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The problems posed by the growth of Antananarivo did not escape the French governors-general, beginning with Gallieni. But it was not until the end of 1918 that an urban planning commission was created, and the Colonial architect, Géo Cassaigne, was given the task of presenting an overall plan for the planning and remediation Of the capital.
However, it was not until about ten years before legislation was finalized that, in particular, expropriation had to be carried out for public utility and sanitary control (1926-1928). Its implementation, initially left to the local budgets, can benefit during the economic crisis from the large colonial loan voted by the French Parliament in 1930.
One of the key ideas that inspired the plan was the specialization of the neighborhoods that had remained untouched. The group of administrative services, previously housed in old buildings that have become very insufficient, is continuing rapidly in Antaninarenina where the new Hotel des Postes is being built. Place Colbert (now Place de l’Independance) and its surroundings retain many shops, large hotels, banks.
But the center of trade remains in the south of Analakely, around the Zoma which undergoes a new metamorphosis. The project of a large metallic building, like the halls of Paris, is here dismissed. The disparate shops are replaced by contiguous and similar pavilions, lined up along cemented and specialized lanes, and abundant water is provided.
To the north of the Zoma, the avenue Fallières (modern avenue of Independence) is finally built in a modern style and imposed on all: simple lines, terraces, flowered pergolas, arcades-promenoirs and double windows forming bow-window. The largest buildings accommodate the municipal services descended from Andohalo. In the others, luxurious shops, offices of private companies.
At the same time, there are a number of high-rise buildings and garden-cities in Antanimena, around Mahamasina, along the streets, improved at great expense by earthworks, which wind up along the sides of the rock and lead to the high quarters and The valleys of the east.
“Increasing traffic demands constant care and adaptation
Difficult “(an anonymous columnist in the 1950s). Indeed, motorists are multiplying. The streets of the capital are home to many passing vehicles every day: in the Antananarivo region alone, about 9,000 cars are registered in 1948. Public bus services transport 120,000 passengers per month.
“That is to say to what heavy and patient work of road network the French engineers had to
To be attached to a site so rugged and where, for a long time, the regulation had given the authorities only a very inadequate weapon. Many intersections must be widened, which offer only too narrow a space for the tributary roads, to suppress innumerable dangerous projections: trees, poles, balconies and terraces, whole buildings not aligned. After the Analakely tunnel (Garbit), another one is pierced and put into service in 1938 under the Ambohijatovo pass (Ambanidia tunnel) to give easy access to the eastern districts.
But in spite of the progress made, the roads still form in 1950 a “network with too wide mesh”. Too many people live inside the blocks delimited by public roads. “The area of ​​the agglomeration is far from having grown as fast as the population. “
Nevertheless, sprawling suburbs extend along the main roads: to the west on that of Miarinarivo and the Abattoir d’Anosipatrana; Beyond Antanimena, that of Mahajanga; On the north, on that of Ambohimanga; And on the dam of Besarety which crosses the marshes of the east, in the direction of Toamasina. At the same time, the population crowded into the neighborhoods already inhabited at the end of the nineteenth century. Many Malagasy families, noble and commoners, subdivide to put up for sale their domains or build buildings to live the profits of the hiring.
The ancient hamlets nestled below the Rova, in the “hady” (ravines) tend to join together using the least natural or artificial flat. The houses also multiply on the eastern slopes of the Faravohitra rump. But it is around the shallows of Analakely and the railway station that the buildings proliferate most rapidly. The density per hectare exceeds in Isotry, Isoraka, Ambondrona, 200 and even 300 inhabitants.