Activity transversal to the Community of Competence on Metropolisation and to the Community of Competence Tomorrow's Habitat

territoires-periurbain 3A city for all made by all !
The future of social contract in the scattered city

International Seminar organized by the City of Vaulx-en-Velin and INTA, in collaboration with ENSAL (National School of architecture of Lyon), ENTPE (National School of Public Works of the State) and the UNESCO Chair Urban policies and citizenship. 5-6 December in Vaulx-en-Velin, France

This seminar is part a full week programme organized together with the City of Givors and Brignoles:
- 5-6 December: international Seminar "A city for all, made by all"
- 7 December: Social and Solidarity Economy Forum of Vaulx-en-Velin
- 8 December: 30th anniversary of La Cité des Etoiles of the architecte Jean Renaudie: Utopias done?

Today, global development is linked to the development of cities. By actively participating in the growth of contemporary society, cities, local governments and their economic partners, are major agents of social change, locally and globally.

Nowadays, urban development is a relentless process due to the continuous search of performing territories worldwide. The multiple interactions of actors, geographical scales and functions draw the components of a living, productive and cultural space that goes beyond the administrative limits - the metropolitan area.

However, this concentration of economic, political and social activities, creating wealth, and economic and cultural influence is also the root of a worsening of social segregation, exclusion and relegation. They are growing to the point of challenging the "social contract" by the juxtaposition of "societies" who oppose or who often prefer to ignore each other.

One response to this crisis is embodied in the "city policies", ie public policy of social and territorial solidarity. However, while the framework of "urban policies" remains the one of urbanity, what emerges today with increasing force are issues that concern the relationship between urban and rural areas. The same issues that call into question the  "social contract" are stressed but refer to the relation metropolis/periphery.
These issues are raised in a particular way in the suburban area that, according to the definition given by Eric Charmes: "... has an essential feature: it is a space of urban dynamics, since its growth is clearly related to the proximity of a metropolis. But at the same time it keeps its own identity, something quite close to the order of the rural".

Those territories between rural and urban dimension are struggling to find their place in the process of metropolisation. It shows a gradual withdrawal of public services and favorable conditions for the development of social relations and activities. We are witnessing a decline in the "Republican conquest of territory"; territorial solidarity being undermined by the concentration of development and services in the most efficient territories as the metropolitan heart, to the detriment of its periphery.
So we see in these suburban areas different forms of breaks, bursts: a gradual creation of the "scattered city": a political fragmentation, the landscape fragmentation and the social and economic disintegration.

Among those issues emerging from these assessments, three themes seem to structure the present challenges on this territory and will therefore be the heart of our discussions and our work:

1. The right to the city put into question
How the challenges of urban surrounding areas, in this "scattered city", put into question the notion of the "right to the city", contents and representation being different from the citizens' point of view of rural and suburban areas?
2. Which voice for the inhabitants
How to build the conditions for the involvement, reappropriation and citizen participation within the context of the "scattered city"?
3. Which solidarity among territories
How to build solidarity between territories, encourage local practices by offering integrated services and infrastructures made by the municipalities and their communities?
How to foster the partnerships among communities when their peculiarities and their ways to relate to the metropolitan poles are so different?

As regards this activity all CCmembers are invited to contribute. Interested?
Visit the dedicated website to upload your contribution and position papers!

For more information please contact the Secretariat to be part of the debate!


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International Urban Development Association

A global membership association of urban policy-makers and practitioners to share knowledge, experience and tools for integrated territorial development.  // READ MORE