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Beyond the “revanchist city” : when public policies softly support gentrification in the name of social mix. The case of Inner Paris

Abstract : From the very beginning of his work on gentrification, Neil Smith has stressed the role of public policies in this process (Smith, 1979). After Philadelphia, Smith analyzed New York public policies in the nineties as revanchist policies that clearly supported gentrification (Smith, 1996), which led him to conceptualize gentrification as a general urban strategy. This chapter presents the case of public policies in Paris since the accession to power of the leftwing Socialist Party and discusses the concept of a “revanchist city”. I argue that not only do revanchist or neoliberal policies support gentrification, but also that inclusive discourses on social mix and the promotion of public social housing can also foster gentrification, without meeting with any resistance. Although the city of Paris is not widely known for its gentrification, this process of social and urban conquest of working-class neighborhoods by a new middle class was well advanced in 2001 when a leftwing Mayor was elected. The new Mayor, Bertrand Delanoë, set a new goal for city planning: promoting social mix in every part of the city. This emphasis placed by Delanoë on social mix in each public address was held up as a complete departure from the rightwing policies of the past. The main policy that was perceived as contrasting with the past was the revitalization of public social housing. Since 2001, the policies of the Left in Paris have been characterized by strong public action and by the promotion of a mixed city shared between diverse social and ethnic groups, generations and genders. However, this chapter demonstrates that theses policies are only a ‘soft’ way of fostering gentrification, and that we need to deconstruct this promotion of ‘social mix’. References: Smith, N. (1979). Gentrification and Capital: Practice and Ideology in Society Hill. Antipode, 11(3), 24–35. Smith, N. (1996). The New Urban Frontier: Gentrification and the Revanchist City. London; New York: Routledge.
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Contributor : Anne Clerval Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, December 5, 2017 - 4:43:27 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, January 15, 2022 - 4:03:28 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-01656481, version 1



Anne Clerval. Beyond the “revanchist city” : when public policies softly support gentrification in the name of social mix. The case of Inner Paris. Abel Albet; Núria Benach. Gentrification as a global strategy: Neil Smith and beyond, Routledge, pp.177-189, 2017, 978-1-13-823425-3. ⟨hal-01656481⟩



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