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Theses

Réseaux urbains et services aux entreprises en France métropolitaine et à la Réunion

Abstract : For half a century the service industries to firms and corporations have grown extensively in the metropolitan France cities. Their growth has also been important in Reunion island, but it was triggered off in the 1970s, since a transition period was necessary when the sugar producing economy changed into a service economy. In tune with the productive system of the service sector, these services reveal the urban dynamics associated with the cycle of contemporary innovations. Nowadays, these dynamics are an integral part of the metropolisation process characteristic of the biggest cities. Indeed, whereas in the 1950s Paris had supreme authority, a relative decentralisation has occurred to the advantage of the bigger cities of regional urban networks. This has contributed to the territorial integration of Reunion Island. Is it a new generation of cities that constitute a specific group in urban systems? Does Reunion, the French overseas department, follow these contemporary logics? Does her distance from continental France and her colonial past constitute an insurmountable handicap? Do the principles of urban and economic organisation of continental France imply the continuity of regional spaces or do they allow some territorial discontinuity? Firstly, this thesis reveals the current understanding of service industries to firms and corporations. In order to interpret the connection between the producer services and the urban and economic development, we must turn our attention to the different forms of urban centrality. The christallerian and metropolitan centralities are specially used by the logics of spatial organisation of service providers. Their impact on the urban network in continental France or in Reunion island is analysed in relation to their interurban diffusion from the 1960s to the 1970s. An analysis of a variety of maps illustrating different rates of urban growth reveals the state of diffusion and the urban areas selected. On the scale of continental France, the service providing companies contribute to stepping up urban hierarchy as they always give priority to the biggest cities. In Reunion island, the diffusion of producer services is only thirty years old but has been very fast and intense. Like in continental France, the hierarchic structuration of urban network plays a main role. In the context of a relatively young urban network, the diffusion of service providers participates in increasing the complexity and the hierarchisation of centers and peripheries. In spite of the large difference in size between the urban networks of continental France and Reunion Island, the importance of Paris and Saint-Denis in their respective urban network reveal similar patterns at a national and regional scale. Finally, the carrying out of about one hundred and fifty interviews with research, adviser, and consultant service providers located in the south west Paris basin, and Reunion Island, discloses the actors logics and how they depend on the existing urban hierarchy in order to expand their business and elaborate strategies on many geographic scales. These strategies are developed through a network organisation. On Reunion island, although the network of firms are more simple they follow the same logics as on the mainland and often implant themselves within the enterprise networks of continental France, particularly in Paris. The interurban diffusion scheme and the organisation of service providers show that there's a scale integration of the regional Reunion level to the national French urban network despite long distance between Reunion island and continental France. But at the same time Reunion island remains relatively isolated in the Indian ocean area.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, June 16, 2004 - 3:36:53 PM
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Laurence-Marie Sabatier. Réseaux urbains et services aux entreprises en France métropolitaine et à la Réunion. Géographie. Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, 2002. Français. ⟨tel-00006274⟩

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