Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Because Egypt: Return of the Grandiose MegaProjects

Architecture projects don't come much bigger or more challenging than building an entire new capital city from scratch, but that's what the Egyptian Government, Skidmore, Owings & Merril (SOM), and international group of investors Capital City Partners Limited intend with the Capital Cairo project. The recently-proposed city, seven times the size of Paris, and twelve times bigger than Manhattan, would measure approximately 700 sq km (270 sq miles) and be home to 7 million residents.

Planning of the as-yet unnamed city is being led by SOM, and if it goes ahead, it would be located to the east of the current city of Cairo and serve as something of a pressure valve for the existing capital's ever-growing population. The new city would house 7 million people and create an estimated 1.5 million new jobs.

"While we are at the earliest stages of design, the new city will be built on core principles that include places of education, economic opportunity, and quality of life for Egypt’s youthful population," says SOM's Philip Enquist, who is Partner in Charge of Urban Design and Planning at the firm. "The new city will be designed and built in harmony with nature as a showcase of environmentally sensitive development."

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