Abstracts – Browse Results

Search or browse again.

Click on the titles below to expand the information about each abstract.
Viewing 1 results ...

Barthel, P-A (2016) Morocco in the era of eco-urbanism: Building a critical and operational research on an emerging practice in Africa. Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, 5(03), 272-88.

  • Type: Journal Article
  • Keywords: Morocco; planning; North Africa; eco-urbanism; green capitalism; mega-project
  • URL: https://doi.org/10.1108/SASBE-05-2014-0033
  • Abstract:
    Purpose Environmental urbanism is reflected for the last years in the design of urban megaprojects. This trend is spreading in Morocco to the point that it is considered as the leading player in this emerging field across North Africa. The purpose of this paper is to advance the twofold hypothesis that these specific urban projects are on the one hand tools of capitalism and on the other hand leverage for clear change in the global management project process compared to non-eco-projects. In addition to these two hypotheses, the lack of environmental regulations at the national level and the copy and paste of international standards are serious limits of the approach at the local scale. Design/methodology/approach Drawing on an in-depth case study (Benguérir “green town”) and interviews conducted from 2012 to 2014, the paper will aim to build up a critical and operational research on emerging eco-megaprojects in Morocco. Findings The paper provides empirical insights and confirms the connection between capitalistic megaprojects and environmental urbanism in Morocco. However, it partially rejects the hypothesis that this new trend opens up dramatic change in the making of projects. This study case points sharp limitations and mismatches between virtuous environmentalism and reality on the ground: the problem of adjusting projects to urban policies, a lack of coordination and trust between local officials and developers, excessive reliance on standards and labels, conformity of developers with the international doxa of urban sustainability. However, eco-urbanism can give birth to better integrated and sustainable projects than “mainstream” urbanism when strongly related to local financial, technical and economic capacities of end users and stakeholders in North Africa. Research limitations/implications Because of the chosen research approach, the research results may lack generalizability. Therefore, researchers are encouraged to test the proposed propositions further. Practical implications Recommandations are proposed to improve principles in eco-urbanism in Morocco and beyond in North Africa. Social implications The skills of residents are a source of education to be tapped into and developed further for eco-projects. Originality/value This paper provides an “in situ” analysis of the preparation and implementation of eco-projects in Africa and the national and local adaptations of the internationally promoted eco-city.