Dar Bouazza – negotiated urbanism

Students: Anna Knobloch, Christopher Rofe
Location: Group work in Casablanca
Date: June, 2008
Type: Research project, student work, speculation and legal uncertainty

The second subject focuses on the city edge as well or more precisely on the forces that are generated there by Casablanca’s rapid growth. In the center of interest stand the activities of private actors particularly private real estate developers and investors that operate on unoccupied terrain outside the Zoning Plan (plan urbain). Since the Land Development Plan (plan d’amenagement) is outdated and the administration has so far failed to produce a new one, urban development is achieved through a series of special directives favoring especially international investments and the build-up of an international tourist infrastructure. Under this pretense investors have developed large housing estates for Casablanca’s middle class along the city’s western seashore. The architecture of these mostly gated communities - used as weekend or permanent houses - is mostly a generic take on international resort architecture. Since the emergency directives basically annul all Urban Laws, the development of these projects is achieved through more or less informal negotiations between developers and the public administration. What happens within this legal vacuum and weather this differs from Private-Public negotiations anywhere else in the world is subject of this investigation.

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