ContradICTIONS AND PROSPECTS for The Brand-new City | The Plan
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ContradICTIONS AND PROSPECTS for The Brand-new City

Building in a rapidly changing social environment with virtually no historical or landscape constraints, unlimited economic resources and absolute power over land-use policy might appear the best-case scenario for conceiving and achieving a truly great city.

The first overwhelming feature of Doha - and all the other Gulf State cities - is the extraordinary number of foreigners. Almost 90% of the population is there on a temporary residence permit granted through a sponsorship system (kafala), based exclusively on a national (sponsor) vouching for a foreign worker (expat) before the state. The system allows no possible freedom of movement of workers, who once in the country might want to seek a better job or living conditions. As a result, 90% of the population live like prisoners on parole under the watchful supervision of their sponsor. Although this social...

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