Neveen Hamza, Dalila ElKerdany, John Pendlebury, Sahar Imam, Aliaa AlSadaty, Tamer ElSerafi



Market halls are commonly found in  contexts of cultural and heritage value. Positioned in urban centres and transport networks, these unique buildings were originally constructed in the 19th century to ensure better food distribution in growing European cities, then copied to other territories such as Egypt.  We argue that leaving market halls, with their large spanning structures and indoor open space, for dilapidation is a lost opportunity for sustaining community engagement, and educating the public on the original sustainability, neighbourhood regeneration and cultural thinking that underpinned these buildings. The proposed framework extends current sustainable ‘heritage conservation frameworks’ beyond concepts of adding renewable energy technologies, recycling and sustainable goods movement,  to ‘sustaining liveability and social inclusion’. We argue that market halls offer the opportunities to merge the daily activities of buying and selling food with creating local creative economies such as culinary art exhibitions, and culinary schools. The paper consists of two parts: the first discusses the historical urban context of market halls in Cairo; the second proposes a sustainable heritage conservation model for market halls.


historic market halls; sustainable heritage, creative economy; Attaba vegetable market

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The Attaba Waqf endownment documentـ: حجة وقف سوق العتبة برقم 3711 سجلات الباب العالى بتاريخ 27 ربيع آخر سنة 1303 هـ

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