Tanger - Salalah: Globalising 'Regional Cities'
PD Dr. Steffen Wippel
The research project compares the two port cities of Tangiers (Morocco) and Salalah (Oman) that are both developed into the biggest container hubs in the Middle East and North Africa. Both cities are taken as gates and interfaces between inside and outside and as nodal points in the worldwide net of human and material flows that are continuously reconfigured by human action. Outbound economic activities, development planning measures and repercussions of these outward-oriented functions on intra-urban conditions will be studied. A special focus will be placed on the multitude of involved individual and collective as well as local and external actors who concentrate their activities and interests on these two places, as well as on their regional orientations and their ideas of an adequate economic and political order which are linked to that. These actors will also be of interest with regard to conflicts and to administrative and decision structures that serve for achieving their goals in development and infrastructure planning. Several, intimately linked, systemic and spatial scales will be included in the analysis. With that the project meets the need to study economically important processes of regionalisation and globalisation not only on the national state level, but also in smaller regional or local contexts.
The research project will probably be combined with a complementary project at the Department of Arab World Economy and Social Geography at the Oriental Institute of Leipzig University on "Between the Arab World and the Indian Ocean: Oman's Regional Economic Orientations".