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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Effects of Globalization in the First Suburbs of Paris: From Decline to Revival?

  • Author(s): Albecker, Marie-Fleur
  • et al.

In the context of globalization, cities have come to the foreground and are now thought of as nodes in the global economic network. This evolution has had various consequences for urban regions, depending on whether one focuses on the centers or the peripheries. It has been beneficial to some areas, but detrimental to others. Urban territories are now experiencing various forms of growth and/or decline, whether demographic, economic, or social. This study aims to analyze the specific processes of decline and revitalization that have affected the cities, and to identify which part public policies have played in this respect.

In order to grasp the varieties of decline in these “first suburbs,” a typology based on socio-economic indicators has been elaborated, which differentiates between four types of evolution patterns for suburbs lying within urban areas faced with globalization. Some of those first suburbs have indeed managed to resist decline: one group uses globalization as a way to become part of the economic center and to attract wealthy households; the second group is confronted with simultaneous social decline and economic success; a third group consists of cities fulfilling a mainly residential function; and the last is made up of localities in transition between the above orientations.

This change of economic and social pattern can thus be seen as a revival, but its consequences are of particular note amidst a global crisis. The sustainability of such a revival must be questioned.

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