TADAMUN’s Planning [In] Justice Project explores spatial inequality and the distribution of public resources in Egypt’s urban areas and highlights the institutional causes that reinforce the current conditions, especially in the Greater Cairo Region (GCR). The Planning [in] Justice project compiled publicly-available data and utilized Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software to map a variety of indicators—poverty and education levels, access to healthcare facilities, public schools, population density, among other variables—at the neighborhood level. Whereas previous studies on similar poverty and development measures in the CGR have largely been limited to the district level, Planning [in] Justice captures variations in these indicators at the shiyakha—or neighborhood—level.
This report demonstrates that public investment is skewed towards Egypt’s new desert and satellite cities, at the expense of established urban areas. Furthermore, the needs of poorer neighborhoods are not reflected in the distribution of local budgets. Throughout this analysis, it challenges dominant conceptions of poverty and inequality and offer alternative metrics for studying the well-being of urban residents at the local level. It also brings global examples into this work, offering a comparative perspective on the utility of mapping as a tool for studying urban areas.
The project also aims to explore the possibilities for developing urban areas, to analyze the cost and return on public investment in underserved urban areas, and to compare this return with investment in new cities and affluent neighborhoods. Tadmun has previously published specific articles and briefs about spatial inequality (in Arabic and English), but this document presents a more comprehensive analysis of the research and analysis. It is the Tadmun team's hope that the attached report and the larger Planning [in] Justice Project will provide decision makers and the general public with a necessary tool to advocate for, develop, and implement more effective, fair, and targeted urban policies and programs in the Greater Cairo Region.
Tadamun is an initiative, launched in 2011, led by Professor Diane Singerman of American University (Washington, DC) and Kareem Ibrahim (Takween Integrated Community Development, Cairo, Egypt). We are grateful for funding for this project from Oxfam/Novib and the Ford Foundation and deeply appreciative of the contributions of Tadamun staff in this report.
TADAMUN: The Cairo Urban Solidarity Initiative