[MUCHADA]  The challenge of modernity and the question of habitat

Sustained growth of cities certainly expresses the effects of the different dynamics of change involved in the process of modernization. The scientific and technical development, industrialization, secularization, literacy, nation-building, expanding political participation, the formation of new class and gender identities, and the birth of mass society, to name the most obvious, are  trends that share with the physical development the role of structural change in modernizing the city.”  [1]

The search for the roots of the issue of living in the Moroccan context has led the investigation into a haunting and evocative, the origin of its modernization and its cities, which came at the right time of European settlement. This historical period is a time of conflict and confrontation systemic and cultural between the Moroccan tradition and the aspirations of European Modernity.

When we talk about of Modernity, we refer to utopia, to the flag with which the colonization was justified, an equation for Progress, for the Welfare of the world’s societies, but it was hidden the imposition of force and culture. When we talk about Modernity, we do so from a critical distance represented by the distance that it was between the rhetoric and the actual practice. In the case of Spanish Morocco, it was staged by the continuing crisis and the ongoing deficit development of the colonial project. In the city, it resulted in the uncontrolled development of the periphery and in the empty presence of the official city – the Eixample.

Thus, it is understood that the factor of change “modernization” is integral, it is an ongoing interaction between external inputs and internal reactions of a society, individually and collectively, that leaves the door open to the uniqueness and surprise. Despite this, common patterns can be attributed to other realities. In this case, the challenge of modernity of Tetouan and Morocco was the inevitable modernization, faced with international orders and their own internal orders.

Before the population explosion, before the social urbanization, before the majority access to culture and education, the increase of life expectancy, the cessation of epidemics and famine, before the public space, the discussion in the cafes, the cinema, before the real estate speculation, the industrial development, the factories and the values of capitalism, how was it re-organized the internal social structure that lived in the territories – bled el Makhzen and bled el Siba – from the Moroccan sultanate?

According to Carner the modernization process can be divided into economic development, political development and social progress, according to Laroui in the Westernization, the generation of a new elite, modernization, politicization (laicism) and nationalism.

“Modernization is not considered as a model, but as a factor of systemic change that is based on the application of knowledge and new technology to the social production; it can operate in different historical and cultural contexts, using their own resources or by taking them from the environment, and tends to modify the structures, practices and values preexisting “” this definition, warns against the tendency to confuse modernization with other realities, such as modernity, capitalism or industrial society.” [2]

Thus, it has been reached the issue of housing and dwelling from a phenomenological approach and critical transformation process of social and systemic that Morocco lived in colonial times. As part of that process and as an open question, it was linked to the ways of governing, ways of producing and promoting the city, ways of thinking about property, modes of living of the population and ways to build homes.

It has been understood the issue of housing as the collection of factors that influence, determine and define the possibilities of access to a decent shelter for a given urban society. Therefore, this reflection was closely linked to the city model proposed, to the marketing system and land management, to the proposed building types or to the real estate development strategies designed.

[1] PÉREZ SERRANO, J. “La contribución de las ciudades a la modernización de España: marcos teóricos y líneas de investigación”. En Nicolás, E; González, C. (2009) Mundos de Ayer. Edit.um, Universidad de Murcia, 2009. pp.288-9)

[2] PÉREZ SERRANO, J. (2009) Ob. Cit. pp.279-80

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