The irresistible appeal of the showcase capital.

O

Oscurito

Nigeria has done it as has Myanmar. Tanzania is in the process of doing it and the Zimbabweans are looking into too as are their neighbours in Zambia. The idea has been mulled over in Indonesia and the Philippines. Now, it seems that - in what will be the mother of all construction projects - the Egyptians are planning to do the same.

What’s this, you ask? Why, it’s building a new capital city.

The idea stands to reason. If the corrupt and incompetent elites have spent decades mismanaging the economy, then sooner or later, the traditional capital will become rather hard to live in. There will be traffic, there will be pollution, there will be slums and over-population. There will be hordes of unpleasant people who are half-starved and possibly missing parts of limbs due to leprosy and other such ailments.

Building a brand new squeaky-clean showcase capital that will cater for the head of state, lawmakers, the parliament and government departments avoids all this nastiness. Make sure it’s far removed from the old capital because those impoverished mobs do get quite violent at times.

Make sure that there are lots of apartments for the elite and their extended families. Above all, make sure you have the space for an airport nearby and you need never see a suppurating limb again. What’s more, the more dimwitted of foreign dignitaries might actually arrive and depart under the illusion that one’s whole country was just as brand new and squeaky clean.

And that’s all that matters, innit? What’s not to like? The only problem is that if the corruption and incompetence that led to the old capital becoming a mess haven’t been addressed, then what’s to stop the new capital going the same way in a few decades?


Cairo - Version Two :shock::


Egypt is getting a new capital -- courtesy of China - CNN.com
New capital city starts taking shape - Nehanda Radio
Government wants to construct a new Capital city outside Lusaka
The lights are on but no one's home in Myanmar's new capital Naypyidaw | Post Magazine | South China Morning Post
 
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drummed

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You should also see Skopje, Macedonia. Not new but entirely rebuilt as sort of ethnic Disneyland. Its extraordinary.
 
O

Oscurito

You should also see Skopje, Macedonia. Not new but entirely rebuilt as sort of ethnic Disneyland. Its extraordinary.
I've just googled it and it does look quite striking. At least they can say that they had to do a complete rebuild anyway because the 1963 earthquake pretty much destroyed the whole city.
 

drummed

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I've just googled it and it does look quite striking. At least they can say that they had to do a complete rebuild anyway because the 1963 earthquake pretty much destroyed the whole city.

They could say that. But they'd be lying as the regime there usually does. It was fine till a decade ago when they went on a mad binge of remodelling based on ethnic representations of a fake history which is all part of a long running dispute with Greece. They basically wrote an entirely new mostly imaginary history of the Macedonians (some dispute there's any such people) and redesigned the capital to reflect this new largely mythical story. Its a bizarre saga. Along the way they wasted and stole a lot of money. Most of which the EU had given them for assorted social and structural improvements. The road are still shocking anywhere outside the city and this summer the whole city flooded as they never bothered with flood drains. The whole thing is an absolute travesty in a poor country.
 
O

Oscurito

They could say that. But they'd be lying as the regime there usually does. It was fine till a decade ago when they went on a mad binge of remodelling based on ethnic representations of a fake history which is all part of a long running dispute with Greece. They basically wrote an entirely new mostly imaginary history of the Macedonians (some dispute there's any such people) and redesigned the capital to reflect this new largely mythical story. Its a bizarre saga. Along the way they wasted and stole a lot of money. Most of which the EU had given them for assorted social and structural improvements. The road are still shocking anywhere outside the city and this summer the whole city flooded as they never bothered with flood drains. The whole thing is an absolute travesty in a poor country.
I see what you mean. I've read the first of these two articles and I'm in the process of reading the second.
Masterplan for the City of Skopje
Skopje's Strange Quest to Rewrite Its History ... Through Public Sculpture - CityLab

I don't disagree but - for all the wrongnesses - they did at least keep the capital in the same place and had the intention to improve it. The examples in the OP are ones where the old capital is being largely abandoned to its fate.
 

drummed

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I know a few people in Skopje and they are terminally embarrassed by their new surroundings. :shock:
 
O

Oscurito

Brasilia?
It would count.....although with over 2 milllion inhabitants now, it's clearly a city that has grown organically. Compare it to Nigeria's "capital" of Abuja which has been around for nearly as long but is about the size of Limerick city.
 
D

Deleted member 48908

It would count.....although with over 2 milllion inhabitants now, it's clearly a city that has grown organically. Compare it to Nigeria's "capital" of Abuja which has been around for nearly as long but is about the size of Limerick city.
Abuja needs what, forty-fifty more years to catch up?

Besides, São Paulo is the capital with a population ten times of Brasilia.
 
O

Oscurito

Athlone anyone?

The Mammy would be pleased anyway....:cool:
Centre of the country, straddling two provinces....Athlone's position would be ideal. The only problem is that there's a town there already.

It's called Athlone. :)
 

freewillie

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Centre of the country, straddling two provinces....Athlone's position would be ideal. The only problem is that there's a town there already.

It's called Athlone. :)
Ferbane is open for business
 


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