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Egypt's New Capital City Development Gets Chinese Backing
With plans for five million inhabitants, the world's largest park, and over 1,000 mosques, development of Egypt's new seat of government is ready to kick-off thanks to a new commitments of $20 billion from the China Fortune Land Development Company. Reporting for CNN, Kieron Monks writes that the development will be "a solution to crowding, pollution and rising house prices in Cairo." However, detractors see the new Egyptian capital as a repeat of past mistakes.
Egypt has already constructed several satellite towns around Cairo, which have registered low occupancy despite high investment.
"The needs of Cairo should be met by the existing eight new towns around it," says David Sims, an urban planner and author based in the Cairo. "But people call them ghost towns."
"The new towns produced housing that is unaffordable, unobtainable and inaccessible for the majority of Cairo's inhabitants," says Sims. "The new towns were built with a high modernist approach that did not allow the informal enterprises and activities that most Egyptians rely on."
Monks reports that initial civil work has begun on the site of the new 700-square-kilometer city, with construction of roads and bridges. The first phase of the city, expected to house government ministries relocated from Cairo, is planned to open in five years.