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Penser la ville en décroissance : pour une autre fabrique urbaine au XXIe siècle. Regard croisé à partir de six démarches de projet en France, en Allemagne et aux Etats-Unis

Abstract : Within the methodological framework of the academic research, this study focuses on the urban development specific to shrinking cities. This interest raised from a broader interrogation on the professional practice of urban architects and the making of the city ongoing in this early XXIth century, with regards to contemporary debates about cities that are resilient, economical, self sufficient toward ecological, socio-economical and political crises. The shrinking city offers thus an interesting framework to study architects-urban planners reactions to such contexts and constraints adaptation. Furthermore the German programm Shrinking Cities and the reflexions raised by the German architect and researcher Philipp Oswalt have been a trigger component. He claims that the shrinking city was a new playground to explore new architectural and planning thoughts. He demonstrates it from a gathering of experiences around the world. Today, we suggest to follow this reflexion and raise the following issue: which lessons are to be learned from those experiences for today’s professional practice and imagine the city of tomorrow ?From this initial questioning, we took for granted that those new ways of seeing architecture and urban project (concepts, architectural languages, urban shape, etc.) lead to new leaving standards territories (uses, urban patterns, landscape, leaving conditions, etc.), changing thus the making of the city in this beginning of XXIth century. Indeed, those processes would be influential in the identification of favourable lands for a reasoned gestion of the city and the development of new tools and acting processes imagined by architects and urban planners.To answer to our hypothesis, we focus more specifically on projects initiating a deep mutation of the urban fabric, on its form and its uses that we would call here urban reshaping. Our analysis is based on six processes meant to be “innovative”, realized or no, one of them being built by inhabitants. They illustrate this practice in different shrinking cities since the 20 past years. Those case studies are located in different urban fabrics contexts to illustrate the diversity of situations that one can be facing. In parallel of two French case studies (Saint-Etienne, Livradois-Forez), we will observe other experiences in two foreign contexts, pioneers in terms of local initiatives and urban policy: Germany (Halle-Neustadt, Dessau) and the United states (Detroit). The diversity of projects, in terms of approach and scale does not constitute a comparative study. We suggest instead a more relevant approach consisting in questioning them to understand the political, socioeconomic and environment consequences on the process of project making and the capacity of those projects to initiate a transformation of urban fabric and of the city.Our goal will be to understand the originality and specifies of those initiatives, but also potential contributions to the contemporary debates on the city and its evolutions. This approach seeks bringing a prospective dimension about the shrinking city.
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Charline Sowa. Penser la ville en décroissance : pour une autre fabrique urbaine au XXIe siècle. Regard croisé à partir de six démarches de projet en France, en Allemagne et aux Etats-Unis. Architecture, aménagement de l'espace. Université Grenoble Alpes, 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017GREAH018⟩. ⟨tel-01691677⟩

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