Widening of the socio-spatial divide within the Paris conurbation: long-term trend and effects of crises

Authors: Didier Desponds*, University of Cergy-Pontoise
Topics: Social Geography, Urban Geography, Regional Geography
Keywords: Metropolisation, Residential strategy, Socio-spatial specialisation, Filtering process, Spatial inequalities, Consequences of the crisis
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Marriott Ballroom Salon 1, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The recent French elections in May 2017 have revealed a deep divide between the conurbation where the centrist Party of E. Macron obtained high polls, and the outskirts where the far right leader, M. Le Pen, often came to the fore. These results have generated, not only in Paris but also in all the principal cities of this country, a new political geography that depends partially on population density, but primarily on social profile and on the unemployment rates in each location. There is a gap between the places of residence of the “winners” of the current globalisation and those of households facing social challenges. This paper aims to promote an understanding of the socio-spatial processes that are contributing to increasing the divide between households based on their social profile. Although these filtering processes are rooted in the distant past, the study begins in the 70s. At that time, industrial firms were mostly located in the conurbation, and the proportion of Blue Collar workers who lived in the conurbation was higher. From the 90s to date economic changes and social changes have gone hand in hand. However, this deep divide was widened by the economic crisis of 2008, which affected the various segments of activity differently. Some of them, particularly industrial activities, have been weakened, while other activities continue to generate jobs and strengthen their position.

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