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35 The “N” group’s predominant view currently focuses only on superficial aspects, that is, restoring and upgrading only specific buildings and landscapes (Sedky, 2000, 2001b, 2002). This assessment became clear at an open meeting organized by the author in September 2001, where many officials and planners confirmed that these were the “N” group’s attitudes and actions. Although they did not regard the “U” group as encroachers, the majority could not state a clear agenda for urban management. They offered no ideas for bridging the gap between “U” and “N” groups, although this linkage is emphasized in all the international charters as the right process for the effective planning and implementation of area conservation.

Its macro scale promoted the building of industrial cities and new satellite communities around Cairo to encourage industry and to absorb migrants from the capital’s overcrowded public housing and historic districts, which in the 1970s mainly housed blue-collar workers. Such a plan was not sufficiently concerned with urban management. It tried to ‘demagnetize’ Cairo by moving some administrative offices and some ministries to the new city of al-Sadat on the desert road to Cairo City Master Plans 19 Fig.

Similar projects had been proposed during the monarchy by the Institute of Housing Research, but were never effectively launched. This gave Nasser’s government strong popularity, especially as housing had become a critical issue after the Second World War. With the growth of Cairo’s population, the demand for housing increased. During the Second World War there was a severe shortage of construction materials, leading to increased rent and property prices (Abdel-Jawad, 1949). The 1953 plan was meant to meet the demand for housing at affordable prices.

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