In Egypt, since 2011, the “formal city,” the areas of the city designed and planned by public services, has been partially obstructed. The revolution appears to have brought to a standstill the urban projects that had been negotiated between the highest offices of state and an oligarchy of businessmen controlling real estate. This was the case, for instance, of the “Greater Cairo 2050” plan from the Mubarak era, which had been created in the spirit of international competition and the conquest of the desert. In addition to the postponement of major projects, every institution involved in their development became lethargic, including those responsible for planning, who were threatened with layoffs, local authorities who did not get involved, as well as public and private real estate developers paralyzed by their financial difficulties. The army still controls access to city centers—where protesters assemble—by building walls, verifying the identities of pedestrians and drivers, or impeding road maintenance.
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