Morphological evaluation and regeneration of informal settlements: An experience-based urban design approach

Abdelbaseer A. Mohamed*, Rūta Ubarevičienė, Maarten van Ham

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
111 Downloads (Pure)


Informal urbanism has been generally studied within social, econmic and political frameworks, yet little is known of how it performs in terms of urban vitality. The aim of this article is to better understand the urban vitality of informal settlements and how they can be improved by using a combined morphological approach that encompasses street-network accessibility, building density, land use diversity and transformability index. This study focuses on the city of Cairo, which has experienced rapid urban growth over the last seven decades. Much of this growth has concentrated in informal settlements on the outskirts of the metropolis. Taking Manshiet Nasser district as a case, we measured the degree of urban vitality of the area through a combination of Space Syntax, Spacematrix, and the Mixed Use Index (MXI). Informed by a transformability index (TI), the results can be used as part of the design process to (re)develop unattractive areas. The findings show that this combined approach works as a diagnostic tool for detecting development potential and, therefore, underpins the identification of cost-effective ways of intervention, for enhancing vibrant urban environments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103798
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository 'You share, we take care!' - Taverne project Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Greater Cairo
  • Informal settlements
  • Space syntax
  • Urban morphology
  • Urban regeneration
  • Urban vitality


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