Research studies

The problem of resettlement in the light of the territorial policy in the South-east of the city of Casablanca – the case of Sidi Moumen

La problématique de la réinstallation au regard de la politique territoriale au sud-est de la ville de Casablanca - le cas de Sidi Moumen


Prepared by the researcher  : Ait Hassou Mohamed ,   AOUSSAR YASSINE  –   Cady Ayyad University

Democratic Arab Center

Journal of Urban and Territorial Planning : Ninth Issue – September 2021

A Periodical International Journal published by the “Democratic Arab Center” Germany – Berlin

Nationales ISSN-Zentrum für Deutschland
ISSN (Online) 2698-6159
ISSN   (Print)  2699-2604 
Journal of Urban and Territorial Planning

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The city of Casablanca, at the beginning of 2008, defined a new plan to guide the urbanization of the city, which marked the development of a new plan to solve the crisis of the urban parties by providing their needs in order to response to the urgent requirements imposed by the economic and social situation of the city accumulated since the colonial era, Several urban processes have emerged in the urban interior margins in general and the Sidi Moumen district in particular. Hence the problematic that we will try to answer and which relate With inputs and outputs of the territorial policy in Sidi Moumen district, including Casablanca? Based on an analytical descriptive approach to examine the parameters of this policy and to describe it, and adopted a critical approach when linking the subject to its general context and analysis of the reality of the territorial policy.


 La problématique du relogement au regard de la politique territoriale dans les provinces du sud-est de Casablanca – le cas de la province de Sidi Moumen – la ville de Casablanca connaît depuis 2008 un nouveau schéma directeur pour pallier les problèmes qu’elle connaît et répondre aux demandes de la population locale Sidi Moumen, d’où la problématique à laquelle se propose de répondre cet article ; Quelles sont les entrées et les sorties de la politique territoriale dans ces domaines ? La réponse nécessitait d’aborder le sujet avec une méthodologie descriptive, analytique et critique, afin de déduire l’efficacité de la politique territoriale dans ces domaines.

I Introduction:

Casablanca is the most important urban and economic gathering in Morocco. This is reflected in its embrace of a population of more than 3 million people. It includes leadership positions for banks, insurance companies and national and international institutions. It also constitutes the first industrial center in Morocco, which accounts for 60% of the total industries in the country.

This status, which was occupied by Casablanca at the national level, was not the result of a local economic, social and political transformation but of the change of international relations at the beginning of the 20th century at all levels. Morocco was thus affected by these new circumstances.Among the characteristics and features that characterized this period, the issue of reconstruction of the colonial style, the so-called urban planning appeared in the official Moroccan documents, and during this period Casablanca became the attention of the colonial authorities and this was evident through the issuance of the first document on the reconstruction of the direction The reconstruction of the city by Marshal “Lyautey”, who entrusted the task of completing this document to the engineer “Prost “, the latter implemented the basic principles of reconstruction at Lyautey, and it is about separating the population of Europeans and Moroccans.Since Casablanca entered the urban planning cycle both during the colonial period and during the independence period, it has been characterized by an chaotic expansion alongside organized expansion. The city has known a number of problems, both at the level of urbanization, characterized by the growing phenomenon of inadequate housing or at the level of transport and public utilities. The state has worked on various strategies to solve these problems, especially those related to the issue of housing. This sector is an essential factor in the reconstruction issues in white due to the problems related to it in terms of quantity and type.The nature of the housing problem in Casablanca is not recent, but it is rooted in the colonial period. The marginalization of ancient textiles began, and new patterns emerged in the urban fabric, such as tin shantytowns and unorganized construction. The phenomenon expanded and expanded with the result of many social problems.In the face of these phenomena, the state has adopted various strategies in order to confront problems, started from the progressive design “Ecochard” based on the “Charter of Athens” during the colonial era, and those adopted by Morocco after obtaining independence from the rehabilitation of slums Or re-housing, but despite the different time circumstances of these strategies, they were characterized by their urgency and the presence of security concerns at the expense of the social goals of the oval population, which in turn raised many problems.Based on these data, we will follow one of the strategies adopted by the state in this context and it is the experience of the district of Sidi Moumen in the south-east of the city of Casablanca; this process came in the context of the eradication of shantytowns in the province following the events of the city in 2003; However this process, defined by the province, carries with it many difficulties for the circumstance surrounding the process and for the socio-economic characteristics of the target social social group target.Based on the latter, we should aske the following question: Was the strategy taken able to contribute to the achievement of the goals set in the official documents? What measures have the state taken to activate its development strategy in the province? What are the governing backgrounds of this strategy? What are the implications of this policy on the urban area?1. Hypotheses of the studyTo answer these questions, it was necessary to start from some of the hypotheses:- The first hypothesis is that the urgent nature of the housing policy for the slum dwellers in Sidi Moumen province will further damage their economic situation in view of their professional status and demographic characteristics.- The second hypothesis: that the realization of the principle of justice for the process of resettlement in the province of Sidi Moumen imposed on the State realization of this principle from the perspective of the capitalist dimension of this process to serve the industrial sector.2. Objective of the studyThe aim of this study is to highlight the problems facing reconstruction processes in the absence of a real study of the project that takes into account the economic and social dimension of the target population.3.Research MethodologyIn order to reach this stated goal and answer its questions, this study was based on the dialectical approach and the monetary approach to relate the subject to its general context, analyzing the reality of the problem of re-housing in the light of the territorial policy in the marginal areas, and based on the functional approach and the inductive approach when it comes to examining phenomena and describing them And understanding. It also used methods of statistical analysis and spatial analysis to detect statistical and spatial relationships to reach scientific conclusions that are difficult to reach by means of descriptive treatment and observation.

