Egyptian president calls for unified colour scheme for buildings


Egyptian authorities are reaching for their paint brushes following a decree by the president, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, demanding buildings across the country adhere to a unified colour scheme of “dusty” shades in Cairo and blue on the coast.

Egypt’s prime minister, Mostafa Madbouly, told a cabinet meeting: “The plan is to have unified colours for the buildings instead of this uncivilised scene.” He said a presidential decree targeting unpainted red-brick buildings demands local authorities paint them soon, or face punishment. Clusters of red-brick tower blocks are a common feature of Egypt’s urban sprawl, and house much of the country’s population of nearly 100 million people. Mohammed Abu Saada, the head of the National Organisation for Urban Harmony, said the colour scheme for buildings would be determined by area.Buildings in Cairo and the south of the country will be painted “with dusty colours”, while tower blocks on the coast will be painted blue. In an interview with the local Extra News channel, he said the move to unify the colours of buildings is intended to remove “visual deformity.

The demand to unify the appearance of swathes of public buildings across Egypt comes at the same time as unpopular government austerity measures, including cuts to essential subsidies, as well as the arrests of thousands of people in order to silence criticism. Egyptian authorities have also targeted many of the country’s poorest people with forced evictions in an attempt to move them to the capital’s outskirts, part of a plan to end informal housing by the end of this year. Commonly known as “ashwiyyet”, and including many unpainted buildings, these areas of informal housing, which contain 40% of Egypt’s population, are often seen as places of social and sometimes political unrest.(theguardian)…[+]