Since the 1950s, Egypt has developed a dozen new towns in the desert around Cairo. This book offers the first systematic exploration of these cities, analyzing their architecture and urban form, their promise and shortcomings. Intended to satisfy growing demand for housing, most of the desert towns have never been completed. Taking this condition of permanently emerging urban development at face value, the study identifies the potential of these towns through a series of design scenarios. Cairo Desert Cities underscores the value of re-engaging with modernist town planning, for wiping away the dust of past failures may uncover the contours of future opportunities.