‘Greening’ Real Estate: AUC to Host Collaborative Program on Climate-Adaptive Development

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Futures Lab, an upcoming retreat hosted by the AUC Innovation Hub and New Silk Roads, will encourage collaboration between business leaders, architects, researchers and policymakers to explore how the future of Egyptian real estate may be adapted to climate change-related challenges. 

"With Egypt's population doubling every 30 years, the real estate sector is becoming critical in its impact on climate change,” stated Ayman Ismail, director of AUC Innovation Hub. “In Futures Lab, we get into a deep conversation with industry leaders to think of innovative, pragmatic, industry-driven solutions, building AUC’s depth of knowledge." 

Egypt currently faces a myriad of climate-related challenges, such as water scarcity, extreme changes in weather patterns, land degradation and large-scale migration, among others. Futures Lab’s goal is to adapt Egypt’s real estate development strategies to address these challenges. These solutions may include changes to building materials, urban design and green financing. 

Rather than trying to predict exactly what will happen in the future, Futures Lab intends to examine what could happen in the future and hopes to expand discussions about climate change from narrow “problem-solution” questions to more holistic and long-term approaches. This will allow members to design multiple potential futures for climate-friendly Egyptian real estate, with a focus on possibilities rather than certainties. 

To plan this retreat, Futures Lab conducted pre-event roundtable discussions featuring thought leaders from diverse backgrounds who bring with them different perspectives and approaches to the climate issue. Notable attendees included Tarek Tawfik, president of AmCham Egypt,  Ahmed Shalaby, Founder, president and CEO of Tatweer Misr, Amal Enan, senior advisor on COP27 to the World Resources Institute, Khaled Tarabieh, University architect and associate chair of AUC’s Department of Architecture at AUC, and many others. 

“The Futures Lab could not be more timely. The pace of change in the climate change space is unprecedented, and immediate actions are needed,” said Dalia Abd-Allah, senior director of the AUC Innovation Hub. “Bringing voices from all relevant stakeholders to greening real estate in Egypt into one place through the Futures Lab is a much-needed approach in addressing climate change pressures beyond traditional solutions.”

This three-day program aims to create actionable visions for real estate development in Egypt through a series of workshops and discussions. Members from different backgrounds, such as architects, urban planners, policy makers and business owners, will work together in groups to create action plans to present to their colleagues on the last day of the retreat. These action plans will then be used as the blueprint for future designs, policy and research. 

The retreat is scheduled for the end of September in Ain Sokhna and will be hosted by the AUC Innovation Hub and New Silk Roads. The AUC Innovation Hub, located at the AUC New Cairo campus, connects corporations, start-ups, researchers and innovators to collaborate on developing strategies for Egypt’s most challenging problems. New Silk Roads is a Netherlands-based organization that works with international organizations, multinational companies, and creative enterprises to consider multiple bold and innovative scenarios for the future.