Exploring the Challenges for Effective Spatial Planning in New Urban Development: The Case of Ecotourism in Egypt

  • Emad KenawyEmail author
  • David Shaw
  • Taher Osman


Egypt is embarking on an ambitious National Strategy of new urban development, which includes the establishment of many new settlements. History has shown, here, as with many other developing countries, technical plans are formulated, without effective mechanisms for implementation. Instead, the plans end up gathering dust on the shelves of national agencies or local government with limited improvements on local economic or environmental well-being evident on the ground. This is attributed to the difficulties in understanding competing interests, and the lack of effective contribution of diverse stakeholders in the planning process. Current plan-making processes can be characterised by a central government monopoly in decision-making. This combined with fragmented government agencies lead to multiple, and often conflicting spatial plans for the same location. This chapter seeks to highlight such deficiencies through an exploration of recent ecotourism development proposals in Egypt. By drawing upon a critical documentary review of specific case studies, and semi-structured interviews with 56 ecotourism experts, and stakeholders, the analysis suggests that stakeholder engagement was tokenistic, with a particular central government agenda still dominant. If the aspirations of Egypt’s new urban development are to be fully realised, then more effective collaboration between stakeholders, at all levels, is crucial.


Spatial plans’ implementation New urban development New cities Planning process Collaborative approach Ecotourism Stakeholder engagement 



The authors would like to thank the Egyptian Government, and Cairo University, who generously sponsored the study presented in this chapter. We would like to extend our gratitude to all those, who gave their time to take part in the case study interviews.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Urban and Regional PlanningCairo UniversityGizaEgypt
  2. 2.Department of Geography and PlanningUniversity of LiverpoolLiverpoolUK

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