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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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125 Fostering the Sustainable Planning Approach in New City Projects Lessons Learned and Proposals (Morocco and Egypt) Pierre-Arnaud BARTHEL Associate Professor at the Institut Français d’Urbanisme (Paris-Est University) and researcher at LATTS (Laboratory for Technics, Territories and Societies – CNRS 8134) Despite the new city tool being more controversial in Europe in the wake of an often mixed assessment of experiences, there are justifiable reasons to advocate for new cities in Arab countries and worldwide. Strong demographic growth, unregulated land subdivisions and occupa- tions and the battle against urban spread aimed at preserving resources (farmland along the Nile, or Moroccan and Algerian valley floors) are just some of the factors behind the creation of new urban areas. Furthermore, we cannot simply say that the new cities have no rele- vance; we should instead examine a number of failures by using the Egyptian experience as a reference country. We can then revisit a num- ber of recent experiences in Morocco and Egypt which indicate the beginnings of a more quality and environment-oriented philosophy. Following this, a number of proposals can be put forward to developers to assist them in optimising their sustainable town planning approach. I. Lessons Learned in Egypt: the Beginnings of a New Approach to New Cities A. On the Ground, an Unsustainable Model in Egypt There is an abundance of scientific literature on Egypt’s new cities, covering their beginnings and their changes over 30 years.1 Of all the 1 Depaule, J.-C. and G. El-Kadi, “New settlements. Une r...

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