Publication: Casablanca Chandigarh. A Report on Modernization

This richly illustrated volume invites us to think afresh about urban life and the modern city by offering images and analyses of two very different but complementary contemporary cities: the planned Indian city of Chandigarh and the ancient metropolis of Casablanca—the ancient North African harbor town developed into a modern metropolis by Michel Ecochard and a team of young French and Moroccan architects after World War II. Countering the dominant view of modern urbanism that values avant-garde ideas originating in the West over developments in non-Western regions, the book offers a more nuanced approach to the history of the modern city, and to the relationship between local knowledge and imported ideas in the rapid globalization that followed World War II.

Ultimately, by focusing on the design and inhabitation of the cities’ public spaces and housing, the book locates the essence of the modern city in its ordinary fabric and everyday life—which shifts our understanding of architecture and planning, enabling us to see it as a collective work that is necessarily the result of negotiation among a variety of actors.Chandigarh Casablanca is published to coincide with an exhibition at the Canadian Center for Architecture in Montreal.

©  CCA, Montréal