Urban study of the city of Mazari Sharif in the Balkh province of Afghanistan
January - March 2008
The objective of this study is to analyse reconstruction assistance in the urban context of the provincial city of Mazari Sharif.
Mazari Sharif plays an important role in Afghanistan. It is situated to the north of Kabul on the other side of the Hindukush mountain range and is accessible by means of the Salang Tunnel, situated at an altitude of almost 4000 m. It is not far from the border in the North with countries like Tadjikistan. It has always been an attractive city.
The problems with which the city is now faced are indirectly linked to the conflicts in Afghanistan. The influx of refugees has disturbed the structure of the city internally and at its periphery. The total lack of urban management which has existed in Afghanistan for several decades means that the city now lacks infrastructure.
Similarly to Kabul, Mazari Sharif has 70% of informal housing and new privatised neighbourhoods. As a result property has become a critical issue.