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Renewal and 'Deverticalization' in French Social Housing: The Emblematic Case of the Rhône-Alpes Region

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The renewal of social housing districts is a process currently underway in a large part of Europe. As the European country with the greatest concentration of tower and slab blocks known as grands ensembles (large housing estates), France has since the early 2000s pursued a policy of large-scale demolition-reconstruction that specifically targets large buildings – notably towers – dating from the period 1965-1974. The latter are now diagnosed as poorly adaptable and badly inhabited in light of the concentration of poor populations in them. In this paper, I provide an assessment of this policy aimed at banalising and 'deverticalizing' social housing districts. For this purpose, I focus on the Rhône-Alpes region, an area fairly representative of the national urban renewal programme that accounts for about 10 per cent of the neighbourhoods concerned.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2018

More about this publication?
  • Built Environment is published quarterly in March, June, September and December. With an emphasis on crossing disciplinary boundaries and providing global perspective, each issue focuses on a single subject of contemporary interest to practitioners, academics and students working in a wide range of disciplines. Issues are guest-edited by established international experts who not only commission contributions, but also oversee the peer-reviewing process in collaboration with the Editors.

    Subject areas include: architecture; conservation; economic development; environmental planning; health; housing; regeneration; social issues; spatial planning; sustainability; urban design; and transport. All issues include reviews of recent publications.

    The journal is abstracted in Geo Abstracts, Sage Urban Studies Abstracts, and Journal of Planning Literature, and is indexed in the Avery Index to Architectural Publications.

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