الرئيسية مختارات The sustainable city policy in light of the Anglo-Saxon and Francophone experiences – A case study on the experiences of New South Wales, London, and Paris – 

The sustainable city policy in light of the Anglo-Saxon and Francophone experiences – A case study on the experiences of New South Wales, London, and Paris – 

19 أكتوبر 2021 - 22:11


*Yassine Chaib.


The Moroccan city faces several challenges related mainly with urban planning and real estate, climate change and the achievement of sustainable development goals etc. These problems are the result of many years of mismanagement and working based on traditional and old strategies and plannings. In contrast, city policy is successful in other experiences. It is also on its way to achieving the goals of sustainable development and winning this important bet, based on new and modern plannings and strategies, especially the Anglo-Saxon and Francophone ones. City policy in Morocco is in urgent need of opening more seminars and discussions on the various problems facing Moroccan cities. It is also very important to open up to foreign experiences especially the Francophone and Anglo-Saxon ones in order to benefit from these successful models. For all these reasons, I have chosen to write about the following three models of New South Wales, London, and Paris, considering the succsseful plannings and strategies in the field of city policy in these experiences, in line with the goals of sustainable development.


City policy – sustainable development – climate change – planning- strategies – New South Wales – London – Paris – Moroccan – Anglo-Saxon – Francophone.




Returning to the circumstances in which the concept of city policy has emerged globally, it turns out that in the 1980s, the focus was on the policy of partnernship between local or regional government and central one to adress the various social consequences of industrial crisis in major industrial countries. There were ideas that strongly called for reducing the importance of public policies and compensating public intervention with private actors, considering that public intervention is inherently passive and the public authorities are responsible for urban crisis in the cities. From this point, the concept of city policy can be seen as a transgression of the idea of state control, as well as the elimination of difficult problems and major obstacles faced by cities.

The concept of city policy is a French term. We find that city policy in this experience is that the public authorities, intervene voluntarily with the aim of improving the quality of life in urban areas that are in a difficult or fragile situation, in addition to reduce the differences between the local authorities. It is mainly based on urban renewal, providing security, preventing delinquency, and paying attention to the social and cultural development of the targeted neighborhoods. City policy can also be viewed as a voluntary public policy aimed at strengthening the roles of cities as primary centers for generating wealth and growth, in addition to make facilities, public services and urban transportation at the core of its interests. It is also an inclusive and participatory policy based on a horizontal approach adopts the principle of proximity, and ensures the convergence of various sectoral interventions within the framework of a holistic, integrated and contractual vision. It is also a policy based on the principles of good governance and consultation with all institutional parties, elected and professional bodies, economic and social actors, and civil society.

City policy originally appeared in the European countries especially in the last two decades of the previous century. This was as a political response to the exacerbation of urban problems, especially with the emergence of suburban problems as happened in France for example, which forced to think about developing social programs to confront these challenges such as Social City Program, Social Development of Neighborhoods, the Charter of City Quality and Urban Renewal, Local Agenda 21 and Local Housing Plan.

Sustainable development is the development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. There are four dimensions to sustainable development which are society, environment, culture and economy. The purposes of sustainable development are included in the Sustainable Development Goals Report of the United Nations 2021. These goals are successively as follows: no poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, industry, innovation and infrastructure, reduced inequalities, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, climate action, life below water, life on land, peace, justice and strong institutions, and partnership for the goals[1].

In the following paragraphs, I’ll present some useful Anglo-Saxon and Francophone models in the field of city policy. The focus will be completely on the side related to sustainable development, starting with the Australian state of New South Wales, London, and then Paris .

New South Wales

New south Wales is a state in southern Australia, bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the east and the state of Victoria to the south, South Australia to the west and Queensland to the north. It was the first Australian colony established by the British. The capital of the NSW[2] is Sydney city. The origin of the name New South Wales is from Wales because the state was similar to the latter according to the British explorer Captain James Cook. As for the constitutional framework, the government administers internal issues such as making laws for the peace, welfare, and good government of New South Wales, but it has no armed forces with the exception of the police. On the other hand, the Commonwealth government deals with the responsibilities of defense, foreign policy, immigration, trade, customs and excise, postal services, in addition to air and maritime transport.

