Source: Middle East Institute
Author(s): Susanna Myllylä
Greater Cairo, with its 20 million people, faces wide-ranging challenges regarding its living conditions, as is typical of Southern megacities. One key factor is that 70 percent of Cairenes live in informal settlements. Crisis in urban governance has thus become chronic in Cairo. The situation has been caused by growing socioeconomic inequalities, strengthened by the government’s economic privatization policies and favoring the elites and their gated communities, The Mubarak regime ignored the growing slum-related problems, and certain public works projects were put on hold for about three decades.
O’Donnell reminds us that problems are solved based on how they are framed and discussed. For instance, by employing a new perception of informal housing, the commonly identified “problem” of urban informality can be turned around: the phenomenon per se is not a problem but rather a question of values, recognition, and rights of the residents of informal settlements….
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