Laayoune, Morocco

The Technopol for Laayoune is to create an urban area including housing and research that is to be focused on the Desert environment and sustainability.  The site is adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean at the extreme southern part of Morocco. 

In that the site is often inundated at the waters edge, the Design strategy is to create a sea wall and a shallow inlet that is, in turn, linked to a system of canals that will create the armature for the development. 

The Armature Concept creates a range of impediments, both physical, like the canals, or imposed, like defined open space or circulation patterns that will define the future growth in an organized manner.  The principal of the circulation system is to integrate pedestrian movements, automobile and service vehicles and rail transit in a manner that supports both density of development while sustaining human interaction.  The vehicular system is hierarchical to the extent that there are grand addressing Boulevards, separated from neighborhood access roads, which are, in turn, separated from service streets, none of which interrupt the central plazas for pedestrians.  The neighborhood streets are not continuous, and follow a defined geometric character intended to give identity to the adjacent uses as well as to slow traffic in areas that are also utilized by pedestrians. 

The Central pedestrian areas accommodate only emergency vehicles and light service needs, but are the prime location for light rail stops, or in this case water taxis as well. 

In that sprawl in an urbanized area is potentially the most unsustainable aspect to development, each of these plans are defined by patterns of density with the highest in the center and adjacent to transit stops.