Removing Cars to Revive Downtown Cairo

In an effort to regain its stature as a center of culture, Cairo is looking at plans to re-integrate the pedestrian into its now car-dominated downtown.
June 10, 2010, 8am PDT | Nate Berg
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Officials there want to turn downtown Cairo into a walkable tourist area. One idea: ban cars.

"Cairo drivers are used to having it all their own way with the ability to go everywhere and anywhere they please, but the government is trying to imitate historical pedestrian areas in European capitals as a means of restoring the city's lost glory.

Even for those who are freshly acquainted with Cairo's congested heart, it's impossible not to feel that Downtown lives in the shadow of its former self. Created by Khedive Ismail Pasha, in the latter half of the nineteenth century to be a Nile-side imitation of Paris with wide boulevards and spacious squares, the belle époque architecture now crumbles onto sidewalks lined with gaudy, neon-lit storefronts and streets deafened by the crawling mass of honking traffic."

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Published on Tuesday, June 1, 2010 in Egypt Today
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