- Compact city veracity: The fallacy and credibility of mixed use and high density for a low carbon city    click here to open paper content273 kb
by    Ibrahim, Abdelkhalek & Shaw, David | abokhalek@yahoo.com   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
A compact city concept may achieve urban sustainability. Creating a low carbon city requires a high density and mixed use development. The paper produces a conceptual framework measuring the relationships between compaction and urban sustainability.
Tracing the arguments of sustainable urban form, in the early and mid 1990s, there was widespread faith in the compact city concept to achieve urban sustainability (e.g. CEC, 1990; Breheny, 1992). Compact city policies have often been designed primarily to reduce commuting distances and encourage public transportation (Burton, 2002; Jenks, 2000). Most people, however, assume that high density development may generate more traffic than low density development, and therefore, there still remain many queries as to what extent the compact city extends beyond high density and mixed use development (Haughey, 2005). Thus, critics question whether compaction can be theoretically manipulated in such a way to deliver its potential impact “veracity” (Breheny, 1995; Jenks, 2000). To a viable paradigm this paper attempts to answer these burning questions by studying a number of cases at different levels of compaction.

Compactness is an overall characteristic for the majority of Egyptian cities. The traditional Egyptian city is formed through a particular built structure characterized by narrow streets, high residential use, mixed use and a very dense urban environment (C. Acioly, 2000) but most of these cities are considered less than sustainable (GOPP, 2006). Yet the new Egyptian cities have been designed differently since they are planned on low density and zoning principles. While these new cities seemingly are more environmentally sustainable (Nippon Koei Co. & International, 2006), they face many social and economic problems (Zaghloul, 1998) and ultimately become ''bedroom'' (Stewart, 1996) or ''ghost'' communities (Soliman,1992). With this in mind, creating a low carbon city requires producing principles that could minimize emissions without affecting the coherence of the local community. Consequently, this paper critically compares different models of compaction in the Egyptian context and tries to produce a conceptual framework by which the relationships between compaction and sustainability could be identified in a way to produce a low carbon city.
Compaction- high density – mixed use – urban sustainability
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