II Methods and Materials :

1. Inadequate housing in Casablanca is a quantitative phenomenonThe phenomenon of inadequate housing in Casablanca since the colonial era has been linked to the urban deficit in the city center. The building has gone beyond the walls of the old city and has spread in the empty areas adjacent to it. Since then, the phenomenon of inadequate housing has been growing steadily and taking many forms , And it is no doubt that this phenomenon is a natural reaction by the poor and the low income of the urban population to obtain shelter that guarantees them and their families to achieve their environmental and economic needs, but at the same time an natural right to reaction against selective housing policy contribute In fact, through deprivation of the right i Aware of the housing, in the exclusion of a significant proportion of households from the urban community (Hakimi, 2003).The importance of inadequate housing in the urban fabric of Casablanca, by being an integral part of the urban fabric of the city, is a form and content and one of the most prominent manifestations of the housing crisis in the city. This is more evident in the multiplicity of inadequate housing categories as shown in the following table: Table 1: Number of Neighborhoods and Households by Type of Residence in Casablanca

Improper housing Settlements Families
the number % the number %
Flat housing 403 88,57 59626 36,18
Obsolete housing 16 3,51 72557 44,03
Illegal housing 36 7,51 32592 29,77
Total 465 100 164775 100

Source: Hakimi Rokaya (2003): Inadequate housing in Casablanca is both quantitative and spatial. A study day on inadequate housing in Casablanca 28 May 2003. Publications of the Moroccan Geographical Union, Casablanca Branch. Ain-chock. p 88 Table (1) shows the diversity of types of inadequate housing and the size of each of these items, showing the importance of slums and illegal housing in terms of the number of settlements and households, and the importance of these two types of inadequate housing in the expansion and distortion The urban landscape of the city is more important in that they represent the only shelter for large segments of the population in the absence of a real housing policy to solve the dilemma of the housing crisis that is worsening day by day.In the face of this mass proliferation and the quantitative size of the phenomenon of inadequate housing, there are many forms of intervention to combat this phenomenon.2 . State interventions to combat the poor housing in CasablancaThe policy of the state in the fight against inappropriate housing takes different forms depending on the type of housing that is not suitable and according to the objectives it aims at. In general, we can limit this policy to the following directions:2.1.Rehabilitation of neighborhoods and dwellingsIn this regard, we find the rehabilitation of the unfit neighborhood and upgrading it to a decent neighborhood, especially the illegal neighborhoods, to make it capable of keeping pace with the urban system by supplying it with the necessary infrastructure such as roads, water supply, electricity and sewage channels, as well as changing the house designs. The experience of the district of Sidi al-Khadeer in the district of Hay Hassani, the experience of the Northern Hraouen in the district of Sidi Othman and of Maqansah in Ain-Chok district, where rehabilitation work is still underway.The problem of this type of intervention is that it does not redistribute real estate in a way that gives the neighborhood its architectural form that is consistent with the urban system. The large density is one of the disadvantages of rehabilitation, in addition to the narrow alleys and the absence of unity in its form and direction. “It avoids inequitable movements that can harm the way people live” (Hanbali, 2002); thus, the importance of intervening at this level is to maintain the stability of the population in their place of residence as their livelihood evolves.And intervention in the level of housing rehabilitation, does not mean be deeply of  thankful to the authorities as much as this intervention should be taken into the urban fabric as a whole, in the sense of such intervention will maintain the urban landscape of the city in the presence of this type of housing qualitatively qualified, Such as narrow alleys, population density and lack of uniform space.2.2. Re-housing in self-built neighborhoodsThis kind of fight against inappropriate housing is one of the species that was most common in the 1970s and 1980s. The nucleus of some neighborhoods in Casablanca was a re-housing, in which the population had to bear the costs of construction while the equipment was in stages, The neighborhoods of Hay al-Hassani and Al-Wefaq 1, 2, 3 and 4 in Hay Hasani district, Al-Masirah, Moulay Rashid and Lalla Meryem, Moulay Rashid and Salam 1 and 2 districts in Sidi Moumen have benefited from a housing of two floors, these operations were benefited by population counted in the housing census, and the process of re-housing in the revival of self-construction is of particular concern to the tiniest population than other types of housing, and this is the case of the above mentioned neighborhoods.The importance of this type of intervention is reflected in the fact that it does not cost the state financially. It is also one of the tools for the orderly growth of the city. Here we talk about the role these processes play in the spatial dynamics and the consumption of large areas of the field. For example, (14193 units between 1944 and 1956) (Chouiki, 2003). The quantitative implications necessarily reflect this type of intervention on the field in which the empty space for the benefit of the built-up area.The importance of this intervention in the neighborhoods of self-construction appears at several levels (Hanbali, 2002. Op.cit):·  At the architectural level: these processes open to the authorities the possibility of applying the characteristics and principles of the laws of processing and architecture.· At the social level: At this level, the self-construction reconstruction plan is most suitable for the population in terms of construction and income, but for the population at this level, the re-housing of this type of intervention is always in the margins of the city and the models mentioned above This raises the question of transforming this building from its legal framework into an illegal framework, which is the hallmark of these neighborhoods.