Urban mobility and social inclusion - Planning accessibility for more sustainable cities
The 12th edition of the annual CIVITAS Forum Conference took place between 23rd and26th September 2014 in Casablanca, the economic capital of Morocco.
Casablanca was the first non-European city hosted the CIVITAS forum conference. The choice of Casablanca as CIVITAS forum 2014 host officially sealed the cooperation in the urban mobility field between the EuroMed transport project stakeholders and the CIVITAS Initiative.
In September 2014 Casablanca hosted the CIVITAS Forum, an annual event organised as part of the EU CIVITAS 2020 Initiative to bring together the representatives of the CIVITAS Forum Network's member cities and of the EuroMed region: policy makers, urban planners, mobility experts and politicians to present and discuss transport measures and policies towards sustainable urban mobility, accessibility and socio-spatial inequalities.
Following the experience of Casablanca as well as of many European cities, the leading theme of the CIVITAS Forum 2014 was the accessibility and social inclusion a key factor in urban mobility and city planning. From a spatial and mobility stand-point, accessibility can be considered a pertinent concept while analysing the problem of socio-spatial inequalities and also while investigating how the coordination of urban mobility, spatial planning and institutional governance can play a relevant role in making cities more accessible for all.
All CIVITAS and EuroMed stakeholders were invited to attend the conference and benefit from the rich 4 days-programme. The conference took place at HYATT Regency Hotel just in the heart of the city and very closed to the Medina, the historical city center of Casablanca.
The CIVITAS FORUM 2014 programme is available for download in the right side column of the page.
With over 4 million inhabitants, Casablanca is one of the largest and most important cities of Africa, praising a rich mix of European and African influence and hosting one of the biggest African artificial ports. A modern, thriving and prosperous city, “Casa”, as it is familiarly called by its citizens, presents a complex and often contradictory façade that mixes together European colonial boulevards with huge African-style traffic jams as well as the ornate architecture of Hassan II Mosque.
Thanks to a rich port activity Casablanca has experienced and continues to have a quick urban development. The City is developing its role both as cultural and economic capital at national and regional level, also launching several urban projects and improving urban mobility.
The development of the system of public transport in Casablanca started in the fifties and is considered one of the oldest in Africa.
To cope with the strong increasing urbanization in a region with more than 11 million daily trips, local authorities have undertaken the development of an urban transport plan (PDU) in 2009. With proactive and ambitious goals, the PDU is the results of an efficient, integrated and modern urban transport.
The first result of this plan was the launch of the first tramway line in December 2012. With a line of 31 km and 48 stops tram provide service to the city center and peripheral mixed social component areas.
Social inclusion is an important element of the development strategy of the City of Casablanca. Once the integration with the bus network will be competed, the tram line is expected to carryaround 250,000 passengers per day. After the first year of service of the first tram line and considering the success among users, the city of Casablanca decided to enlarge the tram network into a sustainable and environmental friendly mass transit system.
Finally, to ensure a sustainable public transport planning, Casablanca is the only City in the Partner Countries of the European EuroMed Road, Rail and Urban Transport - EuroMed RRU - to have established a transport authority. The AODU (Organizing Authority for Urban Transport) founded in 2008 together with Casa Transport Company are responsible for the public transport lines by ensuringa successful integration of public transport.