The Creative Cities: Re-framing Downtown Cairo conference invited international examples of successful models of creative cities of relevance to the future development of downtown Cairo, and in dialogue with local stakeholders considered the role culture can play as a catalyst for development.

Looking critically at the changes that have taken place in Cairo over the past few years, and building on the wealth of studies of both urban history and contemporary conditions that Cairo enjoys, the conference was organized to emphasize comparative and interdisciplinary approaches to issues related to public space, heritage and urban culture, the revitalization of Downtown in the context of gentrification and securitization, and urban governance. The conference brought scholars, professionals and experts together with local cultural actors, community leaders and stakeholders. The conference consisted of public plenary sessions as well as critical urban walking tours that aimed towards alternative visions for Cairo’s downtown, informed by local practices, in addition to best practices from international contexts.