With more than 3.36 million inhabitants, Casablanca is Morocco’s most-crowded city.
The event took place on Sunday, March 1, and was the last event in Morocco’s “Green Week,” organized by the Association of Science Teachers (AESVT Morocco) between February 24 and March 1.
The march, at the Horticulture Garden in the center of Casablanca, had more than 500 attendees of all ages.
The participants gathered in the park protesting the excessive urbanization in Moroccan cities at the expense of nature and quality of life, and defending their right to greener cities.
A group of percussionists led the march. Participants held signs bearing slogans about the march’s aims.
Posted by AESVT MAROC on Sunday, 1 March 2020
“This march aims to draw the attention of both citizens and officials to the fact that the development of green spaces in cities is not only an imperative for public health but a vital solution to the problems of air and noise pollution,” said AESVT’s president, Abderrahim Ksiri.
The event also aimed to improve the relationship between people and their neighborhoods, according to the activist.
Experts have listed more than 30 ecological, social, and cultural functions for green spaces, added Ksiri.
It is necessary to slow down Casablanca’s “rampant urbanization because its annual extension, estimated at 600 hectares, is enormous, without any policy for green spaces,” he continued.
Casablanca is “very far” from the 10 square meters per person rule set by the United Nations, explained the activist. The metropolis has more than 3.36 million inhabitants according to the 2014 national census.
The failure of achieving green projects to protect Casablanca “calls on elected officials to rethink public spaces, in coordination with the urban management agency and citizens,” suggested Ksiri.
The march for green spaces concludes a week full of activities organized by AESVT in several cities. The activities included debates, conferences, and reforestation campaigns, aiming to raise awareness about the importance of green spaces in urban areas.
The “Green Week” was also supported by the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Education, and the High Commission for Water and Forests.
For AESVT, raising collective awareness and developing civic engagement of citizens require the participation of institutional, associative, and media actors.