Urbanism Conference 2017
Urbanism Conference 2017

Aim and Scope

COSIMENA’s first Urbanism Kick-Off event took place at the first international conference “Towards a Better Quality of Life” in November. The three-day event provided a platform to discuss the broad aspects of sustainable urban development and by setting up a first thematic framework for the cluster.

Our Activities

Conquering Traffic through Simulation Lecture by Dr. Kai Nagel

28th March 2018

Conquering Traffic through Simulation Public Lecture 2018
Conquering Traffic through Simulation Public Lecture 2018

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On the evening of Wednesday, 28th March 2018, the DAAD Office Cairo hosted its first Urbanism Cluster event of the year within the framework of its project Clusters of Scientific Innovation in the Middle East and North Africa (COSIMENA). Researchers, and policy makers from Egypt and Germany came together to discuss existing and possible future cooperation within the region and with Germany.

The evening was opened by Dr. Roman Luckscheiter, Director of the DAAD Office Cairo, and Prof. Dr. Angela Ittel, Vice President for international relations and teacher education of Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin), as well as H. E. Prof. Dr. Hesham Arafaat, Minister of Transport of the Arab Republic of Egypt, in attendance of 40 guests representing university as well as non-university scholars.
In his welcome address, Dr. Luckscheiter highlighted the role of COSIMENA and aims to ensure more intensive networking between researchers of the region and Germany. Similar traffic problems can occur in metropolitan cities like Cairo and Berlin. Therefore, it is necessary to exchange experiences, ideas and innovative approaches and to, “discover the potential of cooperation”. This Issue can be used as an example for a perfect collaboration topic of research between Germany and Cairo, as Dr. Luckscheiter made it clear.

Dr. Ittel expressed her content about being able to visit Egypt multiple times as part of the TU Berlin collaborations with lots of entities, researchers and different universities. After introducing the lecturer, Prof. Dr. Kai Nagel, who is researcher at the same university she is representing, she also mentioned what she referred to as TU Berlin’s “sister campus” in El Gouna, where there are currently 3 master’s degrees offered with a potential of further expansions in the near future.
The final part of the welcome address was given by Dr. Arafaat who was very glad to be taking part of the event as a DAAD alumnus firstly, then for his interest in the topic. He emphasized the importance of the scientific collaborations in urban planning, and more specifically on the topic of traffic. As most of the developing countries, Dr. Arafaat states that Cairo is suffering from a high amount of carbon dioxide emission, as one of the side effects of traffic, and that consequently causes indirect financial burden on the Egyptian economy.

Dr. Nagel, professor of transportation planning at the TU berlin, then took the floor to start his one-hour lecture that consists mainly of two parts. At the beginning of the lecture Dr. Nagel introduced MATSim (the Multi-Agent Transport Simulation Toolkit) which is an open source software development project that he started, intended for use with transportation planning models. The software is basically simulating the transportation behaviour of many people in a city-system, each person on its own and with his unique path and vehicle. Doing that, the program can distinguish between categories like pedestrian, train, car and bicycle and even more. The movement of all persons then result in traffic and congestions, which the program can display. Moreover, the model can also show the emissions, made by the different vehicles.

After that Dr. Nagel proceeded to explain results from simulations done around several parts around the world using that model, including countries with similar traffic dynamics to Egypt; like India. One of those results demonstrated how one simulation was able to synthetically replace one million privately owned cars in Berlin by a fleet of 100'000 Autonomous electrical Vehicle. He showed different problems one must consider like empty runs, the weather and the long charging times of electrical cars. A normal Taxi in Germany drives about 150 km per shift – if autonomous it could be about 300 km. Dr Nagel states, that today’s electrical cars can easily make up to 200 km and if a day is divided into two shifts, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, the cars can easily complete each tour and recharge after that. This would of course afford new infrastructure and especially charging infrastructure. He argues, that one could place them at the already existing taxi ranks in berlin. To his own surprise, he found out that the electrification of the system and the costs for charging stations wouldn’t be more expensive than the current system.

At the end of the lecture, a brief Q&A session was held, and many questions were raised by the researchers attending dealing for example with the required data for such a simulation, the consideration of traffic accidents in the software and the potential usage of big data. In the end, Dr. Nagel highlighted how this research is important to participate in the public debate and in bringing traffic planning to the discussion with policy makers and Dr. Arafaat himself showed interest in the possibilities of the system and its potential application in the planning of the “new capital”. The evening had been rounded off with a networking dinner at the premises of the DAAD and that provided opportunities for further elaborate discussions between the participants and Dr. Arafaat as well as with Dr. Nagel.

COSIMENA Urbanism Cluster Kick-Off event in El Gouna - First international conference “Towards a Better Quality of Life”

25th - 26th November 2017

Urbanism Conference 2017
Urbanism Conference 2017

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As a partner of the first international conference “Towards a Better Quality of Life”, COSIMENA supported the important scientific exchange in the field of urbanism. The three-day event provided a platform for over 275 academics, experts, practitioners, researchers, professionals, policy makers, companies, start-ups, students and delegates to exchange new ideas and bring them in fruitful discussion that will move the world closer to more sustainable living environments but also continued to build relations between researchers and decision makers from the Middle East and North Africa as well as from Germany. The DAAD Office Cairo used this unique occasion to launch the COSIMENA Urbanism Cluster.

