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New Medinas: Towards Sustainable New Towns?

Interconnected Experiences Spanning the North and South Mediterranean

Edited By Pascaline Gaborit

Why a book on new towns? Simply put, new towns are special cases in terms of urban development and the organisation of space. They are challenging adventures, reflecting different surroundings and trends and bringing together in one place a whole host of political, structural and technical issues, and they require a vast array of expertise and a variety of sectors working together to take up a major challenge: creating a city from start to finish.
Such issues are relevant for the creation of new towns on both sides of the Mediterranean, whether in examining the recent history of this phenomenon or in looking towards the future. Exchanges between cities and between experts can therefore generate in-depth analysis and result in greatly improved practices which learn from the past. This book showcases the results of the New Medina project, a journey based on sharing and cooperation among cities and associations from different countries in the North and South of the Mediterranean region.

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Foreword

Extract

One of the fundamental objectives of this work is to interrogate the notion of the new city: to ask “why” and “for whom” the new city exists. To adopt a term commonly used today, this is a question of the governance of such a project. The design and construction of a functioning city cannot be left to the sole care of development and buildings experts, though without them nothing is possible. Making something of a city is not simply a case of technical expertise and should not be left to the “knowledgeable” alone. Cities are not built for the sake of argument but rather out of necessity, in response to the hopes of human beings who will live there, of compa- nies planning to start business there, of elected representatives looking to manage its institutions and processes. Governing such operations is therefore vital and must as rapidly as possible bring together, with equal rights and duties, all people con- cerned. To do this there is a need for all those involved – development experts, elected representatives, existing residents, if there are any, gradually the new residents... – to have, from the very outset of the operation, a clear vision of what’s at stake. It is absolutely key that information be distributed as widely as possible and that all those in- volved speak the same language. In most cases, those lacking in knowledge about the processes at work need to be brought up to speed: training is therefore essential for many people involved...

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