Contact Carboun

About Carboun

Carboun is a non-profit volunteer-based advocacy initiative promoting sustainable cities in the Middle East and North Africa region. Carboun focuses on the built environment and urban systems of regional cities, and advocates a sustainable approach for their development that balances economic development and a reduced impact on resources, and the environment. It also advocates leveraging urban resilience as a tool for long term urban sustainability.

Carboun’s geographical scope focuses on the economic, environmental, and developmental conditions predominant in the countries of the wider Middle East and North Africa, including the Arab World, Iran and Turkey. The initiative’s name, Carboun, is a transliteration of the Arabic pronunciation of the element Carbon, the most elemental constituent of life, the source of our energy, and more recently, the main driving factor behind our planet’s climate change.

Carboun’s website provides an online journal for sharing information relating to urban sustainability in the cities of the Middle East and North Africa region covering a range of urban systems and components including energy use, water use, sustainable design and urbanism, transportation, carbon emissions, climate change resilience, material resources, waste, and urban environment.

The Carboun initiative is engaged in a number of regional projects relating to sustainability in cities. The initiative’s current projects cover energy use in buildings, carbon emissions, and impact of climate change on the region. Carboun is also engaged  in a number of national-level projects.

The Carboun initiative was founded in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2009. Carboun is a member organization in Climate Action Network International (CAN International).

Carboun Founder

Karim Elgendy, Founder and General Coordinator

Karim Elgendy is an award-winning architect and sustainability consultant based in London, with experience practicing design and sustainability in the United Kingdom, the United States and the Middle East. Over the past two decades he has helped create sustainable buildings and urban environments across four continents, and has advised design and engineering practices, UK government, management consultancies, and global think tanks.

Karim’s interests include developing sustainable and resilient cities, and assessing the role of policy, economics, urban planning, urban mobility, and building design in reducing the impact of cities on resources and the environment.

As a regular speaker and writer, Karim is a public advocate for sustainability. He is regularly cited/ interviewed by mainstream media including the Financial Times, Reuters, Aljazeera English, Sky News Arabia, Asharq, and Forbes, as well as academic publications. 

In addition to being the founder and coordinator of Carboun, Karim is also an Associate Fellow at Chatham House (Royal Institute of International Affairs). He is the recipient of the 2013 Global Green Building Entrepreneurship Award by the World Green Building Council and is a chartered member of the Royal Institute of British Architects. He can be reached at Karim [ a t ] Carboun [ d o t ] com.

Stay in touch with Carboun on Social Media

Carboun’s networking group on Linkedin is a forum for professionals researchers to network and share common interests relating to sustainability and the environment. Carboun’s group is the largest Linkedin group focusing on sustainability in the Middle East.

Carboun Feed on Twitter  and on Instagram contain a feed of news and developments in Arabic and English (handle for both is @CarbounCities)

Carboun’s Page on Facebook at, also contains additional updates on news and developments relating to Middle East Sustainability.

Carboun’s YouTube page is where we publish our short and long format videos.