URBN is an initiative, launched in 2017 that aims to analyze the relationship between different cities and the societies that inhabit them. In doing so, we aim to initiate conversations about how we live today and how we think we can do it better, together.
For the last 3 years, our city of engagement has mainly been Cairo, focusing on community building strategies to remedy a divided society. The project explores different scales of territoriality and community; the lines we draw between us and the investigation of imposed boundaries; the conditions where we can work together, where we feel safe sharing space, and when we feel threatened. At a time where the world is collectively facing global challenges, how can we reserve space for tackling micro-challenges while still maintaining a collective conversation about global crises.
We pursue opportunities for interventions and collaborative projects in the discourse of urban culture.
We search for derelict spaces such as abandoned villas, parking garages, heritage sites, or simply locations in the heart of the city that we believe have untapped potential. We revive and repurpose them for a sliver of time, attempting to introduce a glimpse of hope and inspiration for a city in stalemate. In these created microcosms, we imagine the potential of our city and of ourselves as a society.
Like much of Cairo, we are still under construction. We are constantly experimenting. Our interventions are mostly in the form of events where interesting people can engage and collaborate. We look for voids and we try to fill them. We bring people together in social, intellectual, and creative contexts.