Cities on the global real estate marketplace: urban development policy and the circulation of financial standards in two French localities
Departing from localized accounts of the role of local governments in the financialization of the built environment, this article outlines their contribution to the process through increasing attendance at global real estate fairs such as the Marché international des professionnels de l’immobilier (Mipim), where they showcase investment opportunities. Following urban political economy approaches centered on the transcalar intermediations of financialization, Mipim is conceptualized as a site of the circulation of the expectations of investors that involves spatial and temporal dimensions. Based on a comparison of two local authorities in France, namely the Grand Lyon metropolitan authority and Saint-Ouen municipality, the article examines the motives, modalities, and outcomes of their attendance. If both committed to the event despite opposite political agendas, the impact of Mipim has been more significant in the case of the Grand Lyon, where the metropolitan authority adjusted not only the type of showcased projects over the years, but also their content as well as its local planning strategy. The article explains why and how, and discusses under which conditions Mipim is not a mere display showcase, but instead can actively contribute to the adjustment of urban space and governance to the requirements of financial markets.
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