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6/18/2011

Gentrification Around The Pyramids Gentrification in Nazlet El-Seman Area Does it exist? One of the causes of Gentrification is the existence of a special style or a high historic in the area. Nazlet ElSeman area is the closest residential zone to the syphinx statue and it could have caught some international and local attention. This area is inhabited by the working class residents, so there should be a high potential of gentrification in this area. Does Gentrification exist? How does it exist? , if not Why it is not existing? How would this affect the future Nazlet El-Saman area.

Written By: Suleiman Deni

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Table of Contents What is Gerntrification? ............................................................................................................................................................................ 2 Definition................................................................................................................................................................................................ 2 Causes of Gentrification ..................................................................................................................................................................... 2 Characteristics of Gentrification ......................................................................................................................................................... 2 Nazlet El-Saman Area ............................................................................................................................................................................... 3 Introduction ........................................................................................................................................................................................... 3 The Study Area .......................................................................................................................................................................................... 4 How might Gentrification occur? ........................................................................................................................................................... 5 Why Gentrification is occurring slowly? ................................................................................................................................................ 7 How do tourists think about the current Situation? ............................................................................................................................ 8 Conclusion .................................................................................................................................................................................................. 9 Bibliography List ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 10

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What is Gentrification? Definition: Gentrification or Urban Gentrification is a term referring to the displacements that result when Wealthier People (Gentries) acquire property in low income and working class communities.

Causes of Gentrification : Production-side theory

The production-side theory of urban gentrification derives from the work of Professor Neil Smith, explaining gentrification as an economic process consequent to the fluctuating relationships among capital investments and the production of urban space. Consumption-side theory

The theory of the consumption-side of urban gentrification poses that "socio-cultural characteristics and motivations" of gentrifiers are most important to the understanding of gentrification in post-industrial city characterized by a profile-oriented employment advanced services. Economic globalization "New urban economic core of banking and service activities that come to replace the older, typically manufacturingoriented, core" that displaces middle-class retail businesses so they might be "replaced by upmarket boutiques and restaurants catering to new high-income urban ĂŠlites" .

Characteristics of Gentrification: Demographics An increase in median income, a decrease in the proportion of racial minorities, and a reduction in household size, as lowincome families are replaced by young singles and couples. Real estate markets Strong increases in rents and property prices, increasing the number of evictions, conversion of rental property (condos) and the development of new luxury housing. Land Use A decline in industrial uses, increased office and multimedia uses, the development of the life and work "loft" and upscale housing, shops and restaurants. Culture and Nature New ideas about what is desirable and attractive, including standards (either informal or legal) for architecture, landscaping, public behavior, noise and nuisance. |Page2


Nazlet El-Seman Introduction Nazlet El-Seman, an area in Haram district, Giza Governorate, Egypt. It was famous for shooting and horse riding sports. It was formerly called El-Seman pool and that was due to the presence of flood water and was up to the paws of Sphinx bottom of the plateau and people were living in the upper Zones and after construction of Aswan Dam(1970) the waters receded and people started to go down from the plateau and started to build their homes in the current region.  

Recently Nazlet El-Seman was under the village of Kom green administratively, but in 1932 it established its own independent administrative entity. During the eighteenth century until the mid-twentieth century this region was inhabited by nomads who migrated from the west (Libya, Tunisia, Morocco), but due to surrounding tourist attractions and their presence in the region they began to work in tourism fields and in the provision of tourist services. .Later, after the war in 1967 the local demographics have changed and that’s when the government's deportation of the preparation of the population of the Canal to the region with the Urban extension.

- Population: Approximately 50 thousand people mainly consisting of families who are related to each other by descents or marriages. Most of those families work in the tourist service areas. There are more than two hundred and forty bazaars, hundreds of restaurants and cafes other than tour horses and camels.

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The Study Area The area includes several tourist attractions area as it is very close to the light and sound gallery . The shops in Abu El Hul Street became specialized in selling perfumes, souvenirs, tourist restaurants and other services. Clearly Tourists are more abundant in this street and this area generally though there are some security warnings especially around midnight. Usually, Tourist attracting sites are interesting to middle and the high economic classes, but these mainly consist sub urban village like areas and beside that there are some horse stables in the region. Here is a shot taken from a high building's rooftop:

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How might Gentrification occur? The site's location might attract national and international tourist shops, hotels, some middle class citizens and those who might be interested living around sphinx statue. As a reaction to that: 

Property taxes every year to the local working class residents and some of had to move to less expensive areas leaving their own properties and others have moved to roofs while some residents have decided to share their living spaces they can afford the increasing taxes.

Due to the increasing rent in Abu-ElHul Street:  Some old shops have closed replaced by new higher class shops which have also made some enhancement and renewal changes to some buildings.  Some buildings are utilizing small spaces such as wide paths and under stair spaces. The grocery shop in-front of the sound and light gallery is on pathway space and residents had to make their way through the shop.  Mobile sellers are more common in the area.  There are more spaces available now for areas and shops such as those high class, chain or foreigner restaurants.