· Economically: These operations open the possibility of creating shops of an economic nature that often fall within the framework of trade or services related to reform, such as motorcycle repair, mechanics and others.However, the problems associated with this policy are the elimination of inadequate housing as well as the shift from the legal form of housing by the population. There are administrative manipulations as well as the problem of performance or weakness of the population to acquire building units.2.3. Re-housing in apartmentsIt is at this level that families migrate to ready-made apartments, but the way of performance is different from the previous ones, and here the population is linked to the housing loan policy with conditions that must be met by beneficiaries. “Some give preference to housing in collective housing, Facing the problems of lack of land and urban beauty”(Benjelloun,1993);but the problem that arises here is that the marketing to beneficiaries is with very low price than the price of their cost.This type is associated with other problems at the architectural level, which appear through the behavior of the population towards the common property system, which distorts the morphological view of the neighborhood, and these behaviors reflect the architectural conception which is not consistent with the static absent from the culture of common property. Al-Naseem district of Al-Hassani district and the partnership project (Al-Walaa neighborhood) in Sidi Moumen district.III Results and discussion:  The limited state policy of re-housingPublic authorities object to interference in the elimination of inadequate housing, which impedes the efforts of the state to reach the desired goals.1.the predominance of technical aspects and reconstruction in the perception of projectsIn this context, attention is drawn from the economic, social and cultural aspects of the project conception. Examples of housing projects in the apartments are very expressive at this level. Thus, the decisions of deportations are based mostly on technical or political choices without taking into account the economic and social data of the population concerned.The authorities also invoke the so-called environmental protection to liberate the land from the centers of the city, which is what happened in the framework of the project of the Royal Court in the “old city”(Ancient Medina) of Casablanca, which leads to negative effects on the population, the realization of the project clashes with the resistance of the population, Migration to distant peripheral areas occurs in the absence of any socio-economic alternatives intersecting with those in their former areas that open up greater potential for urban integration.3.2. Centralized programming for projectState interventions to resolve the housing crisis are almost planned from the top, project visualization, diagnosis of problems and suggestion of solutions by the central organs or their regional delegations. Therefore, the ignorance or lack of knowledge of the real problems by the two decision-makers at the central level leads to the formulation of proposals that generate negative results Of the population. Thus, good knowledge of the field helps to make decisions that will at least enable the success of the project in proportion to socio-economic data of the population with the existing relations with the field by the population.It is clear from the attempts to intervene to resolve the housing crisis that it always follows the social and political situation of the country, which reflects the security concerns in the process of re-housing and the absence of real concerns about the population in terms of composition and social structure.IV.Re-housing policy in the Sidi Moumen district of Casablanca: roles and backgrounds1.Geographical settlement of Sidi Moumen province (fig 1)The Sidi Moumen district is located in the south-east of the city of Casablanca on an area of ​​32km², bordered by the north of the collective province of Sidi Bernoussi and the collective province of Ain el-Sabaa. It is bordered to the south by Moulay-Rachid, east by the Tit-Melil province.2.The area of ​​asylum in Sidi Moumen province: regional dynamics and administrative structure to resolve the crisis of the nearby Oval provinces and the center (fig 2)In general, it is possible to distinguish between two basic stages of the development of reconstruction in the province of Sidi Moumen, which have characterized their general characteristics and made them characterized by the manifestations of vulnerability and the appropriation of inadequate housing especially the slums of the province:·  The first stage, which characterized the colonial period, where the stability of the tribes near Casablanca in the province Sidi Moumen, thus formed the belts of the tribes Ahl-algolam, Amzab, Rahamna, Thomas, Zarabah, Douar Ould Ghalia and others in Sidi Moumen old (Monographic Province Sidi Moumen 2017 ).·      The second phase, which characterized the stage of independence, the specialized authority at this stage was concerned with projects of social housing and the creation of industrial units. A number of residential units emerged, including the Douma, Al-Rikbout, Al-Huda, Jawhara, Al-Rahmani, and others. And reconstruction including the social project “Attacharok” (Currently loyal neighborhood), to accommodate the inhabitants of Karian Ibn Masik and residents of the Old City;in addition to many housing projects programmed within the framework of the 200,000 housing program[1] and the peace projects 1 and 2, which resulted in housing the  Douar Sakwila, the Douar of Touma and Rahamna, and these Dwawir are slums.In this historical approach to the development of reconstruction in Sidi Moumen, the area has grown in two ways at random and sometimes organized. Both phases have been governed by the local conditions of the city. If the first stage of reconstruction was governed by the conditions of colonialism based on the exclusion of the population And the separation from the European population within the framework of the cultural plan of the colonial architect “Henry Prost”, the stage of independence controlled in other backgrounds and the province played other roles played out in the fact that the province was a safety valve and an outlet for resolving the crisis of other areas central and Semi-central and it shows through “administrative division follow the chronology of Casablanca through three stages (Monographic Province Sidi Moumen 2017 ):Table 2: Chronology of administrative division of Casablanca

