Peri-Urban Pressures: The Interplay of Land Strategies and Urbanization in Algeria’s Oran Metropolis




Urban Sprawl, Land Strategies, Peri-urban Development, Urbanization in Algeria, Land Use Planning, Spatial Governance, Socioeconomic Impacts of Urban Sprawl


In contemporary times, the worldwide trend of urban expansion has become an inexorable force. This article engages in a comprehensive examination of the intricate dynamics surrounding urban sprawl and land utilization within the peri-urban regions of significant Algerian municipalities, with a specific focus on the city of Oran. Employing a methodology rooted in social geography, this study deploys a trio of investigative approaches: documentary analysis, spatio-temporal scrutiny of peri-urban domains, and in-situ field investigations to shed light on the intricate intricacies of land ownership dynamics in the context of urban sprawl. The swift development of the Oran metropolis, along with its manifold ramifications, underscores a profound disconnection between the aspirations of political stakeholders and the unfolding urban milieu. This article accentuates the pivotal role of land as a coveted resource profoundly influencing the contours of emerging urban regions. In response to these emerging challenges, Algeria must adopt integrated land and urban planning strategies that foster harmonious and sustainable urban development. This necessitates a comprehensive vision for metropolitan regions, a departure from sectoral planning that subordinates agriculture to industrial and urban considerations, and the formulation of efficient and coordinated urban planning instruments. Within this intricate nexus of urban and rural development, the urban sprawl's encroachment upon rural landscapes mandates a strategic approach to attain equilibrium and coherence within the urban fabric.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Dr. Hayette Nemouchi, Research Centre for Social and Cultural Anthropology (CRASC), Oran, Algeria

Hayette Nemouchi is a geographer with a doctorate from the University of Caen Normandy in France. She is currently serving as a researcher in the "cities and territory" division at the Research Center in Social and Cultural Anthropology in Algeria. With nearly 20 years of experience, Nemouchi has extensively worked on land issues and their role in the construction and transformation of both rural and urban territories. Utilizing a social geography approach, she seeks to elucidate the spatial impact of social practices on land resources. Her research themes include land and development policies, land governance, urban and rural development, metropolization, and the city-countryside relationship. In her prior work, Nemouchi has examined land transformations and the related systems of actors in Algerian rural areas, along with urbanization processes near Algerian cities. She has contributed to international projects on agricultural sustainability in the Mediterranean basin (2011) and is actively involved in ongoing research concerning urban issues and women's access to real estate.


Antoni, J.-P., & Youssoufi, S. (2007). Étalement urbain et consommation d'espace. Étude comparée de Besançon, Belfort et Montbéliard[Urban sprawl and space consumption. A comparative study of Besançon, Belfort and Montbéliard]. Revue Géographique de l'Est , 47(3).

Arab, N., & Dang Vu, H. (2019). Acteurs et systèmes d’acteurs de la production de la ville, quoi de neuf? [Actors and systems of actors in the production of the city, what's new?]. Riurba(8), pp. 1-8. Récupéré sur

Azzouzi, A., & Harkat, M. L. (2019). La planification urbaine en Algérie : réformes et blocages, [Urban planning in Algeria: reforms and obstacles]. Droit et Ville(88), p. 275-293.

Bendjelid, A., Hadeid, M., Messahel, A., & Trache, S. M. (2004). Différenciations sociospatiales dans les nouveaux espaces urbanisés d’Oran, [Socio-spatial differentiation in Oran's new urban areas]. Insaniyat (23-24), pp. 7-44.

Benkada, S. (2001). Un demi-siècle d’extension de l’espace périphérique oranais, à travers quelques exemples de politiques d’urbanisation (1948-1998), [Fifty years of peripheral enlargement in Oran, some urban experiences (1948-1998)]. Insaniyat(13), pp. 95-104.

Berezowska-Azzag, E. (2012). Projet Urbain, guide méthodologique. Volume 2: Comprendre la démarche du projet urbain, [Urban Project, methodological guide. Volume 2: Understanding the urban project approach]. Collection Urbanisme, EditionsSynergie, Alger.

Bessaoud, O., Pellissier, J.-P., Rolland, J.-P., & Khechimi, W. (2019). Rapport de synthèse sur l’agriculture en Algérie, [Summary report on agriculture in Algeria]. Montpellier: CIHEAM-IAMM. Récupéré sur

Blanchard, S., Estebanez, J., & Ripoll, F. (2021). Géographie sociale. Approches, concepts, exemples, [Social geography. Approaches, concepts, examples]. Malakoff, Armand Colin, coll. « Cursus » . France.

Boumaza, N. (2006). Villes réelles, villes projetées: Fabrication de la ville au Maghreb, [Real cities, projected cities: Making the Maghreb city]. (M. &. Larose, Éd.) Paris.

Bousmaha, A., & Boulkaibet, A. (2019). Planification foncière et espaces agricoles périurbains en Algérie. Cas de l’agglomération de Skikda, [Land use planning and Periurban agricultural areas in Algeria. A Case study of the Skikda conurbation]. Développement durable et territoires [Online], 10(3).

Damon, J. (2011). L'urbanisation mondiale en perspective positive[Global urbanization in positive perspective]. Etudes, pp. 739-749. Récupéré sur

Denis, E. (2009). Les sources récentes de l'observation foncière urbaine dans les pays en développement[Recent sources of urban land observation in developing countries]. Etudes foncières(139), pp. 33-36. Récupéré sur

Freeman, L. (2001). The Effects of Sprawl on Neighborhood Social Ties: An Explanatory Analysis. Journal of the American Planning Association, 67(1), pp. 69-77.

