Egypt Proposes a New $45 Billion Capital City

It's notable that one of the world's oldest countries and the birthplace of one its most ancient cultures, would want to build an entirely new capital. Questions, like, "Will it work?" and "Will it actually happen?" remain to be answered.

2 minute read

March 16, 2015, 2:00 PM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

(Updated 04/08/2015) Egypt's housing minister, Mostafa Madbouly, recently announced a massive plan to build—from scratch—a new city capital for the country.

Peter Kinsgley reports that the capital city of Egypt might move for the first time since *969 CE.

According to Kingsley, "a millennium on, and nearly 20 million inhabitants later, Cairo’s time might finally be up – if Egyptian officials are to be believed."

The new plan is "to pass Cairo’s baton to another foreign-helmed development. Just as al-Qahera once was, this new capital is to be built from scratch – in this case by the Emirati businessman behind the Burj Khalifa – on virgin sands to the east of its predecessor."

The £30 billion plan would build a city to "span 700 sq km (a space almost as big as Singapore), house a park double the size of New York’s Central Park, and a theme park four times as big as Disneyland." Those grand ambitions would be accomplished within five to seven years.

Kinsgley provides more detail about that the final product would look like: "According to the brochure, there will be exactly 21 residential districts, 25 “dedicated districts”, 663 hospitals and clinics, 1,250 mosques and churches, and 1.1m homes housing at least five million residents."

And, "[in] terms of population, that would make it the biggest purpose-built capital in human history – nearly as large as Islamabad (population: an estimated 1.8 million), Brasilia (2.8 million), and Canberra (380,000) put together."

Ishaan Tharoor also reports on the announcement in a separate article, noting that project boosters are hailing the ideas as "the catalyst for an Egyptian renaissance."

*The article update changed the beginning date of the capital's existence from 969 BCE to the correct date: 969 CE.

Monday, March 16, 2015 in The Guardian

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