the year Administrative transformations of the province
1983 It was created as an urban group of the territorial jurisdiction of the employment of Ibn Musik – Sidi Othman (formerly)
1991 This province has become a subsidiary of the influence of land for the employment of the neighborhood Mohammedi – Ain Saba (formerly)
2003 I moved to the territorial influence of the labor of the provinces of Sidi Bernoussi, with the expansion of its sphere of influence to include the group of the people of the boy previously

 This administrative structure, which characterized the district of Sidi Moumen, was not politically innocent. It was fraught with problems that would find an outlet for its solution in the province. Most of the operations related to the re-housing that province knew were not connected to it, but to other provinces. (Formerly), the province was ready to receive the tin-dwellers living in Karyan Ibn Misk, as well as the inhabitants of the “old city” Ancient Medina, which were included in the project of preparing the center in the Royal Mosque, which was designed by the architect Michel Pinsceau in Casablanca for the year 1984 to reduce the intensity of the center. In connection with the second administrative connection of 1991 to the work of Ain Al-Sab’a Al-Hayy-Muhammadi, the aim was to receive the last inhabitants of the tiniest localities, Karyan Sintral, as part of the re-housing in the province. This area is distinguished by excellence.Thus, the province of Sidi Moumen, in the framework of the territorial policy, has served as an outlet for resolving multiple crises in other areas, thus enshrining the general trend of discrimination between the areas of the city of Casablanca inherited from colonialism under the guise of urban development.

3.Justice from the perspective of housing policy in the light of the territorial policy (fig 3 and 4)

As is well known, the city’s policy has emerged over the last 30 years as a political reaction to the intensification of urban problems in a number of Western countries (especially with the emergence of marginal problems). It is necessary to think about developing special programs to address these problems, alleviate or eliminate the spatial imbalances (the difference between rich and poor neighborhoods and fight the kettles), with the aim of achieving some kind of urban harmony between the regions of the city (Aneflouss, 2012). But the question that arises sharply in the city of Casablanca, Morocco’s economic capital is: To what extent has this policy achieved the desired objectives through the policy of resettlement in the provinces targeted by these operations?The follower of this policy in the province of Sidi Moumen will find that it is no more than an area to receive population arrivals from the lower social class, which increased the damage to this province, as the demographic size as shown in the maps moved from the relative area of ​​demographic weight [4, 46% -0.13%] for the year 1994 to the relative area of ​​demographic weight [more than 5.75%] for the year 2014, and is the area that distinguishes most of the marginal districts of Casablanca. As for the quality of the social class, the discrepancy is evident through the social strata that constitute the population of this province as shown in the following table:

