Paper presented at the XXXIII IAHS World Congress on Housing, 27-30 September 2005,"Transforming Housing Environments through Design", University of Pretoria.
The Old City of Tripoli, famous for its long history and heritage architecture, was subject to great rapid urban growth. This growth happened beyond the old city walls, but it brought about fundamental changes within its physical environment and its residents’ views towards living in traditional towns and in traditional houses. New urban developments sprung up almost everywhere around the old city, disturbed the socio and economic living pattern of the old city residents and caused most of them to move out. The old city’s residents who sought “better” living in suburbia and other areas outside the old city abandoned their houses to “illegal”* immigrants who came to the country looking for work and better earnings. These immigrants found in the houses of the old city a cheap, if not free, accommodation. Few of them were paying rents or utilities. Moreover, they inhabited the old city houses in large households. Many dwellings housed more than one family. The old city is facing great challenges; overcrowding, deteriorating buildings, and lack of adequate infra-structures are some examples. There is a need to review the current status of housing within the old city of Tripoli. The houses of the old city could have reduced the problem of housing shortage if government policy and housing programs included them in the planning phases. The paper aims at shedding some light on the problem of illegal immigrants and on the current condition of houses within the old city of Tripoli. The objective is to reach some recommendations that can be helpful for outlining a strategy for enhancing the quality of living environment within the old city to make it a nice place for living for both local residents and migrants.
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