Historically, Sydney city, the capital of New South Wales, was described as an accidental city. It was a city without planning due to the errant goat, acoording to JD fitzgerald, a politician and former leading town planning advocate, during the first Australian Town Planning Conference and Exhibition held in Adelaide in 1917. There were other reasons lie in disjointed attempts to achieve a holistic planning. So, the colonial governors back to Captain Arthur Philip, a former Royal Navy officer and the first governor of New South Wales, in order to regulate urban growth in Sydney. All attempts failed to solve the challenges faced by the aforementioned city. During the year 1832, the general survey Thomas Mitchell, noted in his report on the limits of sydney, that most marginal towns had been alienated and border lines were inclined and irregular. The planning situation deteriorated when Mitchell attempted to square the land of individuals in accordance with the general plan of streets. Affected landowners demanded the government for compensation, leading thereafter to a select committee to untangle the web of claims and counterclaims. The landowners have successfully protected their rights, and Sydney was set ultimately to become the densest core of a sprawling city. However, the fast economic and demographic expansion which led to the commissioning of Mitchell’s report made it necessary to implement general disciplines on development. The physical expansion and bursts of building activity prompted the officials to define the borders of Sydney town. So, provisions for regulating some features of the built environment were incorporated into the Police Act of 1833. Other legislations were applied to Sydney in the 1830s, including the London building Act of 1774. Some observers called for the necessity of a civil authority to regulate the built environment. These attempts to incorporate Sydney led to one of the most fiercely debated between the residents and property owners. Later, exactly in 1842, and after a two-year battle, the governor George Gipps finally succeeded in having a municipal bill. Thus, based on the British Municipal Corporations Act of 1835, Sydney turned from a town to a city, according to the Sydney Corporation Act, who bestowed the status of city on Sydney. This was a new era for the capital of New South Wales , as the city of Sydney gradually began the improvement process at all levels, including the most important sustainable development issues. The process had faced several historical obstacles related to different reasons like the repercussions of the postwar period, but the state was able to solve all the main problems.

New South Wales is working nowadays on several plans and projects for the improvement of the state. The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment is working on a new State Environmental Planning Policy, in response to the effects of climate change, set out by the United Nations Intergovermental Panel on Climate Change in its leading reports. The objective of this planning is ensuring that there is an adequate supply of new housings that are affordable, well-designed and located in places that people want to live, because the housing needs and preferences have changed over time and will continue to change. So, the department of Planning, Industry and Environment is working on planning policies that encourage diverse and affordable housing development to meet the needs of the population.

The new state Environmental Planning Policy aims to facilitate the delivery of diverse housing that meets the needs of the State’s growing population. Thus, the NSW government has developed this new housing policy in order to deliver more diverse and affordable housing types, in accordance with the objectives of sustainable development. Furthermore, the changes will ensure the home building sector is well-placed to support the economic recovery of New South Wales following the repercussions of the Coronavirus pandemic. The new policy is divided into three phases, and will be finalised in October 2021.

Furthermore, the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment is also working on the action plan 2021-2022, in addition to a future strategy lies in the Housing Strategy for New South Wales 2041.

The priorities of the 2021-22 Action Plan are enabling and promoting the access and use of data and evidence-based decision-making, providing planning, regulation and guidelines to support the housing objectives of the government of New South Wales, maximising the impact of government-owned land, investment or assets and government-led development projects or funding to achieve the housing objectives, establishing a research agenda that invests in best practice and new ways of building and living, in addition to working with local governments and communities to achieve the housing objectives of the NSW government.

The first priority is very important because support and access to data is essential for government agencies, local governments, developers and non-governmental organisations to drive housing programs and investment.

As for the second priority, the government of New South Wales has a crucial role in the planning system to support new housing opportunities, providing clear guidance on where and when housing can be developed.

About the third one, the government of New South Wales is committed to engaging with the society and private sector partners to deliver housing projects on government-owned assets or land that achieve excellence and value.

Within the framework of the fourth and fifith priorities, the state’s government will build evidence for innovation, gathering valuable lessons on typologies, design and construction of new housing, in addition to working in partnership with local governments to support them in the delivery of housing and achieving housing goals for the community. For the government of New South Wales, the housing needs an important transformation, bearing in mind the environmental challenges.

The other project, the Housing Strategy for New South Wales 2041, is a future strategy will benefit people who are without a home or those seeking for better housing. This strategy deals with housing solutions in a holistic manner, regarding population patterns, in addition to economic and environmental effects. So, the environmental dimension is well articulated in the Housing Strategy for New South Wales 2041.


London is the capital of the United Kingdom, and one of the biggest European cities. It is an important commercial pole in Europe, noting that this city who belongs to the United Kingdom is not a part of the Schengen Area especially after the Brexit.

