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Open-air museum and amenities, Petrified Forest Protectorate at New Cairo

Strengthening Protected Area Financing and Management System Project (FS) aimed at further developing Egypt's protected areas (PAs) financing systems with management structures, with the main view of establishing income-generating mechanism and, thus, facilitating the process for resource mobilization toward the financial sustainability of the Egypt's Protected Areas system. Within this context, the main goal of this project was to establish an open-air museum and amenities at the Petrified Forest Protectorate in New Cairo.

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Location:

New Cairo, Egypt

 

Duration:

April 2017 - December 2017

Project Partners:

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) (donor), Support to the Egyptian Protected Areas (SEPA) within the Ministry of Environment (EEAA), Global Environment Facility (GEF), and the Sustainability of Protected Areas Project (EPASP).

Objective:

The main aim of this project is to emphasize the site’s environmental quality, and provide the park system with a sustainable income, while protecting the natural assets of the site, enhance its use value and visitors’ management through a set of sensitive interventions, developed in close consultation with the different stakeholders.

To achieve this aim, the project developed around the renovation and addition of design elements, based on the following four pillars: (1) Improving the urban condition of the site through the renovation of the protectorate's entrance and surrounding area (site across from the German University of Cairo) and the existing administrative structures; (2) Improving existing services and providing new services to visitors, including various shading and seating area; (3) Highlighting the environmental and geological value of the site by preserving the remains of petrified trees; (4) Providing visitors with information regarding the value of the site as a whole and its role with regards to the country and our collective history.

Scope:

1. Documentation of the Existing Condition

The Petrified forest lacked attraction factors due to the following:

  • Deterioration of the site condition;

  • Deterioration of the services and infrastructure;

  • Lack of site security and site control;

  • Lack of Interpretation signage;

  • Lack of awareness of the environmental and geological site value.

2. Participatory Needs Assessment

Throughout the design phase, workshops were held with various partners and project stakeholders, including Park Administration, residents of the area surrounding the site in New Cairo (Al Nargis Group), students and faculty members of the German University of Cairo, CAIRO RUNNERS, and WILD GUANABANA - Life Changing Journeys. These workshops established a platform for dialogue with respect to the development of program, design elements, and operational factors.

3. Design Development

The proposed masterplan for the Petrified Forest was designed using participatory tools and approaches that included users, producers, and regulators. The design of the masterplan was composed of a campsite, tracks, parking area, shaded structures, signage and interpretation stations.

4. Implementation

TICD team conducted the implementation works of the proposed design including the renovation of the existing administrative buildings and construction of the afore-mentioned elements, using environmentally friendly materials that fit within the context of the protectorate.

5. Before and After Photos