Sarah Essbai

Sarah Essbai is an architect, urban planner and independent researcher based in Zaandam, in The Netherlands. As of September 2017, she is leading the communications and marketing efforts of The Global Grid.

Farewell to The Grid, from Sarah Essbai

by Sarah Essbai

When I started as a blogger at The Grid, I was packing to go back to my home country of Morocco. I had spent two years in the United States as a Fulbright scholar at the graduate urban planning program of Ball State Un... Read article

Noord-Zuidlijn in Amsterdam: Digging a Metro Line under the Historic City

by Sarah Essbai

For the last ten years, visitors of Amsterdam have been surprised at the sight of several open construction sites in the city’s historic center. Starting at Central Station, open construction sites are found throughout t... Read article

The Challenges of a Dutch Inclusive Neighborhood

by Sarah Essbai

The Netherlands has one of the most unique affordable housing programs in Europe. Affordable housing, which roughly translates to social housing (Sociale Huurwoningen) represents nearly 80% of the Dutch rental housing un... Read article

IJburg, Amsterdam: Innovative Neighborhood on Artificial Islands

by Sarah Essbai

IJburg is one of the newest neighborhoods in Amsterdam. In this city of high density and scarce developable land, the creation of a new neighborhood is a long and expensive planning process. IJburg is a unique urban plan... Read article

Amsterdam-Noord: From an Abandoned Shipyard to Amsterdam’s Creative District

by Sarah Essbai

While waiting for the ferry at the wharf behind Amsterdam Central Station, the Eye Film Museum designed by the Viennese architectural firm Delugan Meissl Associated Architects stands with its futuristic design as a landm... Read article

Rabat, Morocco: On A Quest to Become A World Class Capital or Elitist Capital?

by Sarah Essbai

Rabat is Morocco’s political capital. For most Moroccan citizens, Rabat is sooner or later a necessary stop due to its concentration of major administrative, health and educational facilities. The city also offers better... Read article

Morocco’s New Cities Program Lacks Basic Service Accessibility

by Sarah Essbai

In 2004, development work was launched in the first site, Tamansourt, nearby Marrakech, of Morocco’s “Villes Nouvelles” (New Cities) program. By 2020, the program aims to create 15 cities evolving around the major countr... Read article

Should Casablanca's Colonial Heritage Be Preserved?

by Sarah Essbai

Casablanca is Morocco’s largest city; but unlike the rest of the country’s major cities that were founded between the seventh and fifteenth centuries, Casablanca’s history is quite recent. Casablanca was one of five new... Read article

Foreign Investment & Gentrification Offer New Residents for Morocco’s Medinas

by Sarah Essbai

Gentrification has become increasingly prevalent in most major metropolitan areas across the globe and affects mainly old and historic urban zones. In Morocco, gentrification can be observed in the historic centers (like... Read article

Revitalization of the Fez River: A Reclaimed Public Space

by Sarah Essbai

Founded in 789, Fez is the third largest city of Morocco. Its historic center, the Medina, is a unique urban structure that features passive architecture, unique urban landscapes, and one of the biggest pedestrian networ... Read article

Cardinal Greenways: Biking on Muncie’s Rail-Trails

by Sarah Essbai

Biking has been mainly promoted in the past ten years as a healthy transportation alternative in major American metropolitan cities. In smaller communities though, biking remains mainly recreational. In addition to the h... Read article

Student-Oriented Developments on the Rise in Muncie

by Sarah Essbai

Every fall Muncie, Indiana grows its population by almost 30%. This addition represents the 20,000 students enrolled at Ball State University in Muncie, many of whom close new housing contracts or renew old ones on- and ... Read article

The Infamity of Muncie, America's Forgotten Middletown

by Sarah Essbai

In 1924, Muncie, a small city 60 miles north-east of Indianapolis in Indiana, was the subject of a socio-economic research conducted by Robert and Helen Lynd. In 1929, the Lynd’s published the results of their study in “... Read article