Drawing up the unified urban development plans for the cities of Rabat and Salé (PAU)

Drawing up the unified urban development plans for the cities of Rabat and Salé

The Rabat Salé Urban Agency (AURS) issued an open, international call for tender with pre-selection in accord with the prize to draw up of a unified urban development plan (PAU) for the cities of Rabat and Salé. Revision of the development plans instigated by AURS were included in a more global approach involving all the urban communes of the Rabat conurbation. These studies  have come at a key moment for the region of the capital which needs to assert its rôle on a national and international  level while at the same time redefining its metropolitan identity.

Drawing up the new PAUs for Rabat and Salé were commissioned to the Parisian Urbanism Agency (Apur) and that for Temara jointly, to both Philippe Panerai and Apur.
Apur's propositions and guidelines
From the outset Apur underlined the importance of thinking globally about the conurbation of Rabat and Salé.
Rabat and Salé are two parts of the same metropolis:  strengthening the image of Rabat as the capital inevitably means highlighting the status of Salé. Temara, the third city of the conurbation of Morocco's capital should not be forgotten either, for it has enormous development potential. The development plans for these cities should therefore facilitate their complementarity one to the other in terms of dynamics and territorial coherence.  
In order to reinforce its role as the capital and to develop it influence, the city of Rabat has defined the issues which the development plans should address. Among these are the strengthening of economic attractiveness, which includes increasing international activity notably in tourism, scientific research, services and new technologies. The city also has the ambition to improve the urban framework socially in response to needs for housing and local infrastructures, by providing a better mixed  population and more evenly distributed activities.
With this in mind Apur proposed a strategy for revising and rendering coherent all the urbanism documents which govern the Rabat-Salé territory. This process has taken into consideration the dynamic of the cities of Salé and Temara within the framework of an interactive complementarity between the three cities, in terms of management and development potential, and the possibilities to communicate and exchange. Apur has been able to use its experience acquired on the Parisian territory: there is a strong resemblance between the scale and issues in Paris and those in Rabat, as well as similarities in their legal and regulatory systems.
A specific study-methodology was set up. The first phase involved  a forward looking assessment and criticism of the urbanism documents which had, up until then, structured development in Rabat and the surrounding region, with the aim of using the experience gained in order to improve the conception of a future plan. This first study phase  was accompanied by an in depth socio-economic diagnosis opening awareness of the conurbation's population, housing and economic activities. A spatial analysis of land use, the urban morphology, environmental issues and networks was also carried out.
Following these thematic analyses, the conurbation's assets and weaknesses were clarified by maps, which permitted  strategic proposals offering numerous urban development scenarios for Rabat and Salé to be drawn up. After having chosen one of the scenarios a final document fixed the main commitments of the development plan and the ensuing spacial and thematic guidelines.  
Finally, the drawing up of the unified development plans for Rabat and Salé consisted of specifying and transposing onto a spacial and regulatory level, the main lines chosen. This new strategic tool proposed, places the management of the capital region in a spacial but also time logic. It lays down the course to be followed over the next thirty years, defining a global vision to ensure the necessary coherence on a scale of the conurbation and medium term management of urban evolutions.
The setting up of monitoring and coordinating  tools has just completed this strategy with the aim of achieving the execution of the new unified urban development plans, an essential process for the renewal of Rabat-Salé and for building a conurbation able to play its role in the competitive world.