Table 3: Population distribution in the southern belt districts of Casablanca according to professional status (%)

Profession Ain-chock. Sbata Sidi Othmane Moulay Rchid Sidi Moumen Hay Hassani Sidi Bernoussi Total
Boss 0 0,5 0,22 0,56 0,78 0,5 1,12 3,68
independent 7,54 1,52 5,57 3,88 2,75 2,19 0,84 24,29
Public sector hired 0,16 0,67 0,05 0,5 0,84 1,97 2,53 6,72
Private sector hire 8,55 7,88 9,12 10,47 6,98 6,58 8,05 57,63
Family Assistant 0 0,56 0,39 0,95 0 0 0,33 2,23
learner 0,05 0,28 0,9 0,05 0,16 0 0 1,44
partner 0,11 0,22 0,16 1,01 1,06 0,05 0 2,61
else 0 0 0 1,01 0.11 0,05 0 1,17
Total 16,44 11,65 16,41 18,46 12,72 11,37 12,89 100

Source: Field research in 2017 (1536) + Household papers for the census of 2014

Table 4: Professional status of workers in Sidi Moumen province (%)

profession Male Females Total
user 3.1 1.5 2.7
independent 26 10.2 22
Public sector hired 8.2 7.9 8.1
Private sector hire 58.8 78.5 63.8
Family Assistant 0.7 0.6 0.6

Source: High Commissioner for Planning: General Population Statistics for 2014

following table shows the importance of private sector employment. Each of these districts has an industrial zone, which increases the percentages of these categories, followed by the independent ones. Therefore, we find that the land policy and through re-housing are mainly aimed at serving the industrial capital by providing the necessary manpower for this sector, Moreover, the provincial planning design has programmed a significant number of vocational training institutions in line with the provision of the necessary manpower for this sector. Ten vocational training institutions have been programmed, while only 3 are located.


The policy of re-housing through the territorial policy of Sidi Moumen province can only be understood by placing it within Casablanca city domain as a whole. The city has acquired this architectural conception based on selection, distinction and separation between areas of colonial planning; whatever urban policy the content is the same, as these areas always remain one-dimensional in the function of the urban area and cannot be separated from the urban system in terms of its function based on the service of private capital, and the issue of justice within the system is selective justice which is another for the advantageous areas that seek to gain more power and influence and ensure the radiation functional and the city as a whole for Morocco and abroad.

Referrals and References:

  • Aneflouss Mohamed (2012): Territorial and political development of the city, what are the challenges? – Ministry of Housing, Town Planning and Urban Policy – National Concertation POLICY OF THE CITY, April-May 2012.

[2]. Benjelloun Idris (1993): Accommodating inadequate housing: Towards a new practice. In Habitat, February 4

  • Chouiki Mustapha (2003): Fighting the Bad Housing in Casablanca: What is the toll? A study day on inadequate housing on 28 May 2003. Publications of the Moroccan Geographical Union. Casablanca Branch, Ain-Chok. P. 67-83.
  • Chouiki Mustapha (2017):Un siècle d’urbanisme, le devenir de la ville marocaine. Edition l’Harmattan. Paris. France.
  • Chouiki Mustapha( 2011) :La ville marocaine, essai de lecture synthétique. Edition Dar Attaouhidi. Rabat. Maroc.
  • Chouiki Mustapha(2012) : Le Maroc face au défit urbain-Quelle politique de la ville ? Edition Dar Attaouhidi. Rabat. Maroc.
  • Hakimi Rokaya (2003): Inadequate housing in Casablanca is both quantitative and spatial. A study day on inadequate housing in Casablanca 28 May 2003. Publications of the Moroccan Geographical Union, Casablanca Branch. Ain-Chock. P. 87- 99.
  • Hanbali Mohamed (2002): Census of slums in Meknes: Evaluation of the Marjane operation. Postgraduate thesis at INAU, Rabat. Morocco.
  • High Commissioner for Planning: General Population Statistics for 2014.

[10].    Ministry of interior: Urban Agency of Casablanca, Development plan of district Sidi Moumen for 20015[11].    Monographic district Sidi Moumen 2017.

[1] – The program of 200,000 housing project gave the start of the late King Hassan II to accommodate the housing deficit, which is greatly exacerbated and has known a significant shift in the private sector, which has become a producer of this type of housing in exchange for significant tax incentives.

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