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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Disciplining the Metropolis: Grand Paris, Immigration, and the Banlieue

  • Author(s): Gonick, Sophie
  • et al.

Nicolas Sarkozy’s Grand Paris project seeks through both physical design and administrative reorganization to radically rework the French capital’s metropolitan area, including its infamous banlieues. In the first half of this paper, I examine the planning history of this “red belt,” tracing the rise of a discourse of securitization, penalization, and a racialized “ghetto-ization,” even while planning interventions attempted to bring economic prosperity and social integration to these neighborhoods through a disavowal of ethnic or cultural difference. In the second half of this paper, I examine the plans for the Grand Paris project, revealing the ways in which such star-architect, master-planning attempts do not in fact break with planning traditions, and instead contribute to differentiation and the disciplining of those populations deemed problematic by the Republic.

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