Changing the Neighborhood
The introduction of the campus to New Cairo breathed life into the community and sparked an influx of public performances, plays, exhibitions and special events, extending Cairo’s rich arts scene to the area and making AUC the new city’s bona fide culture hub. The pulse of campus life sparked the growth of a bustling urban landscape in the area, attracting the numerous businesses, restaurants, cafes, shopping centers and residences that now populate the city. The impact gradually radiated out to the surrounding areas real estate which experienced a remarkable surge in market value since the establishment of the new campus.
In its relocation, AUC foresaw an opportunity to foster increased engagement with its surrounding community and trigger the positive development of the New Cairo area. Launched in 2015, AUC’s Neighborhood Initiative took up the mission of even further strengthening the University’s integration with the city, conveying the message that “No University is an island.” A community engagement event on campus prompted a creative collaboration with local real estate developer and neighbor TAMEER to provide a water tower adjacent to campus with a much-needed makeover. A student competition for the best in-house team design was launched in 2018, where students would work in multidisciplinary teams, mentored by faculty members to create a feasible design plan for the structure–ultimately presenting Egypt’s very first beautified water tower.
With considerable space for events, the AUC Center for the Arts and the University Garden can often be found active with crowds of students, staff and faculty as well as visitors from the community enthralled by theater pieces, concerts, fairs or expositions. In addition, the AUC Sports Center makes many of its athletics facilities available to the public, welcoming members of the surrounding community to campus for special programs including the AUC Summer Sports Camp for children.