In the southern region of the study area. We can find high class villas owned by rich people and we can notice more streets and more distance between the buildings and also some high-rise buildings. Chain Restaurants usually visited by tourists

A High Class Villa rooftop

A Mobile seller in Abu-Elhul Street |Page5


Therefore, the working class people with time are moving backwards towards cheaper nearby areas due to the lack of affordable services shops and property taxes. So far the region in the center has not been developed. It consists of buildings separated by narrow and unorganized walkways.

The Gentrification process is occurring extending through Abu Elhul Street and slowly towards the other areas, as shown below. The grey arrows shows the slower gentrification process.

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Why Gentrification is occurring slowly?

Generally, The Land Prices in this area are high but the local residents are rejecting to sell and to be relocated to other satellite low-income districts even though the offered prices are high, although most of these areas lack public sewage and gas line services. Here are the reasons:  The social nature of the residents is an important factor as most of the people who live there are related by descents or marriage and are usually connected to each other.  Most of these people work on small tourist services. Such as stables, bazaars and restaurants. They are located close to their work places and it is hard for them find jobs anywhere else and if they kept their jobs they might have to pay the transport expenses that they might not afford. They might be jobless.  The Buildings are close to each other and the walkways are random and narrow this might raise a security concern among the gentries. Also the hygienic standards are low and hard to control with the concentration of horses and camels circulating around the area. There are some wealthy local residents who moved due to these hygienic concerns.

The Governments' Relocation Plans:

The former government had a very ambitious large plan for Nazlet El-Saman area that includes relocating the residents to 6 of October city. The residents rejected the plan and threaten to a large protest if the plan was executed. If there is a new plan for this area it should include the residents' opinions. Or at least they should think about providing jobs to them and to consider the social bonds in the relocation process.

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How do tourists think about the current Situation? Horse riding activities It could number of horse tours services is secondary attraction to the pyramid area. Quoted from wikitravel: " horse riding in the desert to experience both the spirit of the Egyptian horses and the true majesty of the Pyramids seen from outside the 'circus ring' wall. Be careful of touts, however; it's best to ride from one of the better quality stables, like FB Stables. " That shows a positive reaction towards the existence of the horse ride services. But due to the lack of responsible staff to control these services usually the tourists would worry about scams and the lack of stable unified prices.

Local Habits Quoting from wikitravel: "The Giza Pyramids being the main tourist attraction in Egypt, attracting millions of tourists each year. They likewise attract a large number of the most-determined opportunists for miles around--report any instances of harassment by camel drivers and tourist touts to the black-uniformed (or white-uniformed in the Summer) Tourist Police immediately" These Harassments issues might be a concern by the tourist, as it is generally common in Egypt but more common in low class societies such as those in the horse riding activities.

Government Plan for Nazlet El Saman

Al-Watan Newspaper has written about the plan of opening large Bazars Nazlet El-Saman area and relocating the residents. Referring to the travel forums and readers' comments most of them were optimistic about the change and some mentioned the area have not changed since decades ago. This is true as most of the services provided in the area were there since decades ago.

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Conclusion The signs of gentrification are clearly present especially in Abul Hul Street. These areas need to be developed and several issues should be solved to enhance tourism and to protect the archaeological sites in a way that benefits the local residents. 

Gentrification in that area could be a useful process to the economy as long as those residents are not jobless and neglected o It increases the quality of the shops in the area and the same with restaurants and there will be a larger variety in the services sector that might be more interesting for the tourists. Besides that the horse riding activities should be available in the area. o We will also notice lower crime, harassment rates and less touts coming to the area. o The taxes will increase and more money will flow through the economy o So more tourists might come due to the safer and more familiar areas.

But for the locals gentrifying these spaces could mean: o o o o o

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More transportation expenses. Affordable services. Low Taxes. Fewer varieties in the services sector. Broken family bonds if this was not considered in the relocation process.

There are several factors that should be considered to ensure that the original residents are not losing in the process: o They should be informed and included in the relocation plan. o The relocation area should not be very far from their workplace and transport lines should be made. o The local residents should be given the right to choose between selling and not selling their lands and prices should be reasonable. o Close Families should be located in groups together.

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Bibliography List "Gentrification." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 June 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gentrification#cite_ref-26>. "Giza travel guide - Wikitravel." Free Worldwide Travel Guides - Wikitravel. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 June 2011. <http://wikitravel.org/en/Cairo/Giza>. Knox, Paul L., and Peter J. Taylor. World cities in a world-system . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995. Print. "Nazlet El-Seman Stone Arrest and Human Destruction." Al Masry El-Yaom. N.p., 2 Dec. 2009. Web. 19 June 2011. <www.almasryalyoum.com/node/116154>. Send, Sarah, and Allam Abd-ElQafar. "The people "Nazlet El-Seman" and "Kfar El Jabal" threaten protestsin case of their transfer to "6 October" for the development of the archeological zone .. They accuse the "Supreme Council of Antiquities" conspiring to them for the benefit of the rich." AL-Youm Elsabeaa' Newspaper [Cairo] 9 Oct. 2009: n. pag. <http://www.youm7.com/News.asp?NewsID=143981&SecID=12&IssueID=84>.We b. 19 June 2011. Smith, Neil. The new urban frontier: gentrification and the revanchist city. London: Routledge, 1996. Print.

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Gentrification around the Pyramids