Città nelle città | Towns in Cities

30 May - 7 June 2024 | Casablanca, Khouribga, Youssoufia, Mzinda, Marrakech, Milano, Firenze. 

From the 1920s to the 1960s, in several urban and rural environments of Morocco, settlements were built as an accommodation for people working in the surrounding industrial areas. In order to promote a sense of community and well-being among workers, these new urban portions, frequently funded by the same industrial companies, were conceived as more or less autonomous cities following some of the urban principles of the old medinas. Today, these settlements are not recognised as part of an urban history nor protected as the ancient medinas are. However, they represent important social and cultural witnesses of the living present and a sometimes neglected past. The teeming life within these communities still demonstrates the possibility of modern architecture to build spaces reinterpreting the values of the historic city. In the actual context of Morocco, several economic, social and political factors are inducing deep social changes that cause the transformation and sometimes disappearance of these parts of cities. The itinerant workshop “Città nelle città / Towns in cities” aims at reconstructing the specific urban history of the Moroccan company towns or cités ouvrières. This urban history interests us not only because it tells of a somehow neglected history of Morocco, but also because it crosses the modern urban discourse on urbanism, which saw many European architects engaged in a debate on the construction of the city. If Europe was the origin where this debate originated, overseas countries are the testing ground for the European theories on urbanism. Through the analyses, redrawing, sketching and measuring of selected case-studies, students will be able to retrace common elements and features or, on the contrary, elements of discontinuity to describe a particular urban and architectural experimentation, such as that of the Moroccan cités ouvrières.