Understanding Cairo: The Logic of a City Out of Control

Understanding Cairo: The Logic of a City Out of Control
Trying to make sense of the urban giant that is Cairo
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 failed attempts of the State to create the new, modern Egypt in the deserts surrounding Cairo and their unintended consequences as a colossal speculative frontier are given a special focus. 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.

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