Le centre rénové de Saint-Denis : l'échec d'un projet de mixité sociale ?

Abstract : Based on a study of the social evolution of the renovated centre of Saint-Denis, a town in the inner suburbs of Paris, this paper analyzes the process of social transformation of a suburban neighbourhood where middle-class households, during the last three decades, have been in large part replaced by working-class households. It relays both on a statistical analysis of the neighbourhood’s population and its evolution, and a survey conducted through questionnaires and interviews with inhabitants and local actors. This work aims at demonstrating that the two major figures described in most urban research works—gentrification, on the one hand, and pauperization and ghettoization on the other—tend to oversimplify the complex and non-linear reality of urban change. The paper emphasizes the specific dynamics of a social housing neighbourhood in a city centre. It shows that, three decades after it has been designed and built as a social mix project, this neighbourhood is characterized by a population which tends to remain slightly different from the rest of the social housing population: it includes more “small middle class” households and less distressed families. Through the analysis of the practices and representations of the inhabitants, it demonstrates that this neighbourhood, although it has lost most of its initial social mix, is still defined by its identity and by specific forms of social cohabitation and local anchorage.
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Submitted on : Monday, November 20, 2017 - 6:28:51 PM
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Jeanne Demoulin, Alexandre Alsaint, Marie-Hélène Bacqué, Christine Bellavoine, Anne-Charlotte Canet, et al.. Le centre rénové de Saint-Denis : l'échec d'un projet de mixité sociale ?. Lien social et Politiques, Anjou, Québec : Éd. Saint-Martin ; Rennes : Presses de l'EHESP, 2016, pp.85-102. ⟨10.7202/1037903ar⟩. ⟨hal-01640548⟩

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