From the City to the Desert. Analysing shantytown resettlement in Casablanca, Morocco, from residents' perspectives

UA Ruhr Studies on Development and Global Governance, Bd. 72

Raffael Beier

ISBN 978-3-8325-4951-0
335 pages, year of publication: 2019
price: 48.50 €
From the City to the Desert. Analysing shantytown resettlement in Casablanca, Morocco, from residents' perspectives
In recent years, large-scale housing and resettlement projects have experienced a renaissance in many developing countries and are increasingly shaping new urban peripheries. One prominent example is Morocco's Villes Sans Bidonville (cities without shantytowns) programme that aims at eradicating all shantytowns in Morocco by resettling its population to apartment blocks at the urban peripheries. Analysing the specific resettlement project of Karyan Central, a 90-year-old shantytown in Casablanca, this book sheds light on both process and outcome of resettlement from the perspective of affected people. It draws on rich empirical data from a structure household survey (n=871), qualitative interviews with different stakeholder, document analysis, and non-participant observation gathered during four months of field research.

The author emphasises that the VSB programme, although formally part of anti-poverty and urban inclusion policies, puts primary focus on the clearance of the shantytown. Largely based on ill-informed policy assumptions, stigmatisation, rent-seeking, and opaque implementation practices, the VSB programme interpreted adequate housing in a narrow sense. By showing how social interactions, employment patterns, and access to urban functions have changed because of resettlement, the book provides sound empirical evidence that housing means more than four walls and a roof.

Raffael Beier studied geography at Ruhr University Bochum (RUB), Germany, and at Joseph Fourier University in Grenoble, France. Since 2014, he has been working as a research fellow at RUB's Institute of Development Research and Development Policy (IEE), where he is currently coordinating the PhD programme in International Development Studies. In 2019, he defended his PhD thesis in The Hague as part of the joint-PhD programme of the IEE and the International Institute for Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam.

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Table of contents (PDF)


  • Morocco / Marokko
  • Urban development / Stadtentwicklung
  • Resettlement / Umsiedlung
  • Slums
  • Urban sociology / Stadtsoziologie


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