective; we intend to link these topics to their effect on quality of life in cities in the MENA region on both local and regional levels.

Urban Planning 

Each city has its own potential. Urban planning is the art of optimizing the possible performance and outcome of each area, it shapes cities’ images and functions. Each city’s urban planning should relate to its identity and required outcome, while respecting different functions, patterns and backgrounds. How each region works on its own and how it aligns with its neighboring regions must be also well considered. In this section, we will discuss outcomes, future possibilities and strategies to improve settings being studied and to avoid previous mistakes in future planning.

Urban Design & Landscape

Urban formation is what configures our spaces and everyday surroundings. It is also an important factor in shaping our lifestyle, and an end result of multi-design parameters. The quality of life and livability in urban spaces is affected by how efficiently these parameters are applied and integrated. This includes, sociability, environmental comfort, mobility, health and well-being, etc. Through out this section, we will work on the linkage of urban design to the quality of life present in urban spaces.

Architectural Design

Most of us spend our days inside building. Within these spaces, we live, work and carry out most of our activities; healthy buildings mean a healthier community. Architecture is not only the result of a successful country, but it can also be the key to one, for it shapes most of our cities.

In this section, we will discuss how architectural design affects quality of life through different parameters and its role in shaping a sustainable community.

Urban Mobility 

Efficient cities are known for their smart mobility strategies. For a citizen, a resident or even a tourist, urban mobility is an important measurement for overall satisfaction; it can have a huge impact on mental clarity or it can be a daily burden. It is also very influential to sustainability.

We are going to discuss how Urban Mobility affects humans, the environment and its relation to the economy.

Urban Economics 

Economic development includes income, education, healthcare and lifestyle which urban design frequently triggers. City planning and urban design shape the economical formula of each city, through vision, goals and objectives and different strategies followed by an action plan. Shaping or reshaping a city is not independent of its economic shaping or its future. Under the section of urban economics, we will review how urban planning and design affects macro and micro economics and how that reflects on our daily life.

Urban Ecology 

Mankind is supposed to be “only” a part of a greater bio-diverse ecosystem on our planet, and also as the most dominant creature. While forming our cities, we must never forget that we are not alone on this planet.  If our decisions towards city planning are not taken wisely, this will immediately cause a threat to civilization as we know it; therefore, our city planning must strongly consider its impact on our surrounding ecosystem through design and execution methods. 


Urban Ecology is an interdisciplinary topic connecting the impact of urbanism and its effects on the surrounding ecosystems and biodiversity. It is a considerable part of the environment greatly impacting sustainability.

Urban History

Different eras have different motives and potentials, causing different city formations, which affect the lifestyle of their users. Health, safety, security, etc.., are all factors affecting quality of life. The topic Urban History will discuss how different eras with different design and planning strategies affected the quality of life of its users taking into consideration religious and cultural parameters.


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