Goodyear writes about how some cities are specifically designed to quash revolutions, while others unintentionally encourage activism:
"Certain infrastructure factors can make cities more likely to serve as revolutionary centers. [British Marxist historian Eric] Hobsbawm notes that places where the ruling power is centrally located are especially vulnerable. In Cairo, the headquarters of Hosni Mubarak's National Democratic Party -- right in the heart of town -- was gutted by fire early in the protests. That destruction made an unforgettable visual statement that reverberated around Egypt and the world.
The ability of the protesters to take control of other key pieces of Cairo's infrastructure and public space has been crucial to the movement in the past few days."