Urbanization is characterized by a complex set of - sometimes contradicting - dynamics. Cities form the setting of everyday life for their inhabitants and at the same time are economic entities enmeshed in the global economy. To engage in urban development requires articulation of compromises between the interests of various social strata as well as considerations of environmental concerns.

In order to respond to urban growth, new cities constitute a new component of the urban fabric in Morocco and provide potential areas for spatial planning, economic activities and provision of adequate housing. By managing and planning urbanization, linking market demand to new labour pools and creating connected regional urban areas, these large integrated projects of urban extension respond to the societal needs generated by urban growth.

Informal settlements pose the biggest challenge to sustainable and inclusive urban planning and management, especially in peri-urban areas. Given their constant growth due to population growth and rural-urban migration, and various legal forms of land tenure, especially in urban centres, these settlements require interventions to address the existing situation and develop instruments for preventing the creation and growth of informal settlements.

Key Areas Identified for the Partnership 2013-2016

  • Slum Upgrading and Informal Housing: Technical support to the “Cities without Slums” program – implementation of the Rabat Declaration: “Making slums history: a worldwide challenge for 2020”;
  • New Cities: Support the coordination between operational entities in planning new cities in the frame of the implementation of the new Urban Policy Strategy adopted by the government in 2012; Contribution to the competitiveness and integration of clusters as new spatial areas for investments, jobs and wealth opportunities;
  • Dissemination of Best Practices: Validation of successful operations resulting from slum upgrading programmes and new cities: (i) at national level for better visibility on public policies; (ii) at international level, within the framework of South-South cooperation;
  • Global Conference on Al-Omrane Holding (HAO) Program Evaluation: The main goal is to enhance the action of HAO for access to housing for all. The contribution of successful experiences at regional level can be a good asset to strengthen communication and cooperation;
  • Preparation for the Third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III)

The following programme descriptions will serve as an example of UN-Habitat’s approach in supporting the Moroccan government in facing urban issues.