Spatial Justice

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Myths and Facts of Urban Planning in Egypt

As Egyptians, we have been raised since the 1950s with the notion that the Nile Valley and Delta, permanent home to our civilisation for over 7000 years, is overcrowded and cannot accommodate any more people. As architects and planners we have been trained over the last half century almost solely on designing mega regional, urban and land reclamation plans in the vacant desert. The purpose of these is to “redistribute the population” and absorb future population growth.


Over 9.2 million households (53.4%) in Egypt are without improved sanitation. Most households use unsealed septic tanks, or informal sewage networks that discharge raw sewage into canals. Deprivation of improved sanitation is disproportionately high in rural regions in Egypt (Upper […]

Drinking Water

About 17% of Egyptian households are deprived of access to safe water. The highest incidence is in Upper Egypt, where deprivation ranges from 19% to 46%. About 2.3 million households (13.3% of the population) do not have access to a […]

Tenure Security

An estimated 70% of Egyptian households live without secure tenure. The rural Delta governorate of Gharbia had the highest proportion at 93% without secure tenure. The Frontier governorate of South Sinai had the least, at 8% of households. An unspecified […]

Housing durability

Official statistics reveal that about 3.2% of households live in non-durable housing; condemned buildings in a pronounced state of disrepair or in so-called unsafe areas prone to rock-slides and flash floods. While a large portion of these buildings can be […]


About 7.7% of Egypt’s population live in extremely crowded conditions (one or two room dwellings). Most of this housing is permanent and may be: standalone shacks; porter or guard’s rooms; old emergency housing; large homes subdivided into rooms; basement rooms […]

Affordability of Buying & Renting

An estimated 54.3% of Egyptians are considered cost burdened. Median rents or house prices surpass what they can comfortably afford: 59.4% of households would have to pay more than 25% of their monthly income to rent the median priced home […]

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