Image: Aerial view of the Carrieres Centrales, Casablanca, c. 1953, showing Cité Verticale (centre foreground), surrounded by estates of courtyard houses and (left) the bidonville
Monstrous isolated housing project were built in the colonial laboratory of Algeria and Morroco by French architects and planners. After having been tested in North Africa, massive HLMs were then brought back to house inhabitants originally from the colonies living in the banlieues of Paris.
The social housing projects in Maghreb and France ignored the push for decolonization on the part of the colonized and broke down the traditional communal living of the bidonville. This housing project resulted in the French garnering better control its emerging urbanized workforce and perpetuated the racist mission civilisatrice by creating a segregated “hygienic zone” for colonial subjects.