chapter  11
Crossed Colonization. Housing Development in Urban Peripheries: The Hispanic-African Colonial Territories, 1912–1976–2013
Pages 21

Many of the housing inequalities in contemporary Africa are a consequence of the colonial action of European powers. Regarding contemporary African history, the changes that were implemented in local cultures during this period were the result of structural actions, and not the by-product of circumstances. Imported urban and architectural schemes and models have proven to be inadequate to the local realities, needs and capabilities. That is why since the Colonial period, dissatisfaction with residential conditions and urban exclusion levels have been on the rise both in African cities and all over the continent. As a result, the creation of urban slums has been a historic process, and slums now amount to more than 30 percent of residential construction as is the case of Morocco (Zaki, 2006). Awareness has risen recently with respect to this phenomenon. The study of the relationship between colonialism and modernity require going beyond the surface of the issue. This means that if we start by looking at the modern architecture built in Africa we can perhaps achieve a deeper and better understanding of the cultural consequences of the process of European colonization. For that reason, we will look at the modern urbanism and housing that were built on the peripheries of African cities, as they were based on a variety of notions regarding land and real estate property, the symbolic use of land, the management of space, the construction process, as well as the decision-making process and social participation. With this approach we are able to check how this urbanism and housing policy collided with the cosmography, values, and cultural and legal principles that had existed throughout the African territory, and which traditionally conformed the basis upon which the traditional habitats (kasbahs, medinas and dowares) were built.