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English summaries edited in

Numéro 97 Décembre 2004

Renouvellements urbains

Marc Bonneville
The Ambiguities of Urban regeneration in France : promulgating Continuity or rupture ?

Figuring in the title of a recently passed
law, the notion of urban regeneration
is now part of urban planners’ everyday
vocabulary. For all that, the notion
remains vague, applying both to initiatives
labelled as social urbanism and
to the more banal activity of property
reinvestment, occurring at a different
rate from one place to another. The first
type of urban regeneration has so far
not succeeded in breaking with the process
of marginalization, while the risks
entailed by the second type of making
social and spatial inequalities worse are
hard to evaluate.

Nicolas GateauLeblanc, Romain Paris
The Economy of Urban Regeneration

The deregulation of property development
since the end of the postwar boom
period in France has come up against
the volatility of the markets, especially
as regards office space. The much
soughtafter partnership between the
public and private spheres that was to
finance the regeneration of abandoned
sites has not always materialized as
quickly as had been hoped. The slow rate
of return on investments and the issue
of risksharing has left the management
of operations up to public initiative.

Rachel Linossier, Sarah Russeil, Roelof Verhage, Marcus Zepf
Effacing, Conserving, Transforming, Valorizing
Cyria Emelianoff
Do social housing estates have the right to exist?

The Case of
Leipzig’s Grunaü District
Home to Germany’s third largest social
housing estate, the Grunaü district in
Leipzig is badly run down, with many
of its buildings left empty. Given the
upheaval of the German economy,
there are not the funds necessary to
make the district more attractive. Local
opinion is split between those who
want to renovate the district and those
who want to raze it.

Michel Bonetti
When transforming large social housing estates risks going wrong

Views differ as to whether urban regeneration
is a matter of heightening the
existing urban character of large social
housing estates, of seeking to improve
them patiently over time or, yet again,
of simply demolishing them. The more
radical solutions meet with unexpected
results, especially when the issues
of daytoday maintenance and the
inhabitants’ own views are not sufficiently
taken into account. A practical
sociology attentive to the ways in which
social housing estates vary in respect
of history and site tends to call into
question the most onedimensional
largescale projects.

Naji Lahmini
Demolishing Social Housing : The Case of Grande Synthe

Grande Synthe is a working-class commune
on the outskirts of the Dunkerque
conurbation with a rich social
and architectural history. The demolition
of a number of tower blocks marked
an important stage in its renovation,
yet the transformation of the built
environment has had little effect on the
crucial issues of employment and social

Thomas Kirszbaum
The Theory and Practice of Integrating Immigrants : The Example of Major Urban

In a context of severe social fragmentation,
the legal notion of urban renewal
is, above all, meant to coordinate
public policies of republican integration.
Local initiatives to curb the drift
towards communitarism come up,
however, against the refusal of social
diversity. Major urban development
projects show how difficult it is to make
social aid and urban regeneration coincide.

Jean-Yves Toussaint, Sophie Vareilles, Monique Zimmermann
Consultative Urban Development in the Greater Lyon Area : Inhabitants’ Involvement in Urban Renewal

The numerous local debates assembling
public and private actors in the
Greater Lyon area today are confronted
with the functionalist heritage of a strict
division of living space. Over the last
few years, the City of Lyon has backed
gatherings of public groups presenting
development projects. Inhabitants’ opinion
is formed in the prism of these
voluntary assemblies.

Isabelle Chesneau
The Renewal of Office Buildings in the Ile-de-France

The Renewal of Office Buildings in the
Office construction in Paris and its
inner suburbs during the post-war
boom period gave rise to the tertiary
city. The economic crisis of the following
years led to a situation of overproduction
that triggered off a process
of adapting to the demand through operations
of demolition and reconstruction.
The demand for office space is
closely correlated to changes in
employees’ relation to their workplace,
which has become more flexible and
less central than during the Fordist era.

Simon Guy, John Henneberry
Pockets of Development in Britain : The Diversity of Real-Estate Strategies

While the capitals of rich countries are
singled out by a characteristic type of
internationally influential urban planning,
property investments in less pivotal
cities bank more on local history and
memory. This results in the emergence
of original configurations which contribute
to redefining identity in a way
more in keeping with the surrounding

Gilles Novarina, Paola Pucci
Urban renewal in France/Regeneration in Italy

French-style urban renewal aims at
completely overhauling districts considered
as socially marginal, while Italian-
style urban regeneration strives to
turn districts plagued by economic and
social deterioration into more attractive
and agreeable places to live in. The
French way of doing things seems to
be more imperious and the Italian
more contractual. In the first case,
public institutions coordinate the activities,
while in the second, public and
private actors collaborate in the
concrete development of areas.

Rachel Rodrigues-Malta
A Metropolitan Showcase on the Docks : Southern European City Ports

The revitalization of the world maritime
economy has prompted the great
Mediterranean ports to undertake
urban planning projects restoring the
prestige of their cities. Local authorities
in partnership with State administrations
take the initiative when they
are sure of finding private investors who
will take on the project. The projects
that are under way today may be seen as
huge ventures of cultural seduction.

Jérôme Dubois, Maurice Olive
Euroméditerranée : Negotiations at All Levels ; The State, Promoters and Property-Owners in a City in Crisis

Combining local initiative and national
concord, the Euroméditerranée project
in Marseilles is aimed at giving the
port’s economy a boost and at regenerating
the north of the city, socially and
culturally. The public and private partners
engaged in a myriad of operations
at different levels are able to negotiate
within the public company responsible
for the project. Public activity remains,
however, dependent on propertyowners
and investors who do not want
to anticipate the future.

Catherine Bernié-Boissard
Three Forms of the Post-Fordist City : Nîmes in Competition with Montpellier

Signalling the end of modern utopias,
the notion of urban renewal revives
the reformist conception of repairing
a fragmented Polis. As a place of
consumerism and the creation of
styles, the post-Fordist city is wagering
on the role of imagination and symbols.
Creative events constitute the
nodal points of networks of actors and
cities seeking to make a name for

Élise Roy
The Acculturation of Urban Wastelands : Transitional Territories in Nantes

By serving as artists’ studios as well as
housing and services for people in a
precarious situation, former industrial
sites in Nantes are being kept viable
while waiting to be called to a new function.
These provisory installations act
as a professional springboard for young
artists who are institutionally marginalized.
The socio-economic status of
these projects is not sufficiently stable
for them to be transferred from one
district or city to another.

Susan S. Fainstein, David Glastone
The Development of Urban Tourism : American Examples

Urban tourism is a subject of debate
between specialists in the United
States. For some, it breeds social
inequalities and changes culture into
a commercial commodity, while for
others it gives a boost to the urban economy
and allows access to different
forms of culture worldwide. Yet, behind
the controversy, there is something
more universal at stake, which remains
as yet not well known.

Pascal Amphoux
Footloose in the City
Dominique Couret, Bezunesh Tamru
The Risk of Spatial Segregation in Addis Ababa

The development of services, jobs and
facilities in the Ethiopian capital, Addis
Ababa, is becoming a major issue in
the fight to prevent the risks of famine
in the country. The investments that
have been granted to construct a
modern and visually pleasing centre
might also lead to the marginalization
of the most vulnerable parts of the
population and make spatial segregation
worse. Traditional housing could
be taken advantage of to allow a more
controlled and equitable urban development
that would rely less on an
indebtedness to international moneylenders.