Grounded Urban Practices

→ are projects, initiatives or offices who use space as a key agent of change

→ are rooted in communities, social movements or local areas

→ are critical of the status quo

→ experiment with legal, financial and organizational models as well as strategies, methods and tools

A wave of Grounded Urban Practices has emerged in Cairo after the 2011 revolution and in Amsterdam/Rotterdam during the 2008-2012 financial crisis. After almost a decade of experimental research and interventions challenging business-as-usual spatial production, many GUPs in both contexts face several difficulties today. In Egypt, the regime has managed to restore order, while in the Netherlands the economic upturn has ended some of the opportunities created by the crisis.

This study contains an in-depth investigation of the work of GUPs in both countries, based on an extensive research and several meet-ups with the selected GUPs in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Cairo. The research focused on 1) the roots and reasons behind their emergence; 2) their structure and legal, financial and organizational models; 3) the strategies, methods and tools that have been applied; and 4) the risks, challenges and opportunities shaping their current decisions.

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