The Egyptian government views the new urban communities as the successful solution to all of Egypt’s urban problems. Since its creation in the 1970s, with the aim of distributing urban growth more evenly across Egypt’s vast desert lands, these state-planned communities have been emerging one by one throughout the country.
While billions are being spent in new cities, older cities continue to suffer from a lack of public resources and deteriorating services. Which increases the inequality between existing cities inhabited by millions of people and between these new urban areas, which are sometimes described in the press as “ghost towns” (Daily News Egypt, 2012).
Despite all the new cities built (as of 1977) that were supposed to provide economic housing for low-income people, In April 2014, the foundation stone was laid for the project of the Asmarat neighborhood in Mokattam, which includes 6300 housing units that are expected to be allocated to transport the residents of the dangerous areas of Duwaiqa and Mansheyat Nasser to them.
In November of that year, the President of the Republic issued a decree establishing the Lifeline Egypt Fund, which is currently financing the “Living Egypt” project, the second phase of the Asmarat project, which together provide 11,300 housing units.
The project is located on the land of Cairo Governorate and the Ministry of Urban Development and Slums (the Housing Development Fund of the Ministry of Housing currently) contributes 1955 million pounds of the cost of the project.
According to Dr. Lili Iskandar, Minister of Urban Development and former Slums, will be allocated units in these projects for the people of Dweikah and Mansheyat Nasser and Stable Antar and Azbeh Khairallah and Batn al-Baqarah.
However, after the delivery of contracts to the people and the opening of the project in 2016, most of the units are still empty, but began selling some of the units by the people to non-deserving people and the return of the people to the informal areas because of the area after the work areas of the people and loss of their basic profession and livelihood source of garbage collection. Source and images, Courtesy of Abdelrahman Adel.
Article by Marco Rinaldi