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De la Poudrerie nationale de Toulouse au Cancéropôle La catastrophe d'AZF dans les dynamiques territoriales d'un espace industriel urbain (1850-2008)

Marion Cauhopé 1, 2 
1 RIVES - Recherches Interdisciplinaires Ville, Espace, Société
ENTPE - École Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'État, CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique : UMR5600
Abstract : AZF factory blast, in Toulouse, France, on September 21, 2001, deeply questions the status of hazardous activities in urban areas. It challenges more precisely land-use patterns supported and claimed as legitimate by the industry. In our dissertation, we consider the disaster, as well as discourses about space it creates, and the new balance of power it reveals, as core starting points to analyze the relations between urban society and the chemical industry. The study goes back to the creation of an explosives factory in the mid-nineteenth-century. The material and symbolic effects of the disaster are thus considered in perspective to the spatial dynamics at work in a damaged urban area, in a long-term temporality. The ONIA, an ancestor of the AZF factory, appears as most emblematic of these changes. During the post-war period, it was considered a flagship company for Toulouse and its metropolitan area. Due to evolutions of industrial projects, themselves related to urban sprawl and renewed environmental concerns, it entered in a cycle of gradual decline, which ended up with AZF factory definitively closed in 2002. Lively debates about the future of chemical plants then opened new perspectives on the definition of urban renewal projects for damaged industrial areas. Prospects for an heath and research cancer center finally took shape with the Toulouse Cancer Campus. The project stands as a central piece of the post-AZF disaster reconstruction. It clearly reflects a break with the industrial past of Toulouse, as it proposes to re-enroll damaged areas into the urban and economic development perspective, closely related to the vision of a "winning" metropolis.
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Marion Cauhopé. De la Poudrerie nationale de Toulouse au Cancéropôle La catastrophe d'AZF dans les dynamiques territoriales d'un espace industriel urbain (1850-2008). Géographie. Université Toulouse le Mirail - Toulouse II, 2011. Français. ⟨NNT : ⟩. ⟨tel-00853946⟩

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