Land Disputes, the Informal City, and Environmental Discourse in Cairo

Diane Singerman

in Cairo Contested

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9789774162886
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9781617970351 | DOI:
Land Disputes, the Informal City, and Environmental Discourse in Cairo

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This chapter shows how land has become “contested space” desired by opposing interests. The “interests” that are described encourage the government to remove residents and workers from land coveted either for tourist developments or the Ring Road. It also emphasizes that the negative portrayals of lower class Egyptians and those who work and live in 'ashwa'iyat imply that residents themselves are responsible for the poor conditions in these districts. It concentrates on three prominent political struggles over informal districts that involve the integration of environmental discourse into confrontations between communities and the state over this type of land use. It is then based on field research conducted from 1997 to 1999 in Cairo, as well as discussions of these cases in the local press. In general, the three cases of state reveal several important aspects of state policymaking regarding urban land use. In addition, they show the state's attempts to mobilize the norm of environmental improvement to support controversial land use decisions.

Keywords: Cairo; land disputes; tourist developments; political struggles; urban land use; policymaking

Chapter.  7779 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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