The IUSD Lab is a platform for research and graduate teaching of the master’s program Integrated Urbanism & Sustainable Design, at Ain Shams University and Stuttgart University. The IUSD Lab aims at serving as a platform for interdisciplinary and intercultural academic exchange. IUSD-Lab will establish itself as a joint, cross-institutional centre at Stuttgart University and Ain Shams University, involving several faculties and departments within these universities. It will closely cooperate with a broad range of partners from different academic, governmental and private institutions around the world. The IUSD-Lab provides access to the megacity of Cairo and economic hub of Stuttgart with their world-class networks of industrial and research institutions. It supports the implementation of pilot projects in close cooperation with its international network of research, teaching and business partners. The results of teaching activities are contributing to the lab’s research activities and vice versa. Different forms of outputs, such as events and publications are used to disseminate the Lab’s work. The IUSD-Lab will be working on the selected fields of sustainable urban development that also represent the three core competencies of the IUSD programme:

• Urban governance and civic engagement
• Cities, environment and sustainable urban infrastructure
• Sustainable construction and energy efficient building design

The vision of the IUSD Lab is to jointly develop the IUSD programme into a self-sustainable German-Egyptian centre for graduate teaching, research, training and dialogue in Stuttgart and Cairo - the “Integrated Urbanism and Sustainable Design Laboratory” (IUSD-Lab). Its thematic focus will be on sustainable urban development of Egypt and the MENA region in close relation to international approaches. 

The aim of situating the IUSD programme within the framework of the IUSD-Lab is to pool competencies in sustainable urban development in order to become self-sustainable through external research funding and funding of partners after the end of the initial period of funding by DAAD and the supporting ministries. It also gives a proposal on engaging former IUSD graduates within the research activities of the IUSD LAB.

• Self sustain IUSD after funding phase
• Engaging former IUSD graduates within the research activities 
• Strengthen international partnerships and networks

IUSD-Lab was inaugurated in September 2012, on the occasion of the second IUSD-week. The aim of situating the IUSD program within the framework of the IUSD-Lab is to pool competencies in sustainable urban development in order to become self-sustainable through external research funding and funding of partners after the end of the initial period of funding by DAAD and the supporting ministries. 

There are two ways to join the IUSD Lab activities:

1) Once the IUSD Lab has a running research project, or is planning a summer school, conference, etc. there will be announcements and calls via this website, the IUSD Facebook group and email. 

2) In case you have a research project idea that matches the above mentioned competencies, including options of funding, please get in touch with the local IUSD Lab offices in Cairo and/or Stuttgart.

IUSD LAB ACTIVITIES SINCE 2011 (most recent mentioned first)


In the year 2015, IUSD Lab Cairo and IUSD Lab Stuttgart have submitted applications for research projects.



Impulse workshop on the topic of Green Infrastructure considering Integrated Urban Water Management in Stuttgart

By IUSD Lab Stuttgart and IUSD Lab Cairo 
10-12 December 2014
Funded by DAAD

In a two-day workshop the IUSD Lab defines research fields along and around the topic of water sensitive green infrastructure, taking into account environmental, socio-economic and technological challenges in order to prepare coordinated proposal activities. During the workshop upcoming funding options (with and without focus on the MENA region) were discussed with the aim to initiate consortia covering the various aspects relevant for the topic.

International Summer School - ISLAND OF DJERBA (TUNISIA)

By IUSD Lab Cairo and IUSD Lab Stuttgart
22 September - 03 October 2014
Funded by DAAD

The Summer School was held in collaboration with Carthage University, Tunis ( Prof. Dr. Imène Zaâfrane Zhioua) and Ain Shams University, Cairo (Prof. Dr. Mohamed Salheen). During 10 days a mixed group of eight German, eight Egyptian and eight Tunisian students developed common concepts in mutual ex­change of experience and much-needed skills for the support of an integrated and sustainable costal development of the Tunisian touristic infrastructure.

Water Sensitive Urban Design in New Cairo Workshop 

By IUSD Lab Cairo 
3-7 April 2014

This workshop was done as a part of the ‘IUSD Salon’ events’ series jointly organized with Ain-Shams University and Stuttgart University in collaboration with experts in landscape architecture, biodiversity, and water, ‘Talaat Mostafa Group’, National Water Research Centre and Desert Research Centre. The main objectives of this event were open a new research field, understand the current situation of landscape in Cairo, identify different stakeholders connected to water sensitive urban design, know different contributions of governmental institution, NGOs and public sector towards the topic and discover the needed points for further research linked to water sensitive landscape. The workshop involved visits to several governmental and institutional meetings to get an understanding of how these institutions act toward water consumption, irrigation and agriculture systems, and to get to know their previous studies, current interests and future proposed projects. Numerous field visits and tour around greater Cairo region and its fringes were undertaken by the study group, to acquire information on the landscape patterns of different areas in accordance with their contextual perspective, which the study group later analyzed and classified its results. Examples on how communities existing on the desert outskirts of Cairo deal with water sensitive urban design included ‘Al Rehab’ and ‘Madinaty’ gated communities. Outcomes of this workshop was the fruitful discussion of the problem and preliminary research topics, the primary trial for mapping landscape patterns in Cairo, an overview on the stakeholders involved, highlighting best practices according to different climates and an initiative to create an Atlas for Cairo's landscape based upon the proposed researches. 

