The Transformation of the Suburbs

architects LAN
project Urban renovation of the Génicart District, Lormont, France
written by Dominique Boudet


Since 2003, two years before the crisis of the suburbs that confirmed the urgency of the situation, French public authorities have put in enormous efforts in the transformation of the socially most delicate neighbourhoods. The national programme of urban renovation makes the gross investment in the amount of 45 billion euros, which is covered by the municipalities and residential departments, but it is also, in the amount of 12 billion euros, subsidized by the state. Financial engagement is coordinated with the goal: radical transformation of limited neighbourhoods, encouragement of their development aspirations towards normal city areas with diverse activities and a residential function, realization of good public space and opening of the suburbs towards the centre of the city. The execution of these projects demands a lot of time (estimate of the urban and social situation, financial package, urban and architectural competitions), but their realization initiates the change of the look of the suburban area.