The Source Bleue, the Urban Courtyard 


The rehabilitation of the Source Bleue has brought a site for significant, intimate, and shared experience to the community and visitors. This study has enabled a “rereading” of the Source Bleue through the senses, emotions, and bodily experience. The assembly of the different forms of sonic thresholds alongside the social practices has revealed the sonic affordance of this space and has helped a new figure for rehabilitation of contemporary oasis cities to emerge.


This place does not correspond to the stereotypical image of the city center as a place of incessant animation. On the contrary, it is a haven of peace in which one can take pleasure in sharing a listening experience of the sound of the water; in this open-air cocoon, women settle down, little children play, people chatter – evoking the image of an inner courtyard of a Mediterranean house. In urban planning documents, they call such spaces public spaces, public gardens, or historical centers. The approach by the ambiances and more precisely by the sonic thresholds studied here highlight a new element within contemporary oasis urbanity: with this new insight I therefore propose the figure of the urban courtyard.