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Morocco 2011/2012: Persistence of Past Urban Policies or a New Historical Sequence for Urban Action?

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To analyse the present situation in Morocco from the perspective of urban policies, following the social protests of the 'February 20th Movement' in 2011, we must ask whether the management policies and urban planning of the past are continuing or whether there is a new urban agenda based on a new framework and modus operandi. To answer this, we focus the historical dynamic around three temporal sequences characterized by government changes associated with shifts in urban action. First we analyse the period during which Abderrahman Youssoufi's Alternance government was in power (1998–2002). This was a key moment that symbolizes the break with the authoritarian regime of Hassan II and is characterized by major reformist ambitions (promoting participative urbanism practices, for example) that were only partially realized. Then, we see in a second period, from the appointment of a new Prime Minister in 2002, the changes that emerged with the implementation of urban policy programmes: a technocratic approach, the assertion of public-private partnerships, the promotion of large-scale urban projects. This period was also marked, following the Casablanca bombings, by new methods of intervention towards slums and their populations. Finally, we discuss the current period which began in 2011 with the 'February 20th Movement' and which demonstrates the limits of the dynamics of reforms over the last ten years. Constitutional reform was initiated by Mohamed VI, followed by elections that resulted in a government led by the PJD. In the areas of urbanism and planning, the proposals appear to represent a continuation of previous policies (combating slums, promoting social housing and new towns etc.).
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2014

More about this publication?
  • Built Environment is published quarterly in March, June, September and December. With an emphasis on crossing disciplinary boundaries and providing global perspective, each issue focuses on a single subject of contemporary interest to practitioners, academics and students working in a wide range of disciplines. Issues are guest-edited by established international experts who not only commission contributions, but also oversee the peer-reviewing process in collaboration with the Editors.

    Subject areas include: architecture; conservation; economic development; environmental planning; health; housing; regeneration; social issues; spatial planning; sustainability; urban design; and transport. All issues include reviews of recent publications.

    The journal is abstracted in Geo Abstracts, Sage Urban Studies Abstracts, and Journal of Planning Literature, and is indexed in the Avery Index to Architectural Publications.

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