Cair-azy? Egypt’s plans for a new capital

Photo: SOM (World Architecture News)

The project was unveiled this month at Sharm el-Sheikh. The resort has always been popular with both property investors and holidaymakers, but the country’s economy has been far from appealing in recent months. In response, the country has announced plans for what is arguably Egypt’s most ambitious piece of construction since the pyramids.

The privately-funded development would be home to shops, tourist destinations, schools, industrial zones – and, of course, a lot of housing.

Egyptian Minister of Housing Mostafa Madbouly said the new national capital, which will be located between the current capital and the Suez Canal, aims to accommodation 5 million residents across total of 270 square miles of land, helping to ease congestion in Cairo.

The United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia have all pledged $4 billion each to back the project, reports ArchDaily , while work will be led by Capital City Parters and the man behind Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, Mohamed Alabbar.

“Egypt has more wonders than any other country in the world, and provides more works that defy description,” Madbouly told onlookers at the conference. “This is why it is necessary for us as Egyptians to enrich this picture – and to add to it something that our grandchildren will be able to say enhances Egypt’s characteristics.”

The unnamed city will include 21 residential districts, over 600 medical facilities and over 1,000 mosques and churches. Madbouly insists that the project can be built within five to seven years.

“Based on historic and global track records, trying to build a new city from scratch is a massive gamble,” Brent Toderian, Vancouver’s former chief planner, tells The Guardian .

“The most concerning thing to me was the speed at which this is intended to be built – five to seven years. That’s incredibly fast. And if you build it that fast, it will be a ghost town, like most other development plays have been.”