Hasse, J. E., & Lathrop, R. G. (2003). Land resource impact indicators of urban sprawl. Applied Geography 23, pp. 159–175.

Kadri, Y., & Madani, M. (2015). L’agglomération oranaise (Algérie) entre instruments d’urbanisme et processus d’urbanisation, [The Oranese agglomeration (Algeria) between urban planning instruments and urbanisation processes]. EchoGéo [En ligne](34).

Kahn, M. E. (2000). The Environmental Impact of Suburbanization. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 19(4), pp. 569-586.<569::AID-PAM3>3.0.CO;2-P

Kateb, K. (2010). Transition démographique en Algérie et marché du travail[Demographic transition in Algeria and the labour market]. Confluences Méditerranée(72), pp. 155-172.

Louafi, O. (2019). The Phenomenon of Mobility, a Development Challenge for the City Of Algiers. Journal of Contemporary Urban Affairs, 3(2), pp. 144-155.

Maachou, H. M. (2008). Conflits d'usages et dynamiques spatiales; les antagonismes dans l'occupation des espaces périphériques des grandes villes en Algérie, cas d'Oran, [Conflicts of use and spatial dynamics: antagonisms in the occupation of peripheral areas of large cities]. Bulletin des sciences géographiques, (21), 23-28. Récupéré sur

Maachou, H. M., & Otmane, T. (2016). L’agriculture périurbaine à Oran (Algérie) : diversification et stratégies d’adaptation, [Peri-urban agriculture in Oran (Algeria): diversification and adaptation strategies]. Cahiers Agricultures, 25(2).

Missoumi, M. A., Hadeid, M., & Desponds, D. (2019). Jeux d’acteurs et fragilisation de l’agriculture périurbaine dans l’agglomération d’Oran (Algérie)? [Actors Games and Weakening of Suburban Agriculture in the Agglomeration of Oran (Algeria)]. Études caribéennes [En ligne](43-44).

Monnet, J. (1997). Pitié pour les grandes villes ! [Pity for the big cities!]. Cybergeo: European Journal of Geography [Online] Current issues, Les grandes villes [the big cities], document 16, p. 3. Récupéré sur

Nemouchi, H. (2008). Le foncier dans la ville algérienne. L'exemple de Skikda[Land in the Algerian city. The exemple of Skikda]. L'Information Géographique, 72(4), pp. 88-100.

Nemouchi, H. (2009). La question du foncier agricole en Algérie: pratiques foncières/pratiques sociales. Le cas de Salah Bouchaour (nord-est algérien), thèse de doctorat, [The question of agricultural land in Algeria: land practices/social practices]. Université de Caen Normandie.

Nemouchi, H., & Zeghiche, A. (2021). Oran : des terres agricoles sacrifiées pour un urbanisme sauvage, [Oran: agricultural land sacrificed for wild urban development]. Belgeo [Online](1).

ONS. (1966). Recensement Général de la Population et de l’Habitat (RGPH), [General Population and Housing Census].

ONS. (2008). Recensement Général de la Population et de l'Habitat (RGPH), [General Population and Housing Census].

Sahraoui, L., & Bada, Y. (2021). La planification urbaine et la gestion foncière en Algérie : quelle durabilité ? Cas de la ville de Blida[Urban planning and land management in Algeria: what sustainability? Case of the city of Blida]. Cybergeo: European Journal of Geography [En ligne], Aménagement, Urbanisme, document 968.

Saidouni, M. (2003). Le problème foncier en Algérie : bilan et perspectives, [The land problem in Algeria: assessment and prospects]. Villes en parallèle (36-37), 134-153.

Semmoud, B., & Ladhem, A. (2015). L'agriculture périurbaine face aux vulnérabilités foncières en Algérie, [Periurban agriculture faced with agrarian vulnerabilities in Algeria]. Territoire en mouvement Revue de géographie et aménagement [En ligne], 25-26.

Signoles, P., Cattedra, R., Legros, O., Iraki, A., & Barthel, A. (2014). Territoires et politiques dans les périphéries des grandes villes du Maghreb, [Territories and politics on the periphery of major cities in the Maghreb]. (Karthala, Éd.) Paris.

Trache, S. M. (2010). Mobilites Residentielles Et Periurbanisation Dans L’agglomeration Oranaise, thèse de doctorat, [Residential mobility and periurbanisation in the Oran conurbation,doctoral thesis ]. Université Oran2.

United Nations. (2015). World Urbanization Prospects: The 2014 Revision, (ST/ESA/SER.A/366). United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. Récupéré sur

Zeybekoğlu Sadri, S. (2020). City, Urban Transformation and the Right to the City. Journal of Contemporary Urban Affairs, 4(1), pp. 1-10.

Zouani, R. (2016). Les instruments d’urbanisme entre textes législatifs et réalité pratique. Le cas des POS a Bir El Djir. Mémoire de fin d’études, [Urban planning instruments between legislative texts and practical reality.The case of POS in Bir El Djir. Graduation thesis]. Université Oran2.




How to Cite

Nemouchi, H. (2023). Peri-Urban Pressures: The Interplay of Land Strategies and Urbanization in Algeria’s Oran Metropolis. Journal of Contemporary Urban Affairs, 7(2), 1–19.