Historically, the Roman city of London was destroyed by fire and rebuilt again. Five architects made plans to rebuild London after the Great Fire of 1666. The city was known as Londinium which is a small city with an intertwined street layout, public buildings and spaces. Later, the supposed plan of London, imagined by Sir Christopher Wren, was laid out geometrically on the same square mile occupied by Londinium. It was inspired by classical and Roman architecture, and city planning. In this plan, two diagonal streets cut across a network of stone-fronted streets, leading to and from a big new Royal Exchange and the new St Paul’s Cathedral. But, London was rebuilt in a rush along the old maze of medieval streets. The city was in a hurry to get back to work. But, the plan of Sir Christopher Wren had no immediate effect on the British capital. However, it was studied several times over the years. The influence of Wren can be seen in plans made in the 1940s to rebuild post-war London, in addition to Wren’s embankment along the Thames. There were other plans puted by Robert Hooke, John Evelyn, Richard Newcourt and Captain Valentine Knight. Although Wren’s plan was the one chosen, but his design hadn’t materialized. As a result, commerce has determined the design of London. From the 18th century, this city grew rapidly at the level of commercial development wherever a plot of land became available, despite a lot of attempts that were made to build garden squares to beautify the city as it expanded west. During the Second World War, more than 50,000 homes were destroyed in Central London and more than two million homes were damaged. This was the era of the professional modern planner. The aforementioned plans could have changed the city of London.

Nowadays, London is working on several plans such as City Plan 2036, which is a new local plan for the future development of the city of London. The new plan will replace the current one adopted in 2015. It sets out the City Corporation’s vision, strategy and goals for planning up to 2036, together with policies that will guide future decisions on planning applications. This plan passes through several stages. The first one was a consultation on different issues and options, which was carried out in 2016. The second one was a consultation on a full Draft Plan, carried out  between November 2018 and February 2019.  The objectives of the plan are ensuring that London remains at the forefront of action in response to climate change and other sustainability challenges that face high density urban environments in order to achieve national and international recognition for its sustainability initiatives. This is all through implementing the policies of sustainable development and climate change, public transport, streets and corridors, waste, and flood risk.

The london Plan Sustainability Statement includes several objectives such as equality and inclusion, housing supply, quality, choice and affordability, sustainable land use, design to  create attractive, mixed use neighbourhoods, ensuring new buildings and spaces are appropriately designed, in addition to reducing the need to travel by motorized transport, infrastructure to meet population and demographic change in line with sustainable development, climate change adaptation and mitigation through reducing greenhouse gas emissions and moving towards a zero carbon London by 2050, and making London more resilient to the impacts of climate change and extreme weather events such as flood, drought and heat risks.

Paris, the sustainable smart city

Paris is the capital of the French Republic. In terms of population density, it has a population of more than 12 million people, and receives nearly 50 million tourists annually due to its important and world-class attractions such as the Eiffel Tower, in addition to the great investments in the tourism sector. Within the framework of sustainable development, Paris has implemented an intervention strategy, guided by an environmental and social requirement and based on five goals, which are combating climate change and saving the atmosphere, preserve biodiversity and protect environments and resources, enable human being to be fulfilled, ensure social cohesion and solidarity between territories and several generations, and create development dynamics based on responsible modes of production and consumption.

Paris is following a strict strategy to implement the Paris Agreement and Agenda 2030, in addition to the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals SDGs[3] putted by the United Nations. Each year, a report on the situation of sustainable development is provided to the elected representatives before the vote on the regional budget. The purpose of this report is to analyze the impact of regional policies in relation with the five aforementioned goals.

The regional strategy for sustainable development is divided into a set of plans, schemes and measures aimed to achieve the five goals. As for fighting climate change and protecting the atmosphere, we find decarbonising travel, which means big investments to develop the railway network and infrastructure, trains that are more environmentally friendly and that consume 20% less energy by IDFM[4], 100% green buses in densely populated areas by 2025 with deployment of over than 5000 biogas or electric buses, investments for parking, strengthening of the bicycle network and reduction of urban cuts, improve traffic flow and then reduce polluting emissions and the nuisance related to the flow of goods. Within the same objective, we find sobriety, renewable energy production and reduction of dependence. It means reduce the dependence on fossil fuels and nuclear power by 50% by 2030, and to work towards a city that uses 100% renewable energy and zero carbon by 2050 thanks to a 40% reduction in energy consumption and a fourfold increase in the amount of renewable energy produced in Paris, in addition to developing hydrogen mobility, photovoltaic solar power and methanisation. Furthermore, there are 192 proposals to make Paris a city with zero net artificialisation, zero net emissions[5], and zero net resources[6].

About preserving biodiversity and protecting environments and resources, there are several goals related to the protection of biodiversity, greener region, cleaner and more circular region such as the Regional Strategy for Biodiversity 2020-2030, developed in consultation with local authorities, associations, research organisations, land managers and the concerned businesses. Paris is investing 400 million euro to implement it by 2030, including 200 million euro by 2025, support for the 12 RNR[7], 5 of which are managed by the AEV[8], in addition to the Regional Green Plan which means the creation of an additional 500 hectares of green spaces and natural areas by 2025, and new strategy for the circular economy in Paris[9].

