Cairo is to be replaced as Egypt’s capital by a vast, hypermodern city situated in the eastern desert at the halfway point to the Suez Canal hub – a military-led mega-development featuring an enlarged, two-channel canal that began last year.
Work on the new capital will start at the end of April, the Housing Minister Moustapha Madbouly told the press.
The project to create a new capital, whose total cost was estimated at $45 billion, came as a surprise to the Egyptian people.
Responding to feedback suggesting that some Egyptians are uncomfortable with the new capital’s sociopolitical implications and asked if average Egyptians could afford to live there, SOM’s Dan Ringelstein hedged.
What is most troubling about the new administrative capital as currently conceived is that it is meant to convey the image of an Egypt that thinks big and has a clear vision for the future, yet it amounts to precisely the opposite by thinking small.
Under the circumstances, is this new capital really the best that the deepest pockets and brightest minds can do for Egypt?