Écochard’s first contact with Port-Lyautey, now called Kenitra,
in his position as head of urban planning, was the consequence of a fire in
1946 that ravaged slums with up to 20,000 inhabitants. He noticed at that time
it was the quickest-growing city in Morocco and could profit from a policy of industrial
decentralisation. His plan for the city involved extending westward with a middle-class
residential quarter while a district of Moroccan
housing was to complement the medina in
the East close to industry planned for near the port.