The territory of Antananarivo has the luck of being a virgin and unspoiled territory whose theoretical urban development can be predicted. «The city can be read» one might say. One can see how it has spread towards the plains and along the banks of the river. Today, as the city is growing again, new problems arise and planning rules are necessary, without which this rare habitat will be eaten away. The challenges are firstly to create a town centre with a strong identity, to highlight its heritage, to fundamentally restructure certain neighbourhoods and to channel its future development.
The Green Plan therefore proposes to return to an urban logic based on geography and landscape. But Antananarivo’s urban development should not be carried out without drawing on its fundamental economy: rice-growing resources.
Indeed, the great agricultural flood plain seems neglected by a certain lack of understanding about this historical area. This plain, which has been irrigated by a river through a levee system since the 17th century, is currently being taken over by urbanisation: filled in and denied.
The continuation of this trend would seem to present dangers as heavy rains could also flood the lower city. Thus, upgrading the historic centre and making it attractive again is also a way of highlighting the importance of the agricultural plain, central to Antananarivo.
The Green Plan incorporates the elaboration of a charter to protect the green and agricultural spaces (rice paddies) present in the heart of the city. But the Green Plan, a tool for city’s development and embellishment, is also an experiment in social, economic and cultural development. Above all it is a public health tool based on natural and community techniques to support the development of the city in its urban expansion, as well as in its territory.
It is thus founded on «fair» development and on the controlled exploitation of the island’s unique biological wealth (animal and plant) and Malagasy craftsmanship.