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Fabriquer la ville avec les lotissements : une qualification possible de la production ordinaire des espaces urbains contemporains ?

Abstract : This thesis analyses the contemporary modalities of the production of residential allotments (lotissements) in France, as well as the morphological quality of urban spaces produced in this operational framework. It questions the paradox between the almost unanimous criticism directed at these residential developments, on the one hand, and the observation of exemplary developmentoperations on the other hand. It explores the conditions under which this modus operandi can produce urban spaces with morphological qualities. The residential allotments are considered from a dual perspective: as a material space, by studying the quality of the urban fabric; and as a process, by analysing the functioning of the collective action systems composing it.From a theoretical perspective, this work makes use organisational sociology tools (sociologie des organisations) by crossing of the Strategic Analysis inputs (Crozier and Friedberg) with those of the Economies of Worth (Boltanski and Thévenot). The understanding of the development’s materiality draws on the “frames” approach (approche par trames) developed around the notion of urban fabric by the French school of urban morphology. The thesis relies on qualitative and comparative analysis of four case studies located in urban agglomeration of Lyon.Firstly, it shows that there is no morphological fatality. The fabric analysis of these four projects proves that this modus operandi is not doomed to produce mediocre urban spaces. This demonstration draws on a prior conceptualisation of the notion of morphological quality, considered as a social convention.The analysis of subdivision laws (droit de lotir), in the broader context of regulatory changes in the field of urbanism and town planning in France, then shows that the impact of sustainable development regulations is, at least indirectly, to increase the quality of the residential allotment. Legal changes have indeed created a context that encourages a stronger reflection on development location by the project manager (maître d’ouvrage) and probably also a greater building density.Nevertheless, laws cannot provide a full explanation. The decisions regarding morphology are made at three key moments: when the planning laws (droit des sols) are defined, when the planning approvals (autorisations d’urbanisme) are delivered and when developments are designed and programmed. The analysis so reveals that the municipal stakeholder potentially holds an important power over the regulation of the urban form. Local planning therefore has a significant impact on the developments’ fabric, although experience shows that this impact is most often negative. In the interaction with private stakeholders, whether they are the developers (lotisseurs) and their designers (concepteurs), or the inhabitants-project managers (habitants-maître d’ouvrage) and their builder (constructeurs), the municipality has many resources at his disposal to influence the projects quality. In this respect, this thesis highlights the central role that partner institutions play in this power relation, particularly for smaller municipalities. At these different moments, the aptitude of public regulation for improving quality depends on one essential variable: the political commitment of the stakeholders. Finally, the quality of the residential allotments also depends on a further element; whether or not the developers have a sense of morphological responsibility. Developers indeed maintain a room for manoeuver regarding morphology. Their behaviour at the conception level is consequently also decisive for the quality of the developments’ fabric.
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Submitted on : Friday, December 15, 2017 - 3:18:50 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, March 23, 2021 - 1:52:03 PM


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  • HAL Id : tel-01665105, version 1


Lou Herrmann. Fabriquer la ville avec les lotissements : une qualification possible de la production ordinaire des espaces urbains contemporains ?. Histoire. Université de Lyon; Université de Lausanne, 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017LYSE2026⟩. ⟨tel-01665105⟩



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