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Theses

Derrière le "ghetto", la centralité minoritaire : le rôle de la présence commerciale dans un quartier d'habitat social en rénovation

Abstract : This thesis analyzes the role of commerce in a large underprivileged district. In particular, it evaluates the capacity of a local shopping centre, which some public actors aim to destroy, to be a place of opportunity for its inhabitants. To do so, the thesis approaches commerce as a “total” social system, by multiplying the points of view, including planning, urban design, economic, social as well as political perspectives. Commercial polarities of French large social housing estates have, since the 1970s, experienced a decline in their commerciality. This evolution is generally explained by various factors, including the impoverishment of the neighbourhoods in which they are located, or the deployment of hypermarkets on the outskirts of French cities. Architectural and urban design errors are also questioned, especially the disconnection of these places from pedestrian and motorised traffic. At the same time, following the population dynamics within large suburban complexes, the image of these commercial polarity has become ethnicized. From there, urban renewal in disadvantaged neighbourhoods is generally accompanied by major urban transformations and the introduction of regulatory tools. However, some of the commercial polarities involved in urban renewal are economically healthy with important sales figures, low vacancy rates and low turnover. This is notably the case of the commercial polarity of the Mas du Taureau in Vaulx-en-Velin. This thesis thus proposes to understand how this suburban shopping area has been able to adapt.The thesis begins by exploring the resilience capacities of the Mas du Taureau retailers and shopkeepers and their economic development strategies. Those strategies are based on a regime of mutual knowledge and a dense network of sociability. Besides, the shopping centre has been able to radiate on a metropolitan scale. Indeed, the survey shows that the good economic health and high sales of the shopping centre exceed the standards of proximity polarity. The thesis therefore analyzes the main factors that allowed this unplanned shift from proximity polarity to metropolitan shopping centrality. The latter type of centrality is sustained by a bi-weekly market and numerous sedentary businesses (butcher's shops, bakeries, restaurants) that radiate out over a vast quadrant of Lyon metropolitan area. The attractiveness of the Mas du Taureau shopping centre makes it a minority center approaching the standards of "super diversity", a concept introduced in 2007 by Steven Vertovec. It appears that the shopping centre's ability to attract customers from outside the neighbourhood is based on a game of "ethnic" specialisations full of make-believes. However, the thesis focuses on a few locally trained entrepreneurs and ethnic markers that give the Mas du Taureau's commercial offer an image of minority centrality.Finally, the thesis examines the point of view of local public decision-makers. They often perceive this market space through the prism of communitarianism, leading to new forms of public regulation. The commercial polarity is thus administered by powerful management tools that place it at the centre of a lasting tension. As of today, the economic success of Mas du Taureau commercial polarity is not acknowledged by local public actors and its maintenance is minimal. Through the analysis of the current urban renewal project, the thesis shows the representations of local actors that underlie the project to destroy a dynamic shopping centre in order to rebuild another one with an uncertain future.
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Nabil Zouari. Derrière le "ghetto", la centralité minoritaire : le rôle de la présence commerciale dans un quartier d'habitat social en rénovation. Géographie. Université de Lyon, 2020. Français. ⟨NNT : 2020LYSE2022⟩. ⟨tel-02938121⟩

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