Sustainable community and user-controlled housing processes in Cairo, Egypt: ‘no-harm’ principle as a regulatory mechanism

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Sustainable communities cannot be achieved without genuine community participation, especially in housing decision-making processes. User-controlled housing is increasingly perceived as a credible means for community involvement in housing processes. User-controlled housing needs a regulatory mechanism that is qualitative, socio-culturally responsive, adaptive and proscriptive. In the case of social housing in Cairo, the research questions the potential of the traditional housing principle of ‘no-harm’, which simply means that ‘residents’ initiated action which is considered harmful to others should be prevented if those affected ask for its discontinuation’, act as this regulatory mechanism for residents’ actions. A qualitative/quantitative research method was applied to undertake the investigations in case studies representing three distinctive patterns of urban poor communities in Cairo: public housing, transformed public housing and informal housing. Both the current application of the ‘no-harm’ principle in these three urban housing contexts and the attitudes of their residents towards its application were investigated. The principle has proved to be significantly relevant nowadays in a way that opens the door for (re)integrating the principle in the legislative system for social housing processes in Egypt.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-60
Number of pages28
JournalInternational Journal of Urban Sustainable Development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Cairo
  • Egypt
  • No-harm
  • Social housing
  • Sustainable community
  • User-controlled

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Urban Studies
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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