At an Economic Conference held in Sharm Al Sheikh, the political leadership announced that the project of the new ‘Capital Cairo’ east of the present conglomeration will be designed by SOM of the US. And, Egypt’s new Capital City designer appointed, the Egyptian Ministry of Housing and Capital City Partners Ltd, a private fund of global investors will be spearheading the management of the scheme.

It is to be noted that Capital City Partners of the UAE has in its portfolio Burj Al Arab of Dubai re-baptised since its completion as Burj Khalifa.  It was designed by the US firm of Architectural and Engineering design of Skidmore, Owings and Merill.  The appointment of these came as no surprise for most in the design world.

The firm’s urban designers and planners say they have developed the initial framework and base principles of a sustainable new town arguing that the new Capital has been: “designed in harmony with the local environment and shaped by the natural landscape, so as to meet the needs of a modern city.”

The new city will be designed and built in harmony with nature.  It is aimed for the design while none of the above is new, that it will reflect Cairo’s millenary traditions in urban development.

It is the intention of the country’s leaders to not only showcase it as an environmentally sensitive development but obviously to also bring the whole country’s attention to it. The new capital city will be the seat of the government and a business centre.

One of the designers said that: “while we are at the early stages of design, the new city will be built on core principles that include places of education, economic opportunity and quality of life for Egypt’s youthful population.”

The future town will be compact in urban form and anchored by concentrated development areas that will include business, central government, cultural and knowledge and innovation centres and over 100 residential neighbourhoods.

This latter will consist of a range of medium to high density areas each with its own common public space and basic amenities such as schools, health, shops, religious, sports and leisure buildings and equipment.

Landscaping will merge with the natural one and be sensitive to the land.  The buildings will all embrace natural movements of air amongst many things for maximum natural ventilation and comfort.