Urban development expert and AUC Press author David Sims spoke last month to a packed Oriental Hall about Egypt’s urban expansion policies—the new towns in the desert, real estate speculation, mega projects, and the new capital. His much-awaited talk, entitled “The Distorting Luxury of Infinite Space: Egypt’s New Capital, New Cities, and New Industrial Areas,” was organized by AUC’s Alternative Policy Solutions.
He pointed out that although the new Capital Administrative City will be twice the size of New York City, most of the housing units will be affordable only for the top 10-15% of Egypt’s households and will consume a lot of Egypt’s natural resources.
Egypt now has seven new towns around Cairo and seventeen elsewhere, added Sims, most of them with significant commercial, office, and services success, but with little street life and no functioning public spaces.
You can listen to Sims’s complete talk on YouTube.
Sims is the author of Understanding Cairo: The Logic of a City Out of Control (AUC Press, paperback edition 2012) and Egypt’s Desert Dreams: Development or Disaster? (AUC Press, new paperback edition 2018). He is currently working on a third book, to be published by AUC Press.