The Cairo Heritage Development Committee has wide official executive mandate to strategize
for a better future for downtown and historic Cairo.
The Committee is tasked with drawing up a comprehensive and holistic master plan that
balances historic preservation with economic growth potential for the areas under its mandate.
FEBRUARY 5 2017
The newly formed Cairo Heritage Development Committee has begun taking immediate steps to
fulfill its mandate of on-the-ground and immediate improvement of the capital city's historic
districts, combined with the formulation of a multi pronged and comprehensive plan that will
determine the city's future.
The committee's first order of business is to "bring back Moezz Street and Alfi Street to their
optimum shape," according to the head of the commission, Ibrahim Mehleb, assistant to the
president for national projects and a former prime minister. Cairo Governor Atef Abdelhamid has
committed to fulfilling that task within 30 days, which will involve installing a security system and
CCTV cameras for better monitoring of the streets', as well as coordination with local
restaurants, coffeeshops, and businesses on signage, as well as zoning issues that insure the
areas' urban nature as pedestrian-only zones. In the same vein, the committee will work with
police to ensure that drivers of vehicles -- and especially motorcyclists -- who violate the
pedestrian nature of the zones -- face the harshest traffic law penalties.
Meanwhile, as part of its longer term plans, the committee has established a series of
specialized subcommittees that are studying issues such as the urban planning and financing of
the larger downtown project. Hisham Ezz Elarab chairman of CIB and head of the Banks
Association is leading the latter effort.
The committee -- established by presidential decree in late 2016 -- includes in its membership
the governor of Cairo, the head of the Urban Planning Organization, the CEO of the New
Administrative Capital, the head of the General Organization for Urban Harmony, the advisor to
the president for urban planning and an international expert in asset management.
The largest stakeholders in a potential downtown investment and commercial entity have been
invited by the committee to share their plans in a stakeholder dialogue that is going full speed.
Other subcommittees are carefully examining previous planning efforts that were developed for
the area in an effort to find consensus on a holistic plan.
Th downtown Cairo district which is part of the committee's mandate is well known for the
unique architectural style of its buildings, many of which date back to the late 19th century.
While many of these buildings have fallen on hard times over the decades, there is a
widespread acknowledgement that a concerted focus is needed to restore the city's historic core
to its former glory as one of the most admired and vibrant world capitals. The committee will
work with both public and private sector stakeholders on helping this historic district reach its