Assessing urban development after the "Arab Spring": illusions and evidences of change

Abstract : This article puts the contributions in this special issue of Built Environment into the perspective of the massive transformations that have taken place in the cities of the Arab world over the last thirty years. It analyses the specificities of the modes of production of the urban fabric and identifies the spatial, social, economic and political disjunctions that developed within the Arab cities – and led, with other factors, to the 'Arab Spring'. The perceptions of the city and the claims on the urban environment have been transformed. The article demonstrates that the impacts of 'Arab Spring' on the production and the politics of the Arab cities remain to be seen. However, temporalities of change reflect gaps and iterations. Change faces resistance, drawbacks, and uncertainties. In-depth reshuffling of the hierarchy of powers, shifts in the mindset of the decision-makers, and transformation of the administrative and political bodies are long-term processes. In the meantime, the urban mobilizations, activism, as well as the stakes embedded in the urban fabric and materiality, are back on the agenda of research.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - 11:22:02 AM
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Roman Stadnicki, Leila Vignal, Pierre-Arnaud Barthel. Assessing urban development after the "Arab Spring": illusions and evidences of change. Built Environment, Alexandrine Press, 2014, 40 (1), pp.5-13. ⟨10.2148/benv.40.1.5⟩. ⟨halshs-01062077⟩

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