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International Meeting on "Sustainable City and Creativity: Promoting Creative Urban Initiatives“ Naples, Italy- September 24 th -26 t h, 2008 URBANIZATION.

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Presentation on theme: "International Meeting on "Sustainable City and Creativity: Promoting Creative Urban Initiatives“ Naples, Italy- September 24 th -26 t h, 2008 URBANIZATION."— Presentation transcript:

1 International Meeting on "Sustainable City and Creativity: Promoting Creative Urban Initiatives“ Naples, Italy- September 24 th -26 t h, 2008 URBANIZATION IN ALGERIA, POLICIES, TOOLS AND ACTORS: THE CASE OF ALGIERS by Immacolata Caruso Italian National Council of Research Institute of Studies on Mediterranean Societies

2 Summary  The Maghreb context  Algeria: the dialectic urbanization/ economic development  Tools and actors of urban planning  The case of Algiers: the difficult evolution of a metropolis  Algiers in the last decade: a new view of territorial planning  Main findings and conclusions

3 The Maghreb context at the beginning of 1990  continuous demographic growth  an accelerated rate of urbanization  effects on social and political levels  population distribution across the territory emphasizes the difference between the littoral and inner areas Littoral Pop. Total Pop. % Tunisia % Algeria % Morocco % Total %

4 The spatial planning In Algeria the territory has been divided into three regions – the North, the Plateau, and the South. Each of these has been divided into sub- regions: East, Center and West.

5 Algeria: the dialectic urbanization/ economic development  : the “shantytowns”, pre-conditions of the contemporary urbanization Territorial and economic dualism (rural areas of colonial predomination /tribal territories as pre-capitalist areas) stimulating migration and the growth of shantytowns.  : urbanization by “substitution” Departure of Europeans/ lodgings vacant/ massive exodus towards main northern cities/rise of urbanization level and of the number of urban agglomerations.  : “controlled” urbanization Urbanization molded to a strategy of national development based on industries the industrial areas localized in the big cities or in proximity to these forms of accommodation ranging from “shanty towns to “parceling housing” growing up in a disorderly manner in the immediate suburbs or on agricultural land Unbalanced development of the territory State as single operator, investor and official planner began to orientate development activity towards the inner areas As result an increased “controlled” urbanization

6 Algeria: the dialectic urbanization/ economic development  : generalized administrative urbanization Investments in tertiary sector, strengthening of territory’s administrative network, growth of the inner towns, especially of the small and medium–sized ones.  : the increasing importance of the question of urbanization Financial crisis and Plan of structural adjustment A serious drop in employment levels among the urban populations and the paralysis of the State as provider, accelerating exclusion and fossilizing the urban question Success of Islamic Party closely linked to the size of the city and the degree of urbanization: the development – urbanization question becomes a cultural one which has repercussions on use of urban space From 1992, further political changes caused for the urban situation to be reconsidered: the State is no longer protagonist and manager of the socio- economical and political balance and, consequently, of city development.  : Economic recovery and new urban projects A favourable new economic trend for urban improvement and new urban projects relating to habitat and infrastructures, stimulating private investment and involving all urban stakeholders, public authorities, the local and professional community and the civil society.

7 Tools and actors of urban planning The planner State policy: Nationalization of agricultural land and municipalisation of territory. Public monopoly for the construction of housing. National Plans of development Regional and Municipal Programmes Plans d’ Urbanisme Directeur ( PUD) New urban housing areas (ZHUN) and industrial areas (ZI) were created CADAT ( Caisse Algérienne d’ Aménagement du Territoire) ETAU ( Bureau central d’ Architecture et Urbaniste) ECOTEC ( Bureau central d’ Etudes Economiques et Techniques) Law number of December includes two documents which are seemingly of different orientation: - The Plan Directeur d’Aménagement et d’Urbanisme (PDAU) defines the long term intentions (20 years) of public authorities in relation to the size of built-up areas. - The Plan d’Occupation des Sols (POS) establishes immediately enforceable rules for each allotment on a local scale Spatial planning adheres to coercive hierarchy which embraces national and municipal, general and detailed, ruling and approximate practices There is a progressive increase of stakeholders both public and private

