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A Divided City: Suburban Cairo Before the Egyptian Revolution

News reports on the Egyptian Revolution have rightfully focused on former President Hosni Mubarak and, to a lesser extent, Tahrir Square—considered a major flash point for unrest. The immediate causes, including scenes of crowded city streets and riots, have been highlighted in great detail. The role of Cairo’s suburbs has received far less attention. Suburban Cairo includes one […]

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The History of Suburban Brussels

An American would feel right at home in the suburbs of Brussels. Mid 20th century ranch-style tract housing and newer contemporary homes are the norm, as medieval architecture and tourist attractions are noticeably absent. So too are the housing projects, multi-unit apartment complexes, and major public transportation links that predominate other European suburbs. Drive for […]

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The Favelas and Gated Communities of Suburban Brazil

Over 1,000-armed guards patrol its grounds and helicopters are a common sight. A military fort comes to mind, but the inhabitants of this guarded complex are in fact middle and upper-class families. Helicopter traffic peaks when businessmen take their daily 14-mile commute to work. Welcome to Alphaville—a gated community of over 20,000 residences in the suburbs of São […]

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Suburban Riots in Paris and the Bigger Picture

On October 27, 2005 two French youths of foreign descent were electrocuted in an attempt to escape police in the suburb of Clicly-sous-Bois. Their deaths led to three weeks of riots, as destitute teens from suburban housing projects around Paris damaged 9,000 cars and created over 200 million Euros in damage. Subsequent riots in November […]

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The History of Minorities in New York City Suburbia

In the 1820s, Hezekiah Pierrepont created the first American suburb in Brooklyn Heights. Pierrepont—who simply developed sixty acres of land into individual plots—was soon followed by more ambitious architects and developers who created idyllic communities, complete with resort hotels and steamboat service to Manhattan. The communities catered to Manhattan elites who wanted a reprieve from the […]

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