March 3 2010 | Anita Silva posted at Abitare.it March 1
How Urbanization can be defined and understood in relation to Iraqi Kurdistan?
When we discuss of urbanisation we look at the combination of economic, political and social factors that determine the growth and expansion of cities. We observe the ways in which these elements interplay, detect which are the main driving forces that produce the physical transformation of space and understand what the role is that people play in shaping their surroundings.
The study of urban development in Kurdistan is very interesting as it is deeply interconnected with its political history. The past three decades have seen in the Region a rapid expansion of the urban fabric and infrastructure. Hawler is a striking example in this respect, with an estimated annual population growth of 4,35% the city has boomed from about 90,000 inhabitants in 1965 to an approximate 1,3 million in 2010. Until mid 1970s the majority of Kurdish population was spread around the villages mainly leading a rural life, occasionally using the cities as vital knots of a larger network. The 1980s village clearance campaign conducted by the Ba’ath regime and the following wave of destruction during Anfal caused a massive mobilisation of people who were forced out of their lands and either relocated in the mujamma’at in the plains or compelled to move to bigger urban centres. These events caused a dramatic acceleration in the process of urban growth and shaped the face of contemporary Kurdish territory. (more…)