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Ahmed Tarek al-Ahwal

 Jun.-Prof. Transformation to Sustainable Energy Systems

Tarek portrait& Urban Footprints Project


Faculty for Environment and Natural Resources

Institute for Environmental Social Sciences and Geography

Tennenbacher Str. 4

D-79106 Freiburg

Telephone: +49 159 067 970 92






Ahmed Tarek al-Ahwal is part of the Urban Footprints Project as a research assistant under the Project Lead, Dr. Cathrin Zengerling. The project is set within the Junior Professorship for “Transformation to Sustainable Energy Systems” at the Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg. He works on content analysis, interview planning and conducting, as well as organizing the project's concluding conference.

His inclusion in the research project is based on his experience as an independent researcher in the fields of urban metabolism, urban water management, public space justice, and land governance. In addition to his education as an architect he draws from his master's in the field of urban management and development from the Institute of Housing and Urban Development studies in Rotterdam. His current focus is to study challenges to applying compact city principles in developing contexts.


 Research   |   Professional career   |   Studies   |    Teaching   |    Publications    |    Presentations   I    Memberships


Research areas


Within the research topic he is interested in looking into the power of city level strategies to push for compact cities, against economic and political challenges. In working towards this, his current areas of research include urban density, land policy, land markets and climate. 

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Professional career


07/2021 – Current PhD Student at the Albert-Ludwigs-University, Freiburg DE

07/2021 – 07/2024 Research Assistant for the Urban Footprints Project at the Albert-Ludwigs-University, Freiburg DE

01/2020 – 07/2021 Independent researcher in research projects on Land Value Capture, expropriation, justice in transportation planning and open space

09/2018 – 07/2021 Co-founder and project coordinator at Tabdeel for cycling urbanism, Cairo EG

07/2015 – 09/2018 Urban program coordinator at Megawra - Built Environment Collective, Cairo EG

07/2014 – 07/2015 Researcher at the Eco-citizen world map project


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10/2018 – 11/2019

Master of Science Urban Management and Development- Urban land governance specialization - Institute of Housing and Urban Development studies (IHS), Rotterdam

Thesis: Effect of Landuse change in urban Riverfront Eco-Restoration on Capabilities of land resources. Case study: the Cooum, Chennai.


09/2009 – 07/2014

Bachelor of Architecture - Cairo University's Faculty of Engineering



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  • Teaching assistant in the "Urban Development" course in the Bachelor's program of the Architectural engineering department, of the Cairo university's Faculty of Engineering credit hours system. academic year 2014/2015.
  • Teaching assistant in the "Architectural Design" course in the Arab Academy for Sciences and Technology (AAST), faculty of engineering. Academic year 2014/2015.


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Academic papers:

  • Khalil, H. A. E. E., & Al‐Ahwal, A. (2021). Reunderstanding Cairo through urban metabolism: Formal versus informal districts resource flow performance in fast urbanizing cities. Journal of Industrial Ecology25(1), 176-192.


Book chapters:

  • al-Ahwal A.T., Abushadi, E., (2018). Integrating Public Space and Urban Systems. Reclaiming Public Space through Intercultural Dialogue17, 284


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Academic conference speaker


  • "7th Annual International Comparative and Urban Law Conference" Organized by Fordham University's urban law center and TU Berlin campus el-Gouna 
    Speaker on the panel "Urban perspectives from Egypt", presenting the paper "Urban cycling laws in Egypt".
  • “Interconnected voices: climate change, equity and the way forward” Organized by the Reiner Lemoine Institut, and the Arab-German Young Academy of Sciences and Humanities (2020)
    Speaker on the panel “Socio-political solutions” with the presentation “The aspects of injustice of cycling infrastructure provision in Egypt”
  • “Being a citizen in the metropolis” international conference in Cairo. Organized by the CEDEJ (2020)
    Speaker on the panel “Moving through the stretching city. Slow mobility, walkability, urban proximities through the metropolis.”
  • “International Conference II: Reclaiming Public Space within Metropolitan Areas” (2017)
    Presenting work on public space quality upgrade through changes in water and waste systems in al-Khalifa area of Historic Cairo.
  • “Responsive Urbanism in Informal Areas” conference organized by Cairo University and UN-Habitat. (2014)
    Presented the work done by the Cairo University team on Urban metabolism information system analysis in two neighborhoods of Cairo.
  • “Velo-city 15” conference in Nantes, France. Organized by the European Cycling Federation (2015)
    Presented designs for cycling interventions in the Informal area of El-Marg in Cairo.


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  • The Committee of the Egyptian code for cycling infrastructure


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