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Summer Break 2011

Metropolitics is on vacation. Publications will resume on September 12th. In the meantime, we propose a selection of papers published since November 2010. Enjoy reading, and have a nice summer !


- Why Build New Housing?
by Jean-Claude Driant, 28/01/2011

Can building more houses solve the housing problem? Jean-Claude Driant shows that a simple quantitative approach does not fulfill the different housing policy goals set by the State. Rather than rejecting the analysis based on the “housing chain”, he suggests new ways to make it more reliable.

- Suburbanization as a Project
by Martin Vanier, 06/04/2011

Experts and policies fail to recognize the contradictions that urban sprawl creates and rarely go beyond directives. Perhaps the right questions aren’t being asked. Rather than calling to limit the growth of these territories, thought of as being “without qualities,” Martin Vanier pleads for a suburban project.

- Homosexual City, Homophobic Banlieue?
by Éric Fassin, 09/03/2011

Is homophobia prevalent in social housing projects? Is sexual orientation the new divide between civilizations? Éric Fassin shows how condemning sexism in the banlieues not only reinforces the opposition between “us” and “them,” but also contributes to fueling it.

- “Ghetto”, “banishment”, “neighborhood effects”. A critique of the “ghetto” image of French housing projects
by Pierre Gilbert, 23/03/2011

Are residents of French housing projects really “banished” to their neighborhoods and kept in “confinement” there? Does living there have nothing but adverse effects on their integration into society? Pierre Gilbert argues that empirical studies to date fall far short of bearing out this portrayal of French housing projects as “ghettos”. And yet this very “ghetto” image has served as the basis for the overhaul of urban policy over the past decade and the ensuing urban renewal program in France.

- ¿Cómo integrar el ferrocarril en la ciudad? Algunas reflexiones desde el caso español
por Luis Santos y Ganges, 13/04/2011

Los espacios ferroviarios intraurbanos ¿acaso están condenados a ser fronteras y barreras en la ciudad? A partir de la crítica del caso español, el autor propone algunas pistas para la integración del ferrocarril en la ciudad, las cuales ofrecen una perspectiva interesante de los principios que rigen las actuaciones llevadas a cabo en suelos ferroviarios en Francia, como la ordenación del Jardin d’Éole en París.


- New Orleans: The Post Katrina Years
by Jean Samuel Bordreuil & Stéphane Tonnelat, 25/05/2011

How to keep track of a city’s recovery after an environmental catastrophe? Metropolitics sheds light on some of the collective actions that have fed debates and helped the inhabitants rebuild New Orleans after the flooding caused by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.


- Corridors of exile: A worldwide web of camps
by Michel Agier, 25/11/2010

Urban anthropologist Michel Agier describes how Europe controls migrant populations, keeping them “locked out” of our cities. He also shows how a new, quasi-urban realm is painfully emerging inside the camps themselves.

- Arab Cities in Revolution: Some Observations
by Éric Verdeil, 25/02/2011

Are the revolutions we are currently witnessing in Tunisia and Egypt essentially urban revolutions? Éric Verdeil examines the problems facing the economies and public services of Arab cities, which have, in part, given rise to these movements.

- The (mis)measurement of periurbanization
by Anne Lambert, 11/05/2011

(Peri)urban sprawl is unanimously decried as a cause for economic, environmental and social concern. And yet defining the phenomenon itself is a complicated undertaking that significantly affects the measurement thereof.

- The Ladies Kingdom and Its Many Uses. A shopping mall in Riyadh for women only
by Amélie Le Renard, 30/03/2011

The frenetic development of Riyadh in Saudi Arabia is unveiling new and unexpected urban realms, including a shopping mall for women only: the following is a look at a public space liberated from the constraints of social control – and consecrated to consumption.

- Alternative views and uses of money. Local Trading Exchange Systems in France
by Smaïn Laacher, 01/12/2010

Still largely unknown, Local Exchange Trading Systems (LETS) are interesting alternatives to free market dominance. How do they work and what are their social and political goals?

- The city is sustainable development
by Jacques Lévy, 09/02/2011

After unraveling the divergent conceptions of the relationship between “nature” and “society” that underlie the debate about sustainable development, Jacques Lévy argues that the compact city is the best way to reconcile the economic, social and ecological aims of sustainability in a rapidly urbanizing world.


- « Placemaking »: a new approach to designing and managing urban public spaces
an interview with Kathy Madden and Fred Kent, 23/11/2010

Based in New York City, PPS or "Project for Public Spaces" is an innovating urban planning and design company at the forefront of the contemporary trend of advocacy for better public spaces around the world. Though they regard Paris as an inspiring example, they also suggest ways to enhance the role of its public spaces towards more lively and more economically sustainable neighborhoods.

- The Geography of Financial Crisis
an interview with David Harvey, 22/12/2010

David Harvey is a leading figure of the marxist critique of neoliberalism. During his last stay in France, in October 2010, he answered a few quick questions on his relationship to Paris, on the geography of the financial crisis and on utopia and social movements.

- Zwischen Stadt und Land – die Zukunft unserer Metropolen
von Thomas Sieverts, 16/03/2011

Als Thomas Sievert vor zehn Jahren Zwischenstadt, zwichen Ort und Welt, Raum und Zeit, Stadt und Land, veröffentlicht hat, tat er dies in der Absicht, den städtischen Charakter einer im Entstehen befindlichen Realität zu erfassen, die Wirklichkeit der « Zwischenstadt ». Er kommt hier auf den Begriff die « Zwischenstadt » zurück und wirft die Frage nach seiner Gültigkeit in Hinsicht auf die Entwicklung der neu entstehenden urbanen Gebieten auf.

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To cite this article:

The Editorial Board, “Summer Break 2011”, Metropolitics, 20 July 2011. URL :

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Journal supported by the Institut des Sciences Humaines et Sociales (Institute of Human and Social Sciences) of the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS)