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Popular Participation in the Elaboration of Urban Planning Tools in Algeria. The Case of Blida State

Karim IKHLEFHOUM*1, Mahfoud ZIANE1
* Corresponding author
1University of Science and Technology, Houari-Boumédiène (FSTGAT-USTHB), Faculty of Earth Sciences, Geography and Spatial Planning, Laboratory of Cities, Region, and Territorial Governance (LVRGT), Algiers, ALGERIA

Pages: 1-12

Abstract. This paper aims to evaluate popular participation in the preparation of urban planning tools in Algeria by highlighting methods, levels and means of implementation. A study has been conducted in the most important municipalities of the State of Blida: Larbaâ, Bouguerra, El Afroun and Guerouaoua during the years of 2016-2017. Algeria has used popular participation in the preparation of urban planning tools since 1990. However, it remains symbolic. We put forward some hypotheses that reflect different factors of symbolic participation, as follows: popular participation is linked to the legal framework that regulates urban planning, the efficiency of urban planning in Algeria is related to the degree of urban awareness of Algerian citizens, and at last but not at least, the power of popular participation is rooted in and is directly related to the factor of trust between local authorities and the citizen. Overall, this research aims to analyze and evaluate the operation of popular participation in the elaboration of urban planning tools in Algeria, and to offer some recommendations and proposals so as to increase the efficiency of popular participation in urban planning. In order to reach these goals, we relied on the theoretical as well as the practical approaches by presenting basic concepts, principles and the levels of popular participation with further projection on the area of study compared to some international experiments. Through this study, we were able to evaluate that popular participation in the preparation of urban planning tools in Algeria is inefficient, just formal and does not reach the level where it enables to make significantly important decisions in urban planning. In order to increase efficiency, we ought to modify the regulatory framework regarding the operation of urban planning, by integrating popular participation before even beginning to prepare the urban planning tools.

K e y w o r d s:  urban planning, planning tools, popular participation, urbanization, urban issues, Algeria