ADAPT. Cairo, Egypt

Empowering low-income communities with low-cost housing and basic facilities


The acronym ADAPT stands for Appropriate Development, Architecture and Planning Technologies, and aims to address two of Egypt’s major problems: low-income housing shortages and inhumane living conditions in squatter and illegal areas.
ADAPT Egypt’s goal is to produce low-cost housing with sustainable low-cost building materials: stones, sand, clay or iron ash, encouraging thus communities to be self-sufficient.
Through a participatory approach, ADAPT Egypt trains the local inhabitants of the community and also collaborates with universities to disseminate its building concept to architecture’s students.


  • +10,000 affordable housing units upgraded
  • +100,000 people have been trained and aided in low-cost housing methods
  • Informal areas communities empowered
  • Cooperation between government and local communities to resettle informal areas. The majority of ADAPT’s project have been financed by the government but using ADAPT’s building concept and expertise
  • Independence from mass-produced and expensive building materials

Did you know?

  • According to the Institute for Liberty and Democracy, 92 percent of real estate in the Egyptian urban sector is not legally recognized
  • Cairo is an overpopulated city with 17 million of inhabitants and 3.5 millions of commuters
  • 7 millions people live in informal areas where there is a lack of facilities. Local communities do not have schools, hospitals or banking service

Sustainability and Replicability

  • ADAPT promotes the production of building materials with low-cost, local recycled sustainable resources
  • ADAPT program was born in Algeria and in 1995 it was implemented in Cairo, specifically in Manshiet Nasser and Imbaba areas
  • A great number of communities within Egypt have imitated ADAPT’s construction model

Lessons learned

Empowering local communities can improve informal housing sector: the creation of public spaces and facilities and the community participation and training for the improvement of their homes tackle the housing shortage and improve the living conditions in informal areas.

Take action

  • Learn more about ADAPT Egypt here or here.
  • Talk about your friends about the possibilities of replicating the initiative in your city.

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