Michel Écochard was
chosen to elaborate a new urban plan for Dakar and Cap Vert in 1963, and after three years of studies, he submitted
a preliminary design proposal. It was drawn up in the expectation that Dakar
would continue its steady growth and reach a population of 1.2 million by 1980.
His plan endorsed the urbanisation of the existing areas of SICAP, Grand Yoff
and Pikine, trying to integrate those left behind by the “Haussmannisation” of
Dakar. Taking up the principles of the Charter of Athens, he proposed a
complete urbanisation of the peninsula to the Isthmus of Thiaroye. The plan limited the eastward expansion of
Pikine along the “neck” of the peninsula and foresaw the joining up of Pikine
and Dakar through development of areas with an average population density of
200 inhabitants per hectare.
The plan envisaged the renovation of the old city and the
construction of large areas of small houses for the middle classes joining up
the urban poles of Pikine and the SICAP-HLM areas. Two main circulation axes were foreseen defining a residential zone
along the coastal fringe and enabling a move south for the commercial and
business centre. He envisaged farmlands to the north of the peninsula being
developed into plots for economical housing with blocks structured as
neighbourhood units around primary schools, while the maritime areas were to be
developed for tourism, with industrial zones along the coast from the port to Thiaroye.