The Tadamun team produced a linear narrative prototype website with parallax scrolling to show users the true extent and social impact of Egypt’s urban planning policies.
Around 404 areas in Egypt (56 in Cairo) have been classified as “unsafe slums”, and the policy for many of them has been forcibly demolishing the unsafe homes and relocating the residents to social housing, almost always in what are called “new desert cities”, existing on the periphery of towns and cities, and thus far from essential services and amenities. The residents of these new cities claim that “the government put us here and then forgot about us”.
The site’s entry point is a screen showing the faces of the children of one such uprooted community, with a striking tagline "Displaced Lives". When the user scrolls down extra information about the "unsafe slums" appear to give the user some historical context.
Tadamun brought census data to the workshop, but it was outdated and difficult to match to the story they wanted to tell. So during the course of the workshop, the team pieced together fragments from their extensive qualitative and quantitative research to build the bigger picture. Data sources included: addresses of schools and health clinics in the old and new areas, spatial planning documents from the 6th of October City website, the number of housing units constructed, the locations of assets and amenities near the new housing, and narrative testimonials gathered from the residents.
The Tadamun team worked intensively with mentors on their visual and narrative approach. They were very active on their Slack channel, constantly sharing ideas, imagery, and draft versions of the prototype to build on. They had a lot of great photos and were able to use them in tandem with the new data insights they found during the workshop. The result was a strong visual idea combining photography with statistics.
Before the workshop, Tadamun were struggling with how to quantify the “cost” of displacement, and finalising which variables they should try to obtain values for. They had thought of comparing rents paid, money spent on transportation, and money spent on food, in order to shed light on the hidden costs of forced evictions/ relocations. However, at the workshop the team came up with the idea of mapping schools and hospitals, and using the distance and time and initial values to work with in visualising the hidden costs of forced relocation, in a way that would allow Tadamun to add more variables in the future.