Marota City, in Damascus, Syria, a new city represents an example of upcoming post-conflict urban regeneration. In a country were more than 1.7 million homes are destroyed or damaged, 6.3 million people are internally displaced and a further 5 million are out of the country. It is a reconstruction on land where more than 50 thousand people once lived.
The city covers an area of 2,149,000㎡ and is being built over a south-western neighbourhood called Basateen Al-Razi that grew up on farmlands over the past decades as poorer Syrians moved in from the countryside and built unlicensed housing.
It is a reconstruction on land where more than 50 thousand people once lived.
The city includes Towers and buildings vary from luxurious residences, shops, hotels, hotel apartments, restaurants, cafes, financial institutions, banking, health specialist, cultural services and distinctive and upscale educational schools that take into account the green architecture. High level of luxury and enjoyment of exercise, jogging and cycling within the spaces and paths and tracks dedicated and quiet, spacious and large gardens and water lakes, musical fountains inspire and provide a stroll and enjoy the family.
What a Dream City!
After Nine years of war have left large portions of Syria’s main cities destroyed. The conflict that started out as a popular uprising in 2011, has caused more than 370,000 deaths, has led to the forced displacement of over half the population and has pushed an estimated 5.6 million Syrians into exile. By the end of this conflict, the time has come to the reconstruction process on ruins.
“Not rebuilding what has been destroyed but razing it to the ground and replacing it with something entirely different,” Czech-Syrian architect Lynda Zein tells Equal Times.
Marota City was launched by the government, which meant to be a new construction project in 2012 as part of a modern ‘master plan’ for urban development far from traditional patterns of informality in housing that had developed over generations.
Decree 66 defined multiple phases of the Marota City Plan that extend over a period of four years (2012 – 2016) and ends in the delivery of alternative housing.
Companies like Damascus Cham Holding, which manages the major reconstruction projects like Marota City and Basilia City, are based on this law.
Damascus Private joint venture, owned by Rami Makhlouf and his close associate and composed of Ramak for Development and Humanitarian Projects LLC and four other companies, also obtained a contract worth SYP 25.9 billion (USD 50.2 million58) to develop real estate in the Marota City project.
It assumed to be the blueprint for future reconstruction across the country, Human rights groups warn that Law 10 effectively lays the blueprint for dispossessing countless displaced Syrians—including millions of refugees currently in neighboring countries and beyond.
Marota means sovereignty in the Syriac language. In any case, this language is no longer spoken since the sixteenth century, the name is not familiar to the public or even to the world, nor does it reflect the aspirations of Syrians, built on the ruins of people homes who were displaced and fled from the scourge of war.
The architectural style is totally incompatible with the local architectural style, although modernity is important but without losing the identity of the place, Marota City is designed for a small elite of wealthy people who are not concerned about the real situation in Syria.
Moreover, Marota city increases the degree of spatial and socio-economic inequality, where in a country with more than 1.7 million homes are destroyed or damaged, 6.3 million people are internally displaced and 5 million more are out of the country there is no need for luxurious residences, shops and hotels with no room for ordinary Syrians.