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Mopti, a city between earth and water, urban analysis and proposals for development

Published on 20 July 2011 - Updated 31 August 2011
Cet article date d'il y a plus de 10 ans

This document created by Mission Val de Loire seeks to bring to light coherent principles for development of the municipality of Mopti in Mali, based on the findings of urban analyses carried out during the “Territorial management of and preservation of heritage in river corridors” project concerning the Niger and Mekong Rivers, and in part during the “Niger Loire: governance and culture” project. The work relied on a participative process at the Municipality’s invitation, and it is to be hoped that it will be continued, based on the proposals for plans and scenarios put forward.

The results of a participative process

The consultations carried out in Mopti took the form of four successive debates held in 2010 and 2011 on themes touching upon development and increasingly narrowed down as the participative process took its course. At the invitation of the Municipality, these debates – dubbed “think-tank workshops” – brought together from forty to a hundred or more participants: elected officials from the Municipality, district chiefs, NGO representatives, and technical management personnel from local authorities – Municipality and Regional Assembly – and decentralised State departments. 

The initiative enabled pinpointing of participants’ expectations and, beyond that, revealed the many different points of view in evidence and the convergences of opinion among them. 

The Mission Val de Loire team participated in order to provide technical support and as an observer. 

A matter for debate

The proposals for plans and scenarios put forward do not go to make up a fixed and finalised city-planning project. They rather endeavour to give shape to the fruits of public consultations and field analyses spread out over a number of years. But they have not yet all been made public in the form in which they appear here. 

It is therefore one of the publication’s objectives to disseminate them in the hope that they will provide matter for fresh discussions. It is to be hoped that such discussions will lead to development of these proposals, putting forward suggestions for study in greater depth and for modifications based on practical experience, and which will most certainly be major in scale. 

Beyond this, it is to be hoped that the initiative will act as a primer for active dialogue on the city’s development between its inhabitants and their elected representatives, which could only result in the improvement of operational projects. The time is right, as, if they so wish, local government officials will be able to make use of some of the document’s content to help them in the drawing up of a new Ten-Year Plan for Development of the Urban Municipality of Mopti (PDC – 2012-2021). 

Work to be continued on a wider scale

It should be emphasised that the work in question focuses on Mopti’s “river districts”, of which Sevare forms an extension on “terra firma” beyond the easily flooded plain. Development of these two urban centres – the “river districts” and Sevare – that go to make up the city of Mopti must therefore go hand in hand. It is impossible to think of developing the one without taking account of its relationship with the other. 

Nonetheless, analysis of the problems specific to development of Sevare – and to the outlying districts of the neighbouring Municipality of Socoura – has only been marginally touched upon by the work in hand, as priority has been given to the old districts bordering the river. 


The document will also form the subject of an upcoming UNESCO publication. 

The two cooperation projects that led to the drafting of the document were completed in 2011. You can find their results online. 

On this website:


© ABFPM / Olivier Sampson


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