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Brits in line for Baghdad bonanza

Teams led by Broadway Malyan and Woods Bagot have been named on a seven strong shortlist to design $30 billion of new housing in Baghdad

According to reports, Saber al-Issawi, the Mayor of the Iraqi capital, has received firm bids from seven foreign consortia vying to build 150,000 flats, shops, parks and cinemas over 10 years in a war-shattered suburb in the north east of the city.

The Iraqi government has agreed to pump $10 billion of its own money into the project over the next decade to revamp Sadr City (aerial photograph above), a largely Shia area of Baghdad and branded ‘one of the most striking examples of the unchecked growth of Baghdad’s population’.

Vast chunks of the area were razed by US airstrikes and, according to Reuters, ‘the area’s poorest live in shelters cobbled together from scavenged materials.’

The Baghdad municipality reportedly prequalified seven companies out of an initial 27 expressions of interest – teams which included project managers Halcrow Group, structural engineers Buro Happold and consultants Pell Frischmann.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Daniel Hewitt

    It conveys a deep disregard for the suffering of the people of Baghdad to describe the awarding of reconstruction contracts to Western firms as a 'bonanza'. It would appear to betray what Naomi Klein identifies in her book 'The Shock Doctrine' as the motives for the Iraq war: namely, state-backed corporate imperialism. If Western firms are to be involved (which it seems inevitable that they will), I suggest being a bit more modest and perhaps emphasise the nature of the responsibility involved.

    The AJ's role balances between independent journalism and promoting the interests of the profession. I'd prefer more of the former, but in any event please don't let your coverage topple over into inhuman corporate sycophancy.

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