8 The case of Algiers: the difficult evolution of a metropolis Algiers progressive decentralization to south and east No more concentric but axial development COMEDOR, created in 1969 to establish a programme/ plan for general organization (POG) aiming at regional stability; to control the public investments in the planning stage. Then, 1997 the Algiers region, the perimeter of which had been extended, became a community with a particular form of autonomy under Territory of the Great Algiers, at the head of which a Minister-Governor was appointed. twelve administrative districts which in turn encompassed 28 urban subdivisions ( hectares,) and 29 municipalities (2.5 million inhabitants). From 2000 the city returned under general institutional management, by the Municipality law of 1990.

9 The case of Algiers: the difficult evolution of a metropolis Algiers 2.7 million inhabitants; metropolitan area exceeds 3.5 million; Functional influence over an urban region encompassing about 10 cities with more than inhabitants; is the most important economic and commercial centre of Algeria and the only significant financial centre of the country. Ambition= to regain the primacy as a great African -Mediterranean capital numerous important infrastructural construction projects (Algiers underground or the tramway) several urban renovation plans (creation of new “satellite” centres) organisation of important events and international meetings (in 2007 it was capital of the Arab culture ) several important multinationals, such as Carrefour, Société Générale and Siemens  lack of important private and commercial banks  A private sector stagnant, especially in some tertiary fields  the economic panorama too dependent on the income from oil/gas the certain waste of Algerian areas blamed on the lack of consistency within the apparatus of the State, laxity of the suburban municipalities the housing shortage the spreading of the shantytowns followed by various forms of irregular building  a necessary restructuring of the existing”, such as the Kasbah and the historic centre  Spreading of port activities and fundamental restructuring of some districts

10 Algiers in the last decade: a new view of territorial planning  From the plan to the “urban project” to diversify the issues considered, by using a variety of instruments at different levels, and widening the stakeholders working in the elaboration of urban development Experimented through the elaboration of the Schéma National d’Aménagement du Territoire SNAT 2025 The lack of an effective consultation management, the absence of negotiation systems, of a participatory financial draft and of assistance tools for decision- making  New laws: urban development as a group of facts to oversee with a systemic approach the city as a living ensemble made up of social, economic, environmental and urban elements is no longer limited to the simple division of the urban functions, or to ways of occupying the land  Two types of projects were launched between 2005 and 2007 Projects for communication and transport infrastructure Urban projects relating to urban modernisation or development of unexploited sites

11 Results… Projects for communication and transport infrastructure the underground, of which the first line, 9 km long, will be open in September 2008; the tramway, of which the first 17km will be operational in September 2008; the transport network of the regional railway, functioning from 2009; 6 cableways to connect the lower part of Algiers to the districts situated on the high ground. Urban projects  the management of the Bay of Algiers A waterfront of 25km: hotels, luxury houses, commercial centres and offices will be localised, in the area which is called the future Central Business District.  Investments in R&D An university complex for 20,000 students and a cyber park with a research centre for the ICT New offices in strategic sites for the Ministries of Finance, Energy and Mines and Foreign Affairs Ministry A new City Centre providing more than 100,000 sq. m of office space able to accommodate up to 100,000 people, an auditorium with a heliport and 2300 parking lots.

12 Main findings and conclusions In Algeria, over the almost thirty years the urban planning has swung from one doctrine to another, from socialism to a market economy, from the municipalisation of property to the right of ownership. This alternation has been painfully experienced by a large part of the public opinion and academics who blame the State for abandoning its social missions and for having unclear aims, especially those relating to the environment and health. The expansion of the built-up area, the excessive amount of economic activities on the coast line and the mal-functioning of the relationship between the centre and the periphery would impose the execution of a rigorous policy of urban renewal, whilst for a lot of projects a sectorial view still prevails, relating to the level of land assets, to the level of interest of the financial offers, of the status ambitions or political decisions However, the turning point of the last decade, trough the different possibilities of mutual and more harmonic relations between the stakeholders, should generate an overall framework interacting with the external context and valorising national identity, as the example of the case of Algiers seems to demonstrate.

13 Thanks for your attention


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