Social mix strategies in urban renewal: paradoxical effects ? [VF] / Christine Lelévrier
Social mix strategies in urban renewal: paradoxical effects ? / Christine Lelévrier [version avec traduction simultanée en français]. In "Mixité : an urban and housing issue? Mixing people, housing and activities as urban challenge of the future", 23ème colloque international de l'European Network for Housing Research (ENHR), organisé par le Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire Solidarités, Sociétés, Territoires (LISST) à l'Université Toulouse II-Le Mirail, 5-8 juillet 2011.
Plénière 4 : Approaches, pratices and challenges of mixité in different urban contexts, 7 juillet 2011.
Social mix is a powerful category of housing and urban policies in France. The idea that urban and social diversity is a condition for a “balanced” and “peaceful” city life is not new and almost as old as urban planning and social housing. But, the strength of this notion has increased since the middle of the 1990’s. As in other countries, (the French) national government and local authorities consider social mix as a condition for community cohesion and social inclusion, a sort of public answer to poverty and ethnic concentration in cities and more recently, as a principle for sustainable development and territorial equality (Fenton, Turnstall, 2006). As in other countries as well, housing and especially social housing on one hand, area-based policies on the other hand, are the main public tools for implementing social mix strategies. In 2003, an ambitious urban renewal programme, focused on deprived neighbourhoods and based on housing diversification, followed up the debate about perverse effects of social mix strategies applied to poor areas.
- Are urban renewal strategies successfull at diversifying housing and population in the neighbourhoods ?
- Does social diversification mean more social capital and social interactions in the neighbourhoods ?
- What are the benefits from urban renewal for the inhabitants, the “outsiders” and the “managers” of those neighbourhoods ?
The findings from research conducted since 2004 highlight two mains processes of change: re-clustering and fragmentation (Lelévrier, 2010). Those urban and social effects could be seen as paradoxical ones, in reference to social mix public attempts, proceeding from a holistic and dualistic spatial representation of the city and the neighbourhood: instead of mixing, urban renewal just displaces poverty and instead of reenforcing cohesion, it enhances boundaries and distance between social groups. But the assessment could be different if the new private small residences are the opportunity for the “neighbourhoods children”, part of them coming from the immigrant families, to upgrade their residential careers and stay in the familiar neighbourhood while being able to keep social distance… Those changes encountered not national but local social housing managers -a way to stabilize “good tenants”, as well as private one- a way to endow their investments.
> La communication est traduite en français par Mme Solange Hibbs (directrice du Département Centre de Traduction, d'Interprétation et de Médiation linguistique (CETIM) de l'université Toulouse II-Le Mirail).