Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Lecture | Research Seminar

Greening Casablanca: Speculative Fictions and Contested Planning Responses to the Climate Crisis

Monday 14 March 2022
Pieter de la Court


Due to the changing measurements regarding COVID-19, this event might take place online. Please keep an eye on this page for the latest information.

In this talk I explore some preliminary methodological and ethnographic considerations in relation to ongoing and contested urban regeneration schemes in Morocco. Specifically, I draw on the case of Zenata, a so-called ‘New Green City’ occupying 5 km of coast north of Casablanca, to explore how the language of sustainability and official responses to the climate crisis can help illuminate significant shifts at the heart of urban governance regimes. Created in 2006 at the initiative of the Moroccan State, Zenata is an urban mega-project that was celebrated as “the first African city to be awarded an Eco-City Label (ECL)” during the 2016 COP 22 proceedings, even as it violently displaced local precarious communities. The talk will further highlight several examples of ‘speculative urban planning fictions from below’ to foreground alternative ways in which ordinary inhabitants try to reclaim narratives about possible futures and critique the orthodoxies of current planning regimes.

About Cristiana Strava

Cristiana Strava is a social anthropologist, trained at Harvard (BA) and SOAS, University of London (MARes, PhD), with a broad interest in urban spaces and the forces that shape our lives in and around them. She has conducted fieldwork in North, Western and East Africa on topics ranging from informal housing, gendered forms of waged and unwaged labor, marginalization, and the politics of planning and development regimes. Prior to her PhD studies, Cristiana worked with the UNDP and the German Technical Cooperation Agency on issues related to sustainable development and adaptation to climate change.

This website uses cookies.  More information.