Green spaces between water shortage and greed for urban sprawl, supported by fierce speculation: case study, the City of M'sila

Lahcene Hadj Hafsi, Boudjamea Khalfallah, Djamel Alkama, Salim Dehimi


Water and green spaces have an existential, sometimes conflicting, relationship with urban sprawl, especially in regions with arid climates. Both are important elements of the urban composition that provide psychological and sanitary comfort and are economically, socially, and ecologically necessary for the population. By green space, we mean fruit trees and the cultivation of cereals and vegetables, which represent the main economic resource for the majority of the population of the city of M'sila. Our research aims to highlight the impact of the drop-in water from the Ksob dam. The only source of irrigation for climatic and management reasons, on the degradation of green spaces and their transformation into bare land without economic value, then into nurseries for urban planning. The consequences of the directives of the urban planning master plan (PUD 1976) are certainly catastrophic; water, demography, urban planning, and the future of the agro-pastoral vocation and green spaces of the city of M'sila. The data available and the technique used allowed us to include the period from 2017 to 2021. The numerical data shows the upward curve of urban expansion from 3,401.67 hectares to 3,969.28 hectares, the reduction of green spaces from 7,732.68 hectares to 3,802.77 hectares in just five years. There is similar trend for water which is reduced from 30 million m3 in 1972 to 3 million m3 in 2021, ten times less in 40 years. These figures reflect the seriousness of situation.

Key words: water, green spaces, urban sprawl, urban composition, ArcGIS, Ksob dam, M’sila

© 2022 Serbian Geographical Society, Belgrade, Serbia.

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Serbia.

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