The conference was inaugurated by chairmen Prof Dr-Ing. Matthias Barjenbruch (Director, TU Berlin Campus El Gouna) and Prof Khalid Mohamed El Zahaby (Chairman, HBRC). In their welcome address, they upheld the potentiality of this German-Egyptian scientific conference to enhance the sustainability of cities. An idea that was reinforced by Dr Roman Luckscheiter (Director, DAAD Office Cairo) and Associate Professor Dr Mohab Elrefaie (Senior Advisor, GIZ) in their speeches. Honorable Red Sea Governor General Ahmed Abdallah was being present for the second day of the conference and encouraged a continued scientific cooperation leading to practical outputs for the betterment of the Red Sea Region and overall Egypt. He also emphasized the need for academic research especially in the field of regional and rural development, clean energy technology expansion and industrial and economic growth.

On the second day of the conference the DAAD Office Cairo hosted an expert round table discussion moderated by Prof Rudolf Schäfer in order to launch the COSIMENA Urbanism Cluster. Prof Dr Lang (TU München), Prof Dr Mariam Chabou (Ecole Polytechnique ďArchitecture et ďUrbanisme Alger, Algeria), Prof Dr Layla Raswol (Dohuk University, Iraq), Prof Dr Sahar Sodoudi (FU Berlin), Prof Dr Bernd Hillemeier (TU Berlin) and Dr-Ing. Wulf-Holger Arndt (TU Berlin) discussed the broad aspects of sustainable urban development by setting up a first thematic framework for the cluster, focusing on energy efficiency, urban renewal, green urban design, sustainable mobility and transport, climate change and building materials.

The conference provided insights into exemplary national and international case-studies and best practices for building sustainable and resilient livelihoods in harmony with the ecosystem and local resources, as well as exhibiting special German project experiences in the construction sector, climate change, green urban infrastructure, mobility, water, housing, energy etc. This conference has opened a path towards a better quality of life in Egypt, the MENA region and beyond.


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Bernd Hillemeier

  Prof. Dr.-Ing. Bernd Hillemeier


Function CEO of the advisory board for the board of directors of Deutsche Bahn for the Project Stuttgart 21

Owner of the engineering consultancy “IFDB Professor Hillemeier & Knapp GmbH” (engineers for construction)

Institution/Faculty and University Materials Science / Department Civil Engineering / TU Berlin


Research Fields of Interests High performance concrete, nondestructive techniques for prestressed concrete structures, storing energy in a water/concrete system, spraying a fire-resistant material, corrosion protection with glass
Homepages www.zfp-bauwesen.de
E-Mail Address hillemeier[at]me.com
Short Profile Prof. Dr.-Ing. Bernd Hillemeier, born 1941, got his civil engineering degrees at the University of Karlsruhe (TH). From 1978 to 1990 he is the Quality Assurance Manager with the contractor HOCHTIEF. Since 1990 until 2009 he is a University Professor in materials science at the Technische Universität Berlin. Since 1992 until 2009 he is also leading the institute of rehabilitation and modernization of buildings (IEMB). From 2002 until 2008 he is chairman of the advisory board of the German Energy Agency (dena). In 2006 he received the Innovation prize Berlin-Brandenburg for the magnetic examinations of prestressing tendons in prestressed concrete structures. He is founder and member of acatech (German Academy of Science and Engineering) and member of the Executive Board of BBAW (Berlin Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften). In acatech he was the convener of the working group Energy and Resources. From 07/2010 until 11/2017 he was CEO of the „Society of Friends of the Technische Universität Berlin e.V.“

Dr. Layla M. Raswol


Dr. Layla M. Raswol

Function Dean of Engineering College
Institution/Faculty and University Nawroz University / Duhok, Kurdistan Region/ Iraq
Research Fields of Interests Urban Planning and Design, sustainable Housing development, urban regeneration
Homepages www.nawroz.edu.krd
E-Mail Address Layla.raswol[at]uod.ac, Layla.raswol[at]nawroz.edu.krd
Short Profile 2016- Now: Dean of Engineering College, Nawroz University, Duhok

2015- 2016: Chair of Quality Assurance Committee/Architectural Engineering Department, University of Duhok

2010- 2015: Head of Architecture Engineering Department/University of Duhok

2010- 2016: Lecturer: Architectural Design Studio, Planning & Housing/Undergraduate Students, Advanced Architectural studies, building heritage / Postgraduate Students

2011- 2016: Supervision of Dozens Master and Bachler Theses in the Field of urban Planning and Architecture.

