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Explorer ce qui fait bien-être dans son cadre de vie : une recherche ancrée dans le vécu des habitants de quartiers défavorisés en France.

Abstract : Regardless of our culture or way of life, we have to “live” somewhere, and for more than half of the world’s population, their life takes place in a city. Urban areas are attractive for many reasons, but they also concentrate many problems of pollution, poor health conditions and social challenges. Above all, it is clear that people do not benefit equally of good living conditions, and the distribution of urban quality reveals significant disparities. How then could we define what is a good living environment in favor of people’s wellbeing? Wellbeing is an ambiguous concept for which no unique and absolute indicator can ever be found, but the question of its assessment remains. Urban planning that designs and shapes the places we live in, public health with its definition of health as complete well-being, or philosophy that, since Aristote described what makes a life a “good life”, we have access to many ways of considering the concept of wellbeing. For epistemological and ethical reasons, we have chosen to study urban wellbeing starting from the people in their living environment. Our work focuses on the French designated “priority” neighborhoods, because of the spatial and social inequalities observed on those territories. This thesis is based on several participatory action-researches conducted with municipalities near Paris and La Rochelle about urban public actions and urban renovation programs. Our work is particularly underpinned by the realization of Health Impact Assessments (HIA) of two urban projects, for which we chose to experiment an open approach with the implication of municipal agents and local actors. The objective was also to research the conditions of collective learning about the links between health, wellbeing and urbanism. This work relies on literature data, but also on people’s experience of their living environment that we collected through ethnographical types of field survey. The stories that we gathered draw the attention to the relation between people and their neighborhood, and what really matters to them. They also enable us to understand the fact of living in a place as a total human experience, far from analytical approaches that tend to be compartmentalized into different predefined parameters. Inspired by relational sociology, we sought for regularities, forces and tensions in those different individual stories, and we argue that this enables us to overcome some of the difficulties that usually arise in concertation processes. It also enables to clarify the issues that the territory is facing, and to drive the discussions in the process of project assessment on the real experience of people in their neighborhoods. Finally, we have developed a heuristic framework to approach expressions of place attachment, that we considered as a proxy for wellbeing in this research. The categories that we found in the surveys (familiarity, integration, safety and comfort, control of one’s life, injustice, fulfillment) work together as a system and they differ completely from functionalist and utilitarian approaches that are still fully present in urban programs, public health or urban ecology. Studying the conditions of possibilities of place attachment and of the empowerment of people in their living environment opens very interesting perspectives to design and develop local policies, especially in the urban realm. Feelings of injustice are very present in the survey, and considering the real experience of people is the only way to understand where inequalities are experienced as unjust, an approach that we consider relevant to overcome the limits of a static analysis of inequalities based on statistics.
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Submitted on : Thursday, December 10, 2020 - 12:15:09 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, June 22, 2021 - 3:49:41 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Thursday, March 11, 2021 - 7:26:05 PM


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  • HAL Id : tel-03051773, version 1


Anne-Laure Legendre. Explorer ce qui fait bien-être dans son cadre de vie : une recherche ancrée dans le vécu des habitants de quartiers défavorisés en France.. Architecture, aménagement de l'espace. Université Paris-Saclay, 2020. Français. ⟨NNT : 2020UPASU004⟩. ⟨tel-03051773⟩



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