< > Shady Attia © 2010
Landscape Architecture for Micro-Climate Improvement and Energy Conservation in Egypt.

In Egypt, high temperatures, humidity and dusty hot winds lead to excessive discomfort for people. Contemporary designers do not integrate landscape architecture as a way to improve the micro climate of the outdoor built environment, in addition to the inappropriate use of energy resources ,while in Egypt’s hot arid climates, it is essential to ameliorate the microclimate in an energy efficient way. Landscape architects must fully understand that Egypt has one of the harshest and most limiting environments on earth. Therefore, the role of landscape architect is essential in creating a more favorable outdoor environment for people with regard to their inner living space: adequate shade, cooler temperatures, light breezes, protection from glare and wind blown sand.

The main aim of this thesis was to provide landscape architects with design principals and design guidelines to improve the microclimate and conserve energy in Egypt. The thesis could be described as horizontal overview that describes historical and recent design solutions that tackle with the problem of aridity and resources scarcity. The research was guided by a design problem that was intended to steer the research in order to come out with the knowledge needed in correspondence to the design problem. The location of the case study or design was in Egypt’s eastern desert and the selection was made based in the aridity and harshness of the project location. This study was divided into 6 parts: (1) Research Design, (2) Background, (3) Lessons from historical landscape design examples, (4) Contemporary Landscape design principals and guidelines, (5) Case Study and (6) Conclusion.

Finally, the concluding chapter dealt with the possibilities of testing the design as a way of empirical verification. The possibilities of applying verification techniques such as shade studies, simulation runs and field measures were discussed. Finally, the chapter sums up and list the design principals and guidelines and that the study came out in order to improve the micro climate and conserve energy in Egypt.

My experience at Wageningen University

During my two years Master’s study I recognized that Wageningen was mainly an agricultural university. In the beginning of my study, I expected that the school of landscape architecture will be part of a polytechnique or an engineering school but I realized that the school is standing alone as one group in the environmental science department. This situation gave the school a uniqueness and dependence from architectural influence, which gives this school a color of originality and novelty in the field of landscape architecture.

Also I enjoyed working at Wageningen during accomplishing my thesis. I received good guidance and I was in a good working place and environment. Also Dutch student were very cooperative.

My thesis included qualitative and quantitative research. However, he main difficulty that I was facing was related to the quantitative work. A lack of expertise and laboratories for running simulations and taking physical measurements was a drawback. Therefore, I went to TU-Eindhoven to compensate this lack and that was something I found really hard.