Capital of the Oran wilaya, at the edge of the Gulf of Oran, the city of Oran was founded in 1902 by the Andalusians, is also referred to as "the Radiant City” and is located on the coast 400 km west of Algiers. It has a population of 700,000 inhabitants (a total of one million including the surrounding suburbs), making it the second largest city in Algeria. Oran is a major port city, a cultural crossroads and the birthplace of Raï music.
The Strasbourg / Oran partnership agreement signed in April 2015 covers the following areas:
- promote the city's heritage through urban development,
- youth and citizenship,
- the environment and improved living conditions,
- administrative training in areas that meet the needs and requirements of both parties.
What Oran and Strasbourg have in common:
- the desire to place heritage at the core of the city's ongoing development: highlight and teach inhabitants about the outstanding features of their cities and neighborhoods (multi-culturalism, the urban plans that give rise to the modern city, etc.);
- an attempt to go back to roots of our cities: the sea in Oran, the Rhine in Strasbourg;
- the need to build on and support the associations that are best placed to encourage the inhabitants to take up the challenges of sustainable cities (heritage, urban ecology, etc.);
- the need to reduce the gap between academia and the world of project sponsors/policymakers; build bridges to enable students to understand the operational issues and policymakers to learn from these reflections.
Contacts have been made between ENSAS (National School of Architecture) and the Oran USTO Department of Architecture to forge a partnership following on from the first urban project workshop that brought together students and teachers from both cities in November 2016.
The AMSED association (the Migration, Solidarity and Sharing for Development Association) is currently working with its Oran partners on a number of projects involving young people from both cities along with the PasSages association which is at the root of a range of cultural projects with Oran. This type of initiative encourages strong involvement by citizens in the partnership in both Strasbourg and Oran.