Nile Valley


Nile Valley - Urbanization of Limited Resources, 2010
A research by ETH Studio Basel, Contemporary City Institute

The Nile Valley covers merely 5% of Egypt’s territory, while at the same time providing a living environment for 95% of the country’s population. This thousand kilometer long and fertile strip of land embedded within the smooth topography of the valley forms a unique cultural landscape, birthplace to one of the world’s most ancient civilizations. Today, this ‘linear oasis’ experiences strong population growth while its economy is still based on traditional small-scale agriculture.Within a living environment restricted by the Nile’s limited water resources, urbanization almost always occurs at the expense of productive farming land. In one of the most fertile regions of the world, food self-sufficiency is increasingly threatened. Meanwhile, global modes of production and distribution have arrived in the Nile Valley but unaccompanied by integrative force. Pre-industrial modes of life meet global dreams of luxury in a region that seems not to have found its place yet in a globalized world.Yet, perhaps the most stunning observation in the Nile Valley is that despite enormous pressures, the region maintains a relative stability.

ETH Studio Basel (Hg.): Prof. Marcel Meili, Prof. Roger Diener, Milica Topalovic, Mathias Gunz, Christian Müller-Inderbitzin, Rolf Jenni
ETH Studio Basel - Nile Valley