research . NON-REGULATED SETTLEMENTS

After Morocco’s independence in 1958 till the ascendance of the current King Mohammed VI the population of Tangier has been neglected through the absence of a state which has shown little interest in the city’s economic, social or environmental development.The population growth rate quadrupled in the 25 years preceding 2007 [1]. The region underwent an intense population growth precisely whilst the city did not have plans for its development. 

During this period, a particular type of marginalised habitation proliferated. Whilst the flat, easier to develop areas closer to the coast were controlled, flood zones, steep terrains and agricultural land to the periphery became saturated by unrestricted construction. These areas were covered with a vast blanket of single family housing units, with a visible homogeneity, fundamentally different from the rest of the city. These areas have been termed the ‘non-regulated housing neighbourhoods’ (NRHN) [2]By the early 90’s, NRHN represented 30% of the overall housing stock, with a third of Tangier’s population living on a tenth of its condensed surface[2]

Developed NRHN settlements are dense with a tight grain, they do not grow consecutively and are not planned. Instead they are developed spontaneously by grasping the best opportunity, therefore initially neighbourhoods are often not contiguous. Construction is phased from the ground up, relating to systems of affordability and speculation. The settlements are also given the term ‘under equipped’ because of their lack of basic infrastructure[2]. Public facilities such as schools, health centres and street lighting have begun to be added retrospectively to the periphery of developed settlements, with their own inherent problems. NRHN are not unique to Tangier but are found throughout Africa, India and Latin America.

 

[1]     http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Tangier

[2]     Le Tellier J. , Les recompositions territoriales dans le Maroc du nord, Aix-Marseille University, 2006

 

Tangier has been subject during the last decades to strong migratory movements both from foreign and rural regions, intensely pressuring its built capacity. Political conditions have favoured a vast proliferation of self-built houses extending the limits of the urban realm. a sprawling blanket of housing that spreads beyond the urban realm,

In this context, the project proposes a dialectic order that attempts to generate spaces of differentiation. Having as the main objective to introduce large scale functions into homogeneous housing environments, the research insists on attaining a horizontal surface through topographic operations, in an effort to generate directionalities and enhance the qualities of the context, facilitating community activities.

The resulting forms integrate the desired programmes within their morphology, merging them into a single functional topology. The project effectively incorporates a wide range of public and private functions based on the location of new local administrative centres.

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