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03.20.14 – Aziza Chaouni presents a 2014 TED Talk on her efforts to uncover the Fez River in Morocco

Assistant Professor Aziza Chaouni presented a TED Talk on March 17th at the Vancouver Convention Centre. The civil engineer and architect who focuses on creating sustainable, built environments in the developing world, spoke about her work to uncover the once-polluted Fez River that runs through her hometown of Medina, the walled inner-city in the capital of Fez, Morocco. The project addressed the ecology of the river as well as social and economic concerns of the city.

Chaouni’s talk was covered in The Vancouver Sun.

She convinced the city’s engineers and politicians that uncovering the ancient river, cleaning it of trash and removing parking lots that had usurped the old pedestrian walkways along the river banks, would vastly improve the lives of the Medina’s residents.

You would have to study the long history of Fez, with its colonial French overtones, to understand how the city, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, had become so polluted and car-driven.

Chaouni said in an interview that it dismayed her that in the Medina there are absolutely no parks.

“My grandmother can remember that there once were orchards between the city and the walls, and on Fridays, which were holidays, she and her family would go and picnic in the orchards,” she said. “Today that is all gone. Do you know that in the Medina, there are zero parks, and yet there is a population of 50,000 children?”

For the full article, visit The Vancouver Sun.