Poster Sustainability the Future 2

Why the First International Conference

of Sustainability and the Future is entitled:
Future Intermediate Sustainable Cities:
A Message to Future Generations

Prof. Ahmed Yehia Rashed

Conference Chairman

Prospective studies on the future of Egypt are not just theories. It is the responsibility of the current generation to think and work hard towards enabling future generations to achieve their own objectives. Over the years a variety of national projects have been started with optimistic expectations and ended with limited results or frustrations. It is noteworthy that Egypt has plenty of potentials based on its civilisation and its human resources. However, these potentials should be utilised in an innovative and efficient way to reduce or eliminate waste of time, cost and effort. Our approach to achieve a better future for Egypt should be accomplished through the appropriate utilisation of resources to implement a modern and well-organized plan based on cooperation between all sectors in the country. Our main target should be achieving a developed country based on sustainable strategies.
Recently, the vision of the eminent scientist Farouk El-Baz, and the proposal of the “Developmental Corridor” emerged as a developmental ideology which looked at the Western Desert as a site, and at science and youth as a way to achieve the goal.

Prior to that, the Toshka Project was initiated as a national project for which all governmental capacities were activated. The questions raised are: In the course of the invasion of the desert through the establishment of new settlements, what are the investment opportunities and how will they be channelled? Will heading towards the desert result in a better future for Egypt? Or will those visions and steps drain current and future potentials? What about the scientific and practical studies used in the process of decision making? Were they realistic? Do these decisions and steps cope with the rates of change, especially in light of globalization, and its economic, social and political changes?

The question arises: Could Egypt grow in the old valley alone leaving 95% of the area unutilised? And what would happen after a quarter-century if we did not head towards the desert? The answer is that while Egypt can now afford the luxury of asking these questions, as time passes, there will be no room for questions. The desert will become a necessity for the future of tomorrow, and it will not just be perceived as new land to be added to the globe or a renaissance project that accommodates various fields of productive and service activities or a tool to restore balance to the urban and economic map of Egypt. It will be seen as a new frontier for construction, management and investment according to new rules with new parameters. This should be achieved through modern technology and the support of rapidly growing visions and ideas coupled with the drawing of inspiration from inherent cultural features. Accordingly heading towards the desert and the future of Egypt should not be left to the forces of spontaneous or historical coincidences. Furthermore, the idea of the old valley with its problems does not suit the future of the new society. Additionally, if the Egyptian architect does not play his/her role in formulating the future of Egypt, others will be in charge of this task, but with a major difference, which is charting the future of Egypt according to their interests. And because we live today on the legacy of parents and grandparents, it is our responsibility to examine what our children and grandchildren will inherit from us. The architect’s involvement as a premier player is a must at this stage, and he/she cannot abdicate his role and his leadership in creating Egypt of the Future within the challenges of sustainability. Finally, all the issues raised are common not only to the Middle East but all over the world and the international conference will be a platform of opportunity to share and learn.

  • The need for futuristic visions and programmes combining the present and future of Egypt that would provide practical scenarios rather than setting unreachable plans.
  • Prediction in the midst of regional and global variables as well as scientific revolutions is very difficult. Studies of the future depend on the idea of the survival of the fastest which means that those faster to reach scientific and technological prowess will get a bigger chance to change the face of the earth.
  • The issue of population and resources is a strategic issue to be considered in the long term, and therefore getting out of the 5% of the Nile Valley and spreading to other areas, whether the Developmental Corridor or Toshka, is a major development of resources.
  • The desert and Egypt of the future need construction that is new both in its vision and in its philosophy of development.
  • The responsibility of the architect/engineer stems from his message of urbanising the land. The future and sustainability of the development of Egypt of tomorrow is a self-building process within which implanting moral and ideological values and awareness of the sustainable environment is achieved in parallel with technical advances.
  • Ethical, religious, artistic and architectural values of the heritage of ancient environments and what they contain of ideas, solutions and lifestyles compatible with the environment - not the desire to return to the past - is a springboard for arriving at a futuristic sustainable way of thinking about architecture and development.
  • Studies that discuss issues of reconstructing the future of Egypt and the future of today>s children, men and women of tomorrow will not bring any new ideas through traditional modes of thought and therefore the emergence of new non-stereotypical ideas is essential. This BUE Event (the international conference and international competitions) will provoke dialogue between generations and identities (scientists, officials, researchers,  practitioners, university students and school students).


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