How Does Housing Shape the Social, Cultural and Urban Landscape? Comparing Urbanism and the Built Environment Among Cities in France with Contrasting Profiles

Monday, 16 July 2018: 10:50
Oral Presentation
Maxime JAFFRÉ, CNRS - Centre Norbert Elias, France
The city has long been theorized and considered by urban planners and public official as the place for economic growth and production. Hence, housing has often been defined as a utilitarian solution to enable workers to live in proximity of their workplace. However, in recent years, some urbanists and social scientists have analyzed the city from another perspective. They emphasize “amenities” and “consumption” pattern as new drivers of urban dynamics and development. From these new analyses, the city is no longer defined solely as a “workplace” but as a place where people can also live, play and entertain themselves. These new theories put at the center of the analysis housing and residential choices as new transforming drivers redefining urbanism and the place where we live.

How are housing and residential forms related to urban amenities and facilities in the city? How does housing shape and influence the social, cultural and urban landscape? And how do the physical aspects of housing and residence relate to these social and cultural patterns? Should the quality of housing only be defined by the proximity to the workplace? Or do urban amenities and facilities also impact the built environment? Finally, what kind of housing environment favors or disfavors the development of urban amenities such as restaurants, shopping facilities, boutiques, cultural scenes and social life?

Using an original national data file, this paper aims to compare the housing environment in different French cities. By comparing different databases, our methodology permits analysis of over one hundred variables about housing in French cities, combined with data about urban amenities, and socio-economic characteristics of citizens.