The urban brownfields of Algiers; between representations, temporary uses and new places of culture

  • Rafik Boudjadja University of Constantine 3, laboratory AVMF , University of Larbi Ben Mhidi of Oum el Bouaghi, Algeria
  • Souad Sassi-Boudemegh University of Constantine 3, AVMF laboratory, Algeria
Keywords: urban brownfields, representations, environmental potentials, temporary uses, standby time.


The city of Algiers has, since the beginning of the 21st century, undergone significant changes to its urban landscape, a consequence of large-scale urban works. These transformations are particularly and, indeed, spectacularly visible in the eastern districts of: (Belcourt, El Hamma, Ruisseau/-Abattoirs, Hussein Dey, and El Harrach.); they are mixed industrial neighborhoods containing many urban brownfields. These neglected spaces, often well located, constitute an affirmed stake by the public authorities, in particular through legislative changes. Indeed, reinvesting urban brownfields in Algiers means working to control its sprawl, but these spaces are also bringing environmental, urban, economic and social challenges.

This article aims to demonstrate the interest of public authorities (decision-makers), land managers, inhabitants and users of these neighborhoods in addressing the subject of brownfields through the evaluation of their representations, this helps to provide a local and multivariate definition of the brownfield concept. First, it strives to provide answers to the main questions that insist and persist at the decision-making level: is it a sustainable response to densify the city of Algiers by regenerating its brownfields? Are the representations on brownfield sites by decision-makers, managers, inhabitants and users, unified or varied? Are the temporary uses of urban brownfields during their standby time indicative of social needs that should be included in redevelopment projects?

This research, based mainly on questionnaires, highlights the disparities in the representations, in the use and the practice of urban brownfields. The results show that depending on the actor’s nature, the manner of apprehending brownfields is often articulated around interest and need. This article therefore raises the question of urban brownfields in the eastern pericentral neighborhoods of Algiers, considered to be places of high social demand in terms of culture.

How to Cite
Boudjadja, R., & Sassi-Boudemegh, S. (2020). The urban brownfields of Algiers; between representations, temporary uses and new places of culture. SAUC - Street Art and Urban Creativity, 6(1), 34 - 51.