Rich City, Poor City: Where Prosperity And Poverty Are Neighbours

For the almost 2,500 years since Plato wrote that any city however small, is in fact divided into two, one the city of the poor, the other of the rich, urban scholars have been struck by the remarkable amount of income inequality within dense cities. According to HIECS (Household Income, Expenditure, and Consumption Survey), in 2012-2013, the poverty rate, in rural areas, was higher compared to urban areas. In particular, the poverty in rural Upper Egypt reached around 49% compared to around 17% in rural Lower Egypt.

On the other hand, poverty rate at urban Upper Egypt was number of poor people doubled between 1999/2000 and 2012/2013 from 11 million to 22 million people. It is higher than all other urban areas in Egypt. Around one quarter of population in urban Upper Egypt are poor compared to 16% in Urban Governorates and 12% in Urban Lower Egypt. For Egypt, particularly, many studies on labor market and poverty revealed that the unemployed are not necessarily the poor or the illiterate, and rather, the overwhelming majority of the unemployed are certificate holders.

Meanwhile the informal sector has been increasingly growing and absorbing a high percentage of poor workers working informally, without social protection, with low wages, low productivity, and working under bad conditions. This is not surprising given that, too often, the poor cannot afford to be without work and must reconcile with whatever type of employment opportunities are available.

The poor household possessions and access to services can influence income, investment, savings and consumption, nutrition, health and education, and indirectly that an individual will be chronically poor.

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The poor household is less likely to have access to drinking water piped into dwelling, less likely to have a toilet flush connected to piped sewer system and more likely to have earth or sand floor. When it comes to gentrification in Egypt, Since the 1960s, gentrification has been confused with other urban notions such as upgrading and renewal, regardless of its economic and political perspectives. Economically, there is a difference gap between the gentrification in the core countries and Egypt; for instance, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per Capita of each country. There is a big difference between the high and low classes regarding income, consumption, savings, working rehabilitation, education, and class awareness. Socially, gentrification is not about social mix, emancipation, creativity, and tolerance; it is about arson, abandonment, displacement, ‘speculation and abuse’, ethnic minority tenant hardships, and class conflict.

Culturally, gentrification is a trend toward fewer children, postponed marriages, and a fast rising divorce rate, younger homebuyers and renters are trading in the tarnished dream of their parents for a new dream defined in urban rather than suburban terms, plus an emphasizing the search for socially distinctive communities as sympathetic environments for individual self-expression. Economically, there are massive amount of new developments but with high range of prices and there is a along distance between them and the more lived regions. According to the neoclassical theory, suburbanization reflects the preference for space and the increased ability to pay for it due to the reduction of transportation and other constraints. Similarly, gentrification is explained as the result of an alteration of preferences and/or a change in the constraints determining which preferences will or can be implemented.

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Rich City, Poor City: Where Prosperity And Poverty Are Neighbours. (2019, Dec 01). Retrieved from

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