Socio-economic development of traditional housing units 
and rehabilitation of agricultural technologies
in the sixteenth-century Berber of Douiret

Tunisian Sahara
1997 - 2002


The project was aimed to environmentally and infrastructurally re-develop part of the sixteenth-hundred Berber village of Douiret (Government of Tataouine) in the Tunisian Sahara, between Libya and Algeria, nowadays almost totally abandoned. The ancient village became depopulated around the 60s following a modernization politics that made the population move into a new village. The ruins of the Kalaa (fortress) and of the most ancient buildings -among which the surrounding great walls- can still be found in the area.

The state of abandon and the lack of ordinary manteinance, together with the severe weather conditions contributed to the urban decay of the old core of Douiret.

The architectural restoring, increase of agricultural production and of local handicraft made the connection between development and existant social and cultural heritage possible.

The actions, aimed to the architectural renovation of Douiret, were realised by the Association Giovanni Secco Suardo under the direction of Prof. Walter Barbero of Politecnico di Milano and developed in 2 steps: in the first phase the aim was getting to know the sites though arctectural measurements (realised by the students of the school Luigi Einaudi – Rome), historic researches and monitoring of the state of deterioration. The second phase was characterised by the renovation of some abandoned buildings, using traditional construction and production material techniques and local workers.


An ethnografic museum and a hosting house for travellers (Relais) were opened in the buildings object of our action. They are run by the locals and the purpose is to make the historical heritage exploited in the form of cultural tourism, which is not invasive and respects the integrity and the identity of the place.


Project Coordinator

RC - Ricerca e Cooperazione(Rome - Italy)



ASNAPED Association pour la Sauvegarde de la Nature et de la Protection de l’Environnement de Douiret - Servizi Tecnici del Governatorato di Tataouine (Tunisia)

Associazione Giovanni Secco Suardo, project managing and realisation of architectural renovation (Lurano - Italy)

Scuola Luigi Einaudi (Rome - Italy)



Commissione Europea DGVIII





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