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Monday, 5 November 2018

Egypt wants everything top notch in new capital city

** #6 We aren’t the only developing country that’s building itself a new city: Overpopulation and poor infrastructure mean it’s easier and less costly for developing countries to just build new cities from scratch. And so they do, writes Bloomberg Businessweek’s Monte Reel. “My vision is to let Cairo breathe,” said Ashraf Abdel Mohsen, who has a Ph.D. in architecture and was part of the team that put together seven plans for new capital cities. While urban planners generally believe every person deserves about 16 square meters of greene space, Cairo only gives each one of us about 0.3 meters.

Bigger, faster, stronger: While building a new city isn’t original, the new administrative capital is notable for its size. Egypt hired Chicago-based firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill to draw a new master plan of a city that will include everything from an education and science hub to an airport and amusement park “four times the size of California’s Disneyland.” The city is also expected to include a housing complex that could accommodate for 7 mn people and the largest mosque and church on the continent. One of the project organizers said President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s dedication to the project will ensure that it becomes “a cash machine for Egypt for the next 50 years.”

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