Intervention programme in old cities and urban fabrics in Tunisia with a strong historical and cultural character

Supporting the Tunisian authorities in the design and implementation of a rehabilitation programme for historic centres, a form of popular neighbourhood with a strong cultural and socio-economic potential

The UPFI initiative supports the Tunisian Ministry of Equipment, Housing, Territorial Development and Sustainable Development in identifying and designing a multidimensional programme for historic centres’ regeneration in Tunisia. This programme will enable national and local authorities, as well as the donors, to develop a specific strategy of intervention and revitalization of the popular neighbourhoods of the Tunisian “old city”: medinas and historic European neighbourhoods of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.

Context of the project

The “old city” at the core of the donors’ strategy for supporting sustainable Mediterranean cities

The donor partners of the UPFI initiative, the AFD and EIB, have for several years integrated the regeneration of historic centres into their strategy for supporting sustainable cities in the Mediterranean. The EIB in particular published a prospective study, ‘Medinas 2030: Scenarios and Strategies’ (2010). In Tunisia, the AFD supported four pilot projects for the rehabilitation of touristic routes in the medinas of Tunis, Sousse, Sfax and Kairouan, delivered in 2016–2017. Capitalising on these past experiences, the UPFI initiative supports the design of a rehabilitation programme for historic centres in 2018.


Tunis Medina

Tunis Medina


There are various types of historic centre in the cities of the southern Mediterranean, of which two of the most significant are medinas, the traditional centre of old Arab towns, and the historic European neighbourhoods of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Old centres are a type of popular neighbourhood marked by urban and socio-economic exclusion and degradation of heritage buildings.


Tunis Medina

Tunis Medina

The UPFI project

Identification of a multidimensional programme for revitalising Tunisia’s historic centres

This ‘historic centres’ programme would make it possible, through the rehabilitation of several urban cores, to build an intervention framework specific to the regeneration of the Tunisian old city and to favour the adaptation of these urban areas to the economic, social and cultural evolution of the country. In the long term, the rehabilitation of these historic centres will improve the living conditions of residents, functionally reintegrate the old city into its urban area, safeguard and enhance urban and cultural heritage, boost the economy, tourism, job creation and income generation in these urban areas, and allow the return of the public and private sectors to these popular neighbourhoods.

In the framework of the UPFI, AFD and EIB are moving forward in the design of this programme and the definition of technical support needs that could be provided by the initiative in 2018.


Tunis Medina

Tunis Medina

Key indicators of the project

  • Some 30 historic centres across Tunisia.
  • A multi-component programme to improve access to infrastructure and services and unleash the socio-economic and cultural potential of historic centres.
  • Project news



    The UPFI partners and Tunisian authorities have worked together to draw up a programme to regenerate historic centres in Tunisia (medinas, old European neighbourhoods, etc.). By rehabilitating several historic centres, this programme is intended to build a specific intervention framework for the regeneration of Tunisian old cities and to encourage the adaptation of these urban areas to local economic, social and cultural changes. In September 2018, AFD started a consultation for launching technical assistance for the preparation, implementation and monitoring of the historic centres regeneration programme (PRCA) in Tunisia.