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Theme 3 - Urban Issues in the Arab and Muslim Worlds

IREMAM Contributor : Saïd Belguidoum.

Since the early 2000s, the countries of the Maghreb and the Mashrek have seen a new stage in their urban transition. With 70% of the region’s population concentrated in its cities, which have expanded considerably, the urban structure has become increasingly dense, and the hierarchy of urban networks reinforced. Be they national or regional cities, medium or small towns, cities in the process of restructuration, young cities (with planned urbanism), or new cities (with local dynamics), the city of the Arab world comes in many different forms. Steeped in their own contradictions, bubbling with tension, they seek coherence and structure under the joint and contradictory actions of public policy and of different social actors. The societies of the Arab and Muslim worlds face many common challenges, and each have developed their own unique methods for building their urban societies, more or less dependent upon characteristics inherited from their contrasting histories. The ambition of this theme is to explore different fields that might allow us to better comprehend urban dynamics, by privileging themes such as urban restructuring and socio-spatial redistribution, the production and circulation of urban and architectural models, public policies and urban governance issues, practices in public spaces, social groups in the city, local identities and hierarchies of belonging, and forms of urban mobility.

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