Wednesday, February 13, 2019

The Casablanca Medina gets a makeover

The rehabilitation works of the old medina of Casablanca are now entering its last phase, that of the makeover of the public space and the restoration of buildings in ruins

Started in 2010 under the leadership of King Mohammed VI, the rehabilitation program is in its final phase to the delight of the inhabitants. "The medina is changing its face," says Hassan, who lives near the famous restaurant La Sqalla. "The shops are changing their storefront, the streets are cleaner and above all we feel safer with the new public lighting," he says. Today, the old medina and its monuments are popular places for tourists, whether national or foreign. "We see more and more tourists wandering our streets," says Hassan.

Led by the Casablanca Urban Agency and a committee of 18 members, the program has been divided into two main phases. The first, already finalised, extended from 2010 to 2014 and consisted of upgrading the infrastructure of sanitation, water and electricity networks, the restoration of walls, equipment and squares. In 2016, the King inaugurated the health centre and Dar Annassij (weaving house), located in the heart of the medina of Casablanca.

Monuments have also been restored, such as the Ettedgui Synagogue and the Sidi Allal Al Karaouani Mausoleum. In the same way, the Buenaventura church has been converted into a culture house.

Among the main actions carried out were the upgrade of the "Bab Marrakech" crèche, the construction of the "Derb Cadi" youth and women's home, the completion of the "Opera" socio-sports centre and the realisation the "Craftsmen's Space" project, which supports the efforts made to re-qualify handicrafts in the old medina. 40% of the commercial areas were reorganised as well as the creation of a Heritage Interpretation Center (CIP).

The second program focused on improving living and housing conditions, promoting commercial, craft and tourist activities. The Urban Agency of Casablanca (AUC) has just launched a call for tenders for the selection of a provider responsible for the social support of households occupying buildings threatening to fall into ruin. The operation, budgeted at 300 million dirhams, particularly targets the inhabitants of 3,000 buildings threatening to collapse. Aware of the need to accelerate the pace of upgrading and give a boost to this project, the Urban Agency of Casablanca is preparing to launch a call for tenders on February 12, 2019 carrying the social support of households occupying buildings threatening ruin at the Old Medina of Casablanca for an envelope of 4.45 MDH.

 The rehabilitation of the old medina of Casablanca is a priority in view of the challenges that it represents not only architectural but also in terms of protection of the inhabitants of the Medina. The collapse of homes threatening ruin is a real risk.


1 comment:

Zumi said...

It was my pleasure to read your blog about casa blanca makeover. Cheers for sharing.