Mohamed Elshahed founded Cairobserver, Egypt’s first architecture and urbanism website. He speaks with Senior Editor Jonathan Guyer about the city’s grit: which historic areas are at risk, what residents say about their own neighborhoods, and how the government reacts to endemic problems.
Tag: informal housing
Government bulldozers flattened the Badia East squatter district in Lagos earlier this year. Suppose its nine thousand residents had drawn maps, kept records, and documented their community’s dynamism over the past thirty years. Would it have been quite so easy to evict them?
From Cairo to Casablanca and beyond, millions of Arabs live in munatiq ‘ashwa’ia, or random areas. Informal developments continue to expand in response to state failure and incapacity. Arab governments should stop focusing on hyper-modern schemes and start empowering the poor for the creation of formal, legal neighborhoods with affordable housing.