The RtH Initiative

The Right to Housing; a Socially Just and Sustainable Built Environment is an initiative that has worked to promote dialogue on issues of our built environment and the right to housing. If this basic right were to be respected, sustainable and long term solutions would be found to the problems that face our communities.

The initiative is built on two main research avenues. A bottom up approach through recording the different challenges that residents of a wide range of different communities face in their daily lives, and a desktop/top down approach that looks at existing policy that affects the built environment and analysing available data with the aim to trace the policies responsible for the state of our built environment today.

RtHI's main audience are members of the community at large, urban activists and students currently studying the built environment and who will eventually graduate to work in the field and may become the future decision makers and is composed of three phases:
  • A series of short documentaries, with footage from interviews with residents supported with figures, data and maps. These videos are made available online for anyone to download, while subtitling is underway. You can watch the videos here.
  • A series of workshops facilitated between members of the participating communities  and practitioners in the realm of the built environment, such as architects, planners, economists, lawyers, rights activists and policy makers to discuss how they would like to see their built environment change.
  • A better practices guide, Social Justice and the Built Environment | A Map of Egypt, targets urban activists and students, showing them how the communities we've interviewed would like their cities, towns and villages to look like.The guide is in Arabic, and portions of it are in the process of being translated to English.

RtHI hopes that public dialogue generated by the initiative would support communities and rights groups with built environment data in their bid for a constitutional right to housing and associated laws, as a new constitution is being written in Egypt. The initiative also hopes to support groups working on the right to participate through elected local government, as well as to help them plan interventions in their communities.

RtHI is:
Yahia Shawkat
Amr Abotawila
Rasha Arous
Does Vandousselaere
Rahma Bavelar 
Deena Khalil
Mona Alsabbahy

Mohamed Al Sawi
Lamia Hassan
Jenny Montasir

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