Development of the Oued Martil valley: Integrated urban development and resilience to climate change and risks of natural disasters
The new survey of projects in the Mediterranean region, carried out in Morocco from April 2017 to May 2018, led to the selection of the Oued Martil valley development project. Following this process led by the AFD and EIB, the UPFI Steering Committee approved the financing of a technical assistance study, which was carried out between November 2018 and September 2019.
Since 2014, the Kingdom of Morocco, the wilaya of the Tangier-Tétouan-Al Hoceima region and the communes of Tétouan and Martil have been working together on the rehabilitation and development of the Oued Martil valley. This vast integrated and sustainable urban development project aims to reconcile the inhabitants of the plain and the once flood-prone wadi, which is of major ecological value, in order to develop the valley into an urban centre that meets the needs of the population of Greater Tétouan (development of new urban areas, renovation of existing neighbourhoods, improvement of transport and mobility), and to attract private investment and thus promote local economic development.
The Oued Martil valley is located in the Tangier-Tétouan-Al Hoceima wilaya at the north-westernmost point of Morocco, between the wilayas of Rabat-Sale-Kenitra and Fes-Meknes. The development project will be located on the territory of the city of Tétouan and the communes of Martil and Azlaa. The Tétouan agglomeration, which is crossed by the Oued Martil valley, has a population of about 380,000.
On the initiative of the local authorities, a large-scale development project will be carried out in the Oued Martil valley, covering a range of aspects including housing, business, culture, commerce, the environment and tourism. This ambitious urban development project began in 2015 with work to clean up pollution in the valley and protect it against flooding.
Given the urban and environmental potential of this development project, the UPFI provided support to the Moroccan local authorities and to STAVOM (Société d’Aménagement de la Vallée de Oued Martil — Oued Martil Valley Development Company) through the financing of a technical assistance study.
Carried out from November 2018 to September 2019, this study aimed to consolidate the urban planning strategy and the environmental and social approach of the project.
Technical assistance in support of the Oued Martil valley development project, concerning the urban planning strategy and the social, environmental and sustainable development strategy, was completed in September 2019. Outcomes included the formulation of technical recommendations on various topics, with a view to consolidating the urban planning for the project, its coordination strategy and its sustainable development strategy.
The first stage of technical assistance for the preparation of the Oued Martil valley development project has been completed successfully, leading to the proposal of: a guiding plan for the whole valley considering territorial and climate strategies; the first operational step offering recommendations on several thematic areas in zone 1.1. The technical assistance recommends orientation schemes across several thematic areas such as neighbourhood identities, mobility, public spaces and landscape continuity or commerce. For example, the development plan proposes improving connections between the neighbourhoods by building new roads, enlarging the park network in Oued and creating two new green spaces within the neighbourhoods.