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Urban Rehabilitation of Historical Areas
The Asilah medina
Wednesday, 21st of July 2010Barcelona
Prof. Khalid EL HARROUNI
Ecole Nationale d’Architecture, BP 6372, Rabat Instituts, Rabat, Morocco
The The AsilahAsilah Rehabilitation Project (1978) by Al Rehabilitation Project (1978) by Al MouhitMouhit Cultural Association and Aga Khan Award Cultural Association and Aga Khan Award for Architecture (1989)for Architecture (1989)
Master Plan and Safeguard Project of Master Plan and Safeguard Project of AsilahAsilahMedina (2010)Medina (2010)
INTRODUCTIONHistoric urban area/town, medina, the oldest section and the Historic urban area/town, medina, the oldest section and the historic heart of some Moroccan citieshistoric heart of some Moroccan cities
Various international bodies have instituted policy to save Various international bodies have instituted policy to save historic monuments, siteshistoric monuments, sites-- and even entire cities. and even entire cities.
-The European Charter of the Architectural Heritage was adopted in 1975 by the Committee of Ministers; it is based on the principle of “integrated conservation”, into planning and development schemes.-ICOMOS adopted in 1975 resolutions about the conservation of smaller historic towns. -UNESCO adopted in 1976 the Recommendation concerning the Safeguarding and Contemporary Role of Historic Areas.-ICOMOS in 1987 adopted the Global Charter for the Conservation of Historic Towns.
both include Morocco's both include Morocco's medinasmedinas in their scope of preservation.in their scope of preservation.
INTRODUCTIONMany medinas have exploited unique physical assets or cultural heritage to attract the rapidly expanding tourism.
“Gentrification processes increasingly threaten the social cohesion and inclusiveness of historic districts worldwide, and in some cases they lead to sudden social transformations.”Brigitte Colin, UNESCO, Tsinghua University, 2007
Today, and especially with the popularity of concepts of culturaToday, and especially with the popularity of concepts of cultural l diversity and sustainable development; Urban Rehabilitation is diversity and sustainable development; Urban Rehabilitation is increasingly becoming a major concern and high on the social increasingly becoming a major concern and high on the social agendas of many citiesagendas of many cities.
“Involve local inhabitants in all stages and processes of urban rehabilitation activities through genuine public participation”. Euromed Heritage, Ministry of Culture, Rabat, 2009
Medina of Fez (1981). Founded in the 9th century, Fez first reached its height in the 14th century under the Marinides and again in the 17th century.
Meknes (1996). Founded in the 11th century by Almoravid rulers as a military town, Meknes became a capital under Sultan Moulay Ismail (1672-1727), the founder of the Alaouite dynasty.
Marrakesh (1985). Capital of Morocco, both under the Almohades(12/13th century) and again under the Saadiens (16/17th century). The medina, surrounded by 12th-century walls, is known for its high Koutoubia minaret. In 2001, UNESCO acknowledged the original and spectacular activities of Djemaa El Fna and its cultural significance by including this place in the UNESCO world heritage list
In the 1980s UNESCO acknowledged the cultural significance of seIn the 1980s UNESCO acknowledged the cultural significance of several old Towns veral old Towns in Morocco by including them in the UNESCO world heritage list:in Morocco by including them in the UNESCO world heritage list:
A strategic position in the Tangier-TetouanRegion
Situated on the north western tip of Morocco's Atlantic coast, and located 42 km southeast of the town of Tangier
A little geographical area of 7 ha characterized by its remarkable centrality, its homogeneous aspect and its originality compared to others medinas.
Its principal urban components are: the fortifications of Islamic and Portuguese origin (walls, bastions and doors), the districts, places, streets and residential and religious buildings with a historical and architectural interest.
Its Kasba, rectangular citadel dating from the Portuguese period. Currently, it is an open space little built containing some dwellings and sociocultural equipments.
Medina of Asilah
ic views of the M
The fortifications (walls and bastions)
THE ASILAH REHABILITATION PROJECT (1978) BY AL MOUHIT CULTURAL ASSOCIATION AND AGA KHAN AWARD FOR
• During the two last decades, the medina of Asilah profited from a series of cultural initiatives and from a marked movement of rehabilitation and restoration by Al-Mouhit Cultural Association, 1978, which made it possible to conserve some of its historical and architectural heritage and to generate positive impact and repercussions on the very whole city and on the tourism activity development.
Photo from the beginning of the 20th CenturyAl Kamra Tower
Before restoration Restored by GulbenkianFoundation, Al Mouhit
Cultural Association and Asilah Municipality
The Hassan IIInternational Meeting Centre
The Abdellah Guennounplace
• Asilah was designated a National Monument and, in 1989, received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
• The project was noted for its sensitivity in treating buildings as living fabrics and in creating a partnership between local and outside skill.