Fact-Finding Mission in Tunis 

By IUSD Lab Cairo and IUSD Lab Stuttgart
24-26 March 2014

A fact-finding mission took place in collaboration between both IUSD Lab Cairo and IUSD Lab Stuttgart in cooperation with ISTEUB (Institut Supérieur des Technologies de l'Environnement, de l'Urbanisme et du Bâtiment). In this mission IUSD Lab continued on the knowledge and network built during one of the Course taught by Ain Shams University in December 2013 in the unique island of Djerba. The island has a unique character in its environmental, urban and socio-cultural settings. ASU-Labs then decided to continue with further research activities and for that the fact-finding mission was planned to validate some research lines and contacts professionals, civil society, authorities and stakeholders related to the identified case study. The IUSD team with local partner Dr. Imene Zaafrane applied for funding for a workshop involving German, Egyptian and Tunisian Students to be conducted on the island. The workshop was approved and is planned for the period from 22 Sep. to 3rd of October 2014.

Development Priorities in Informal Areas: Planning, Realization and Local Perceptions

By IUSD Lab Cairo
Funded by GERF

The current transformation process in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) and particularly in Egypt was triggered by a demand for public participation in political decision-making processes, but also by a call for an improvement of living conditions in the region’s rapidly growing cities. The ‘Development Priorities in Informal Areas: Planning, Realization and Local Perceptions’ is a research project jointly developed by Ain Shams University in Cairo (ASU) and the Technical University in Berlin (TU-Berlin) and funded by the German Egyptian Research Fund (GERF). The research aims to develop a theoretical and practical framework and structure for developing priorities for inhabitants’ needs within informal settlements in Cairo-Egypt. This arises because one of the biggest challenges to sustainable urban development in post-revolutionary Metropolitan Cairo remains largely unchanged due to the recent boom in informal building activity within an emergence of a multitude of new local actors beyond those sanctioned by the old regime, which radically changed the power-dynamics in the neighborhoods while the economic uncertainties threaten the poorest households. The output of this project is intended to help policy and decision makers as well as community representatives to forge more effective partnerships towards an inclusive priority driven definition for future participatory upgrading projects.



An Energy-Efficient, Sustainable Building Design and Construction in Egypt 

By IUSD Lab Cairo
2013 - ongoing

Within the IUSD Lab Cairo various workshops and research lines are developed on the issue of sustainable design of buildings as well as site design. The ‘Energy-Efficient, Sustainable Building Design and Construction in Egypt’ research project aims at developing an energy-efficient and sustainable building prototype for a still to specify Egyptian context. The prototype will integrate climatic conditions and locally available sustainable building materials and craftsmanship towards a low-cost affordable housing unit providing thermal comfort. Ain Shams University (ASU) does the research in cooperation with the Housing & Building Research Centre (HBRC) funded by the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology in Egypt. The first phase of the project was signed last June 2013 and is now in the process of desktop research looking for state of the art and best practices after which the team will go for the field study survey or local building materials, techniques and norms.

Live Projects: Laboratories for Change? Towards sustainable teaching methodologies in applied urban settings

By IUSD Lab Stuttgart 
12-13 December 2013
Funded by DAAD Transformation partnership

The workshop is co-hosted by the Integrated Urbanism and Sustainable Design Lab (IUSD Lab) at the University of Stuttgart and the Integrated Urbanism and Sustainable Design Lab (IUSD Lab) at Ain Shams University Cairo. It is organized by the Department of International Urbanism (SI), in cooperation with the IUSD-Lab at Ain Shams University. The workshop is supported by DAAD and financed by the Foreign Office of Germany (Auswärtiges Amt). The initiation of this bi-cultural workshop is driven by a belief that students who become involved in well organized and carefully framed socially engaged projects during their studies will continue to pursue socially responsible approaches in their professional lives. The workshop seeks to contribute to the wider debate for a joint development of a systemization of tools and teaching methodologies for Live Projects at German and Egyptian Universities.  ‘Live Projects: Laboratories for Change?’ addressed a variety of questions in its sessions including but not limiting to the teaching and learning methodologies within the academic programs and its pedagogy, the long-term sustainability of Live Projects, and their impact on local communities and the impact of regional and social differences across different contexts. Together with several guests they contributed to the wider debates regarding professional practice as well as sharpening teaching methodologies in both university contexts and beyond, which will benefit the next generations of students. The focus on Live Projects is driven by the belief that students who become involved with well-organized and carefully framed socially engaged projects during their studies will continue to pursue socially responsible approaches in their professional lives. These approaches are needed in the German, Egyptian and Tunisian context, even though the reasons are different.


Towards a Neo-Vernacular Architecture: International Spring School Siwa 2013

By IUSD Lab Cairo

The spring school aimed to find possible ways to deal with the needs and demands of the people and to develop building practices and design solutions according to them.



Integrated Urbanism Dialogues II: On Resilience

By IUSD Lab Cairo 
September 2012
Funded by DAAD

The event explored the potential of integrating the different disciplinary approaches to resilience in the urban context of the MENA region and the potential for integrated approaches to urban resilience.


Integrated Urbanism Dialogues I:

By IUSD Lab Stuttgart
December 2011
Funded by DAAD