The forces driving the expansion of the developing world’s “megacities’” are well known, and continue to resonate in cities like Cairo; pressure on limited cultivatable land, rural migration to urban centers, (which increasingly concentrates employment, wealth and social services in cities) rapid population growth, and other factors are to name but a few causes.

Visually, Cairo is characterized by symbols of chaotic urban modernization, which contrasts starkly against medieval infrastructure and architecture.  As social and economic models from times past are overtaken by unchecked urban growth, aesthetic anarchy ensues.  A rich and decadent array of historic architecture lines Cairo’s skyline.  Influences from Fatimid, Mamluk, Ottoman, Colonial, Communist, and Post-Colonial periods all recall ambitious plans, imperial visions, and utopian goals.  All are interwoven on the horizon and compete for increasingly scarce urban space. 

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