8: Dissonant Times: The Land–Infrastructure–Finance Nexus in Post-Mubarak Egypt

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This chapter questions the resurgence of mega-infrastructure projects in Egypt amid dire fiscal, political, economic, and pandemic conditions. It focuses on the temporal relations underpinning the ‘territorial moment’ of Egypt’s infrastructure-led development, including the restructuring of public agencies; the expedited time frames granted to key projects; the temporal extension of credit and risk involved in the assetization and floating of financial instruments; and the underlying logics of a de-risking state. The case of the Cairo Monorail illustrates an emergent land–infrastructure–finance nexus that produces temporal, spatial, and scalar dissonances surrounding de-risking investments. This results in the restructuring of governmental institutions as well as the reconfiguration of urban spaces and temporalities. The chapter argues that by engaging with urban infrastructure almost exclusively as a temporally risk weighted asset, Egypt and the specialized financiers who inform its post-Mubarak urban development trajectory are constructing a dissonant and inequitable urban future.

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