Marion von Osten: The Colonial Modern. Planning, Segregation and Urban Apartheid

Kharita 01: Symposium on Urban Trajectories in Cairo
Friday, January 16th, 2009
In the nineteenth century, French colonial city planning set up trade and industry ports all over the world. After the Second World War, this expansionist strategy drastically changed and, with liberation struggles against French colonial rule, it finally ended. Establishing a Fordist consumer society in the colonies and in Europe was a major goal of the colonial project, which, as Franz Fanon pointed out, had clear economic incentives. In the 1950s, the French urban planning office in Casablanca started to build scores of affordable housing estates for Moroccans in the frame of a large-scale extension plan for the city. The planning strategies varied from the re-ordering of slum settlements (restructuration), to temporary re-housing of the occupants (relogement), and finally to the creation of new housing estates (habitations à loyer moderé). The spatial organisation of the residential and urban planning projects was based on a standard hierarchical grid: the Moroccan population was divided into religious groups of Jews and Muslims, while the Europeans remained a universal category. The estates for the locals were built on the edge of the colonial European city in an empty intermediate area, known as the ‘Zone Sanitaire.’ This lecture focuses on the French urban planning office in Casablanca, while reflecting on contemporary urban developments at the peripheries of post-colonial Cairo.

Kharita /
English / 00:22:32.217 / 194 MB / Ogg Theora/Vorbis - 640x368/Mono

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