Inderscience Publishers

Urban design and architecture in the service of colonialism in Morocco

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The impact of the French colonialism on urban space and its management as an ongoing social and political process in the postcolonial Morocco was very significant. The present paper analyses how the French colonial regime used urban design and architecture in Morocco as means of power and domination to impose a specific ideology and to serve the purposes of specific social groups. It demonstrates how urban space and architecture were used to reveal French imperialist ideology and to justify their colonial measures. Building on this, the paper explores the consequences of colonialism in contemporary Morocco. I use the medina (pre-colonial city) of Marrakesh as a case study to show evidence of the way contemporary urban design and architecture are still directly linked to the colonial past and to the ambivalence of its discourse.

Keywords: architecture, planning, urban design, postcolonialism, medina, colonialism, Morocco, Marrakesh

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