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3 Last updated 9 August 2022


Dr Gohar is a Senior Lecturer and Course Leader in the School of Art Design and Architecture at the University of Huddersfield. He will be starting the Masters of Landscape Architecture (MLA) in addition to teaching Landscape within the Master of Architecture (MArch).

Prior joining University of Huddesfield, Dr Gohar taught the MLA courses in Kansas State University and University of California at Berkeley. He also designed and taught Urban & Environmental courses in San Francisco State University. 

As a practitioner, Dr Gohar worked as an urban & landscape and designer and sustainable urbanism expert for nearly two decades of professional experience with municipal governments, research institutes, international development agencies, private sector firms and local community organisations. He has worked extensively in public space in congested cities, coastal settlements, dense urban forms, and historic urban centres across the Middle East and Africa.

His doctorate research in the Dep. of Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning at UC Berkeley focused on understanding coastal development and its direct & relative impact on the local residents and the environment. His peer reviewed research focuses on finding the appropriate balance between the trends of rapid urbanisation and ecological integrity of open spaces in cities. He is passionate, experienced and has delivered numerous lectures about community engagement in public space. He teaches landscape design studio and urban & environmental studies seminars. In addition, he is founding member of “MIDAN”, a non-profit dedicated to placemaking and public space rehabilitation. Gohar obtained degrees in urban planning from Cairo, a Master in Urban design from Oxford Brookes, and a diploma in Land Management from Erasmus University.

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Landscape Planning and Ecological Integrity - on the Macro Scale

My research has focused on the friction between urban/landscape development and environmental protection on multiple scales. This is evident in my dissertation project that builds on the significant environmental deterioration due to global development trends, urban design of resorts, and increases in economic activity. Although a significant body of literature documents this rapid loss of resources, the specific impacts of urbanization caused by tourism development remains far less examined than other forms of urban and economic expansion. International agencies, non-profit advocates, and academic researchers often promote environmentally sound tourism development as a less destructive form of economic development. Yet current research has not provided the focused scrutiny to evaluate its cumulative impacts on local environmental and cultural resources.In addition, my research addresses a significant gap in the literature that concerns the particular vulnerability of urban settlements that are vulnerable because of environmental hazards. As the case study discussed in my most recent publication “Flash Flooding as a Threat to Settlements Even in Remote Areas” in the Environment & Urbanization Journal (2016) the town of El-Sheikh El-Shazli, a previously isolated Sufi town of 1500 residents situated in a very dry arid region within the Red Sea mountain range in the Eastern Desert of Egypt, has become a destination for one million visitors a year. The location of the tomb of a 13th-century Sufi leader, a series cultural and religious festivals has attracted this large number of national and international visitors on a seasonal basis. The small local community has struggled to find the capacity to manage or control the random guest houses expansion encouraged and financed by different Sufi sects. Different from the nearby topographically complex Red Sea terrain, the village of El-Sheikh El-Shazli is situated on a flat sandy sediment landscape that encourages ad hoc, and ongoing, expansion of guest houses. Through interviews, field measurements, and satellite imagery analytics, the research documented the dangerous extent of development in the wadis which are subject to infrequent yet violent flash floods endangering the lives of both residents and visitors. The absence of adequate tourism planning in El-Sheikh El-Shazli demonstrates the perilous trade-off that these types of communities are making between the promise of tourism’s short-term economic betterment and long-term damage and risk to local residents and their cultural and environmental resources. Forthcoming Research: Currently finalizing a paper on conducting a systematic assessment a systematic assessment of 37 tourism establishments across the Red Sea and measuring their impact on the environmental resources in the area. Suggested Journal is Landscape & Urban Planning Journal

  • Urban & Landscape Design – on the Micro Scale

A separate line of inquiry is directed to the interaction between people and their landscape in the urban environment, with particular focus on the public space design and how it impacts people’s daily life. My public talks, such as civic engagement in public space, draw from global professional experience in participatory planning. And my recent paper “Urbanization & Sustainable Development: Evolution and Contemporary Challenges” (2016) provides a critical overview on the concept of sustainability with a specific emphasis on social change in cities, citizen participation and immigrants influencing the city form. My most recent publication is titled: Greening and opening the public space of the Nile banks. A demonstration case study in Maadi, Cairo” (2018) examines the connectivity to the river and the potential land use changes with open access to the water front.

Forthcoming Research: Currently finalizing a paper on people use of bridges as public spaces in congested cities titled: “Bridges Over the Nile: “Transportation Corridors Transformed into Public Spaces”. Suggested Journal is the Sustainability Journal, Special Issue "Human–River Interactions in Cities" in the section of: “Sustainable Urban and Rural Development”

External positions

Visiting Scholar, Universite De Geneve

1 Jan 201931 Dec 2019

Visiting Scholar, University of California at Berkeley


Research Expertise and Interests

  • Landscape Planning
  • Urbanism
  • Tourism Planning
  • Land Use
  • Urban Design
  • Sustainable Development
  • Placemaking
  • Public Space


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