About establishing development dynamics based on responsible modes of production and consumption, there is the Agricultural Pact 2018-2030. It is an aid for land preservation and the fight against urban sprawl, support for the installation of young farmers, aid for diversification, support for the ecological and energy transition and support for the programme “Mangeons francilien”[10]. With regard to the environmental development of Paris, the Executive had provided a Mobilization Plan for the ecological transformation of Paris by 2024. Over the period 2020-2024, investments in favour of ecology will be increased to reach 10 billion euro.

Within the same context, Paris has been working on several projects by 2030 such as launching of an electric tram bus along the Seine. This alternative transport will not emit air pollutants. It is a part of “Anne Hidalgo’s” antipollution program, in addition to converting abandoned factories into hostels for young people, transforming the Croix-Rouge metro station into a bar-restaurant as part of the urban innovation project “Réinventer Paris”.  Furthermore, the Gare du Nord expansion will be with a duty-free area, co-working spaces, an exhibition hall, and sports hall, in addition to development of bathing sites on the Seine, reopening of the “La Samaritaine” department store after 15 years of work and 750 million euro of investment, new metro with 200km of automatic lines within the vision of Paris olympics 2024, creating of a cultural, creative and friendly project which is Paris-Rungis City of Gastronomy by 2024, and building Gibraltar Hill. It is a gigantic landscape project in Marne-la-Vallée, carried out with waste from the construction sites of the Greater Paris.

Smart mobility means innovative traffic and transport infrastructure that provides resources and builds on new technologies to achieve maximum efficiency, accessibility, affordability and safety of transport systems, as well as compact urban development which are also essential factors in this context.

The public transport in Paris is distinguished by several advantages such as new equipment for traveling in better conditions everywhere in Paris, more transport to better serve the residents of Paris, accessibility for all, more means for the safety, new mobilities, 8.3 million daily trips by public transport, 1800 km of metro, train and tram, 4.3 million people using of the Navigo card each month, in addition to modern and new two-level trains at a cost of 15 million euro.

In the context of the revolution in transport in Paris, a total of 24 billion euro will be invested by 2025 to renew railroad cars on a large scale, in addition to getting new trains, 158 new or renewed trains and buses that are more comfortable, clean and respectful of the environment, 5000 Places of Parc Relais[11] by the end of 2017 and 10000 in 2021, 34 additional stations since 2016 and 266 by 2025.

To conclude, the Moroccan city need to open heavily on some foreign experiences through conducting decentralized cooperation agreements, with other cities especially the Anglo-Saxon and Francophone ones, considering the successeful city policy in these models such the experiences of New South Wales, London and Paris, in line with the goals of sustainable development. The achievement of these agreements will help to make a real transformation in this field because it is a unique tool or way for Moroccan cities to benefit from other experiences, while acknowledging the peculiarities of each model. However, there are some common points and objectives between all the cities of the world exactly those related to the goals of sustainable development.









Hicham Zobir: City Policy in Light of the Requirements of Good Public Governance, A Master’s Thesis in Internal Public Law and Organization of Local Authorities, Cadi Ayyad University, Marrakech, Academic Year 2014/2015, page 5.



Sydney Police Act 1833.


https://www.britannica.com/ visited in 3/9/2021.

https://home.dictionaryofsydney.org/ visited in 5/9/2021.

https://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/ visited in 11/9/2021.

https://www.bbc.com/culture  visited in 23/9/2021.

https://www.london.gov.uk/ visited in 28/9/2021.

https://www.iledefrance.fr/   visited in 9/10/2021.

Other materials


Presentation issued by the Ministry of Territory Planning, Housing and City Policy entitled “City Policy, Objectives and Consequences”.

(1) The Sustainable Development Goals Report of the United Nations 2021.

(2) NSW is an abbreviation of New South Wales.

(3) Some of these goals are : no poverty, zero hunger, good health, education, gender equality, clean water, clean energy, economic growth, industry and infrastructure, no inequality, sustainability, responsible consumption, climate action, justice , and partnership.

(4) Syndicate of transport of Île-de-France.

(5) The International Energy Agency warns that carbon emissions will jump by nearly 5% in 2021.

(6) For the purpose of avoiding the disastrous effects of climate change.

(7) Regional Natural Reserves.

(8) The Green Spaces Agency.

(9) It is an economic system aims to eliminate waste and the continuous use of resources. Circular systems use reuse, share, repair, regeneration, re-manufacture and recycling to create a closed loop system which reduce the use of resource inputs and lowers waste emissions, pollution and carbon emissions.

(10) They are French words mean Let’s eat local food from Île-de-France.

(11) French words mean parking spaces.

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