Satellite city with housing and financial district
New Urban Communities Authority and private sector
US$ 800 million ($115 million for housing)
$460/sqm for apartments, $920/sqm for villas
In the 1970s Cairo started expanding into the open desert. Most of these new towns, built to cope with the city’s fast-growing population, fell considerably short of expectations. New Cairo is one of a handful of “satellite cities” that are being developed in the desert about 40 kilometers from the city center. Located in what was formerly Helwan, and located between affluent Maadi and Heliopolis, New Cairo was established in the year 2000 by presidential decree number 191. Though started much later than many other new Egyptian satellite cities, New Cairo was the closest satellite city to the old Cairo city with a planned green belt separating the two cities which turned out never realized. Large technology corporate and institutional campus chose New Cairo as new site for their Egyptian headquarters, including Google, GE, and American University of Cairo. Up to now, New Cairo’s construction is still ongoing, while Egyptian government has planned another New Capital right next to New Cairo.
Despite Egypt’s effort to provide affordable housing, there seems to be little ‘affordability’ in these satellite city developments. Due to the high purchase cost of these units, the suburban areas of Cairo remains largely unoccupied. Although Cairo is afloat with housing, there are more homeless than ever, as people cannot afford to live in these housing.
In 2011, American University moved into New Cairo, creating a small job market for the area. However, this was not enough to bring business to the area, and New Cairo remains largely empty.
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