• The idea of restoration has also been expanded to include sustainable urban conservation efforts in the Asilahrehabilitation project.
The Raissouni Palace
• But today, the most serious problems include the deteriorating residential zones, the degradation of the historical built environment (ramparts, walls, bastions and gates), the problem of the traffic and parking in the surrounding urban fabric, and the sea water pollution due to the discharge of the urban sewages and domestic waters without any preliminary treatment.
• In front of this situation, a safeguard master plan of the medina is establishing.
Social participation• Objectives : Direct involvement of the population
in the rehabilitation process, improvement of living conditions, fighting against poverty by job creation
• ADER-Fez presents this component in 2 forms :- A financial aid evaluated to 30 % of the cost
works- A help out in terms of building materials and
Housing and social development in Fez Medina
The inhabitants contribution: 70 % of the works cost
Housing and social development in Fez Medina
•Participation was high, given the involvement of a number of local NGOs in the project development between ADER-Fez and the population, and of many local stakeholders in the implementation of the social assessment.
Housing and social development in Fez Medina
MASTER PLAN AND SAFEGUARD PROJECT OF ASILAH MEDINA (2010)
The Ramparts and Protection zones
The Master Plan and Safeguard study area
The global development objectives are declined in the following components:
•1 Development of the historic monuments and buildings rehabilitation and restoration programs;
•2 Improvement of infrastructures, urban facilities , accessibility, circulation and parking;
•3 Social and economical activities development;
•4 Improvement of the medina environment, the cultural and tourism development.
1. Historic Monuments and Buildings Rehabilitation
•The restoration operation of the historical buildings including public buildings, historical ramparts, Skala (fortified building) and traditional houses.
•The restructuring operation of the surrounding the historic walls and their monumental gateways.
•Intervention on housing units threatening collapse.
•The requalification operation of the medina’s central quarters and places by injecting some commercial activities and some urban facilities: social, educational and handicraft professional training equipments.
2. Infrastructure and Urban Facilities
•Swage system: sewage treatment through the realisation of a wastewater treatment plant.
•Electricity: the public and private actors played a major role in the electrification of the whole medina. Public lighting, electricity and telephone networks have increased the number of businesses and the tourism activity.
•Urban facilities: transforming some buildings into social, educational and handicraft professional training equipments.
•Traffic reorganization: the traffic network has to be improved especially surrounding the historic walls and their monumental gateways.
•Accesses and parking: the accesses reorganisation will facilitate the parking of cars outside the pedestrian road network, and will contribute to the increase of the economy and real estate value of many parts of the medina.
Dismissals in the sea Parking surrounding the historic walls
3. Social and Economical Activities Development
•The revival of the handicraft activities, such as the sewing, the whipping the Bronze handicraft activities and also some artistic crafts from designing women.
•The reorganisation of the commercial activities and the support of the artistic and cultural activities through the re-arrangement of public spaces for these activities.
•The transformation of the Ahfir Souk and the trench, after the rehabilitation and restoration of the walls, into a recreation and pedestrian place for local population and tourists.
The Ahfir Souk re-arrangement project
The Ahfir Souk surrounding the Portuguese defensive walls
4. Improvement of the Medina Environmentand Tourism Development
•Sanitation project: improving the continuity of essential services, restoring the quality of bathing waters and ensuring the efficient collection and treatment of wastewater.•The re-arrangement of the green areas and the graves surrounding the medina.
•The reorganisation of some places by creating some guest houses and small hotels in the Abdellah Guennoun place and Ben Khaldoun place.
•The rearrangement of the medina cornice and the trenches.
•Establishing tourist tours for promoting the historical monuments of Asilah medina: 1) The path of the ancient city, 2)The Ramparts path
Conclusion: Lessons learned• There are some areas of success of the
conservation program of Asilah, Fez, …:• Social participation is essential for the
successful rehabilitation of the historic housing stock.
• Reconciling the objectives of urban conservation and rehabilitation with the housing needs of the insolvent inhabitants is feasible, through a process of consultation and social participation in the design and implementation of the interventions on the historic housing stock.
• But …• The tenure of land and buildings is a critical
difficulty in the rehabilitation of historic cities.• Municipalities should consider delegating
urban rehabilitation operations to competent agencies.
• Urban rehabilitation projects should be designed according to simple objectives and design. Given the complexities of intervening in historic cities, the related interventions should not try and address all of the needs under a single operation, but should rather support a programmatic approach.
• Master Plan and Safeguard Project of Asilahmedina can represent real opportunities for a new strategy and new instruments, able to mobilize the civil society and to generate public investments and private.