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The space of the Mediterranean city in the Arab Spring: Identity and Diversity

Sarro, Adriana
Year of Publication: 
Series/Report no.: 
53rd Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Regional Integration: Europe, the Mediterranean and the World Economy", 27-31 August 2013, Palermo, Italy
Reflections on the Mediterranean and especially on the architecture and urban spaces, are made with the knowledge of the many conflicts that always exist and persist on sites, based on a continuous movement of peoples, on migrations, a complex system of streams that formed city and left traces in different places. The Mediterranean, with its great emptiness, like a crack in the sea had in fact always been used as a benchmark for the different cultures, recorded in a complex relationship between landscape and architecture. The peculiarity of its landscape, says Matejevic 'creates the impression that the Mediterranean is a time, a world unto itself, and the center of the world: a sea surrounded by land, a land washed by the sea [...].' Around this ring has developed a steady stream of human energies and culture, a transferability of cultures and ethnicity, but also the struggle for the survival of many civilizations and identity, as S.Settis writes: 'Cultural identity is not centered on the exclusion but on a principle of mutual inclusion. Perfectly adequate is the example of the Mediterranean: Mediterranean does not mean Europe, but Asia and Africa means [...]. ' The idea, therefore, of civilizations stacked, one upon the other as F.Braudel says: 'persists in the city and continues today in the Mediterranean and towards the Europe.'. The Mediterranean area, which was always marked in a relationship between urban form and social, must be re-read today, from the recent events that have led to continuous movements and retirements and it must be understood especially how the explosion of the Arab Spring have led to a change in urban space. The different cities crossed by the protests have undergone a mutation in favor of a new sociality, where they were protagonists especially the young actors of a new change. The experience I carried out in Tunisia before, then in Syria, has pointed out the complexity of the relationship in the urban space between tradition and innovation. And it is Tunisia, the first of a chain of events, followed by Libya, Morocco, Egypt and Syria that will be important to revisit in order to understand the main changes necessary to build a new projectuality. Through the change taking place on the banks of the southern and eastern Mediterranean, marked and described on the one hand by the advent of electronic media and on the other by the observation and description of the case studies, you will probably be able to direct the current research and future, which are essential for a correct interpretation of the transformation of today's social fabric of the city.
urban space
Document Type: 
Conference Paper

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