Understanding Cairo

The Logic of a City Out of Control

David Sims

This book moves beyond superficial generalizations about Cairo as a chaotic metropolis in the developing world into an analysis of the ways the city's

English edition
15 September 2012
388 pp.
66 b/w photographs, 20 maps
15X23cm
ISBN 9789774165535
For sale worldwide

$35.00

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This book moves beyond superficial generalizations about Cairo as a chaotic metropolis in the developing world into an analysis of the ways the city’s eighteen million inhabitants have, in the face of a largely neglectful government, built and shaped their own city. Using a wealth of recent studies on Greater Cairo and a deep reading of informal urban processes, the city and its recent history are portrayed and mapped: the huge, spontaneous neighborhoods; housing; traffic and transport; city government; and its people and their enterprises. The book argues that understanding a city such as Cairo is not a daunting task as long as pre-conceived notions are discarded and care is taken to apprehend available information and to assess it with a critical eye. In the case of Cairo, this approach leads to a conclusion that the city can be considered a kind of success story, in spite of everything.

David Sims

David Sims is an economist and urban planner who has been based in Egypt since 1974. He is the author of Understanding Cairo: The Logic of a City out of Control (AUC Press, pbk, 2012) and Egypt’s Desert Dreams: Development or Disaster? (AUC Press, pbk, 2018).
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