2012-2014: Member of High Committee of KRG in charge for following up & Evaluating urban development Projects in Duhok

2010- 2014: Coordinator of University of Duhok, Planning Education in Iraq, Partnership with TU Dortmund/Germany and other Iraqi Universities, DAAD Program

2012- 2013: Member of the scientific selection Committee for KURD DAAD scholarship Round 1&2, funded by Kurdistan Region Government

2005- 2007: Research Center Ministry of Municipalities in Erbil/ KRG, Iraq, Member of the committee in Charge in developing the Master Plan of Erbil City

University Education

2010: PhD - University of Technology, Berlin. Topic: Informal Settlements in Erbil- Iraq: Formation, Structures and Potential

2005: Diplom in Architecture, University of Technology, Berlin

1987: B.Sc. in Architecture, Engineering College University of Mosul/ Iraq

Related Training Courses and projects

March 5- August 24, 2016: Woman in Higher Education Leadership, Vanguard University, US Embassy small grant project

Feb 4 -14, 2015: small grant project with University of Florida, USA Sustainability Education & Awareness, IREX ULP,

Jan 28 - March 2, 2014: Fellowship/Academic Management/ to Rochester Institute of Technology(RIT), University Administration Support program, IREX/ Washington, USA

Oct 2012: Leadership Training course for Middle Level Leader by University of Kassel/ Germany in Duhok

Prof. Dr. Sahar Sodoudi

  Prof. Dr. Sahar Sodoudi


Function Head of department  “Urban Climate”
Institution/Faculty and University Institute of Meteorology/ Faculty of Geo Science/Freie Universität Berlin
Research Fields of Interests Micro climate modeling and measurement, Climate change adaptation and mitigation, Urban Heat Island studies, Building’s energy simulation, Human thermal comfort measurement and modeling, climate change oriented urban planning
Homepages http://www.geo.fu-berlin.de/en/met/ag/Stadtklima/Info/index.html
E-Mail Address sodoudi[at]zedat.fu-berlin.de
Short Profile Sahar Sodoudi is a German-Iranian professor in urban climatology and heading the department of urban climate at the meteorological Institute of the Freie Universität Berlin. She has many years of experience in meso- and micro-scale urban climate modelling and is working on the interaction between climate change and urban heat island/urban planning and its impact on outdoor micro climate, Building’s energy demand and human thermal comfort. Further, she investigates the effectiveness of climate change adaptation strategies at local scale in different urban fabrics and therefore she has conducted many measuring campaigns in MENA region.  Since 2013, she is cooperating with 18 Egyptian universities in the field of adapting sustainable urban development to the local climate change via establishment of „Urban Climate Labs“.  She already established 4 Urban Climate labs at Cairo, Aswan, Asyut and Ain Shams Universities.

Prof. Dr. Werner Lang


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dipl.-Ing. Werner Lang, M.Arch. II (UCLA)

Function Prof. of Energy-Efficient and Sustainable Design and Building
Institution/Faculty and University Technical University Munich, Germany
Research Fields of Interests low-energy building, life-cycle assessment, climate protection, climate change adaptation, green infrastructure, building with a positive ecological footprint
Homepages www.enpb.bgu.tum.de
E-Mail Address w.lang[at]tum.de
Short Profile Werner Lang Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dipl.-Ing. M.Arch. II (UCLA), architect. Architecture studies at the Technische Universität München (TUM), the Architectural Association, London and UCLA, USA. PhD 2000 at TUM. Since 2010 holder of the Institute of Energy Efficient and Sustainable Design and Building (ENPB), Speaker of the Center for Sustainable Building (ZNB), Department of Civil, Geo and Environmental Engineering, TUM. From 2015 - 2017 Director of the Centre for Urban Ecology and Climate Adaptation, TUM. Since 2006 Partner and Shareholder of LangHuggerRampp GmbH Architects, Munich. Since 2010 Director of the Oskar von Miller Forum, Munich.

Research focus: Minimization of resource consumption, use of renewable energies and renewable building materials, development of closed material loops in the construction industry. Synergies of climate protection and adaptation measures at building and district level. Optimization of the building envelope in functional, constructive, energetic and aesthetic terms.

Dr. Wulf-Holger Arndt

  Dr.-Ing. Wulf-Holger Arndt
Function Head of the research unit “Mobility and Space”
Institution/Faculty and University Center of Technology and Society (CTS) at the Technical University of Berlin
Research Fields of Interests Sustainable transportation planning in international context
Homepages http://www.tu-berlin.de/ztg/mobility
E-Mail Address wulf-holger.arndt[at]tu-berlin.de
Short Profile Dr.-Ing. Wulf-Holger Arndt is head of the research unit “Mobility and Space” in the Center of Technology and Society (CTS) at the Technical University of Berlin. He studied Transportation Planning in Petersburg, Dresden and Berlin. He wrote his doctor thesis about optimisation of commercial and freight transport. Dr. Arndt is now leading research projects in sustainable transportation planning in international context and Megacities, climate change and transport system, barrier-free mobility, and electro-mobility. He gives lectures for international urban transportation and commercial transport in urban areas in TU Berlin, TU Dresden and TU Dortmund.