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Paris und die Ile-de-France: räumlicher Wandel im Bevölkerungs- und Wirtschaftsgefüge; (mit besonderer Berücksichtigung von Altindustriestandorten)

Paris and Ile-de-France: spatial changes in its population distribution and economic pattern
[journal article]

Pletsch, Alfred

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Abstract Paris is often considered as being the crown jewel of France, and this for good reasons. However, a more careful look reveals serious social and economic conflicts in the city and its environs. To find solutions to these, a regional planning scheme was put in place in 1965 describing the outlines of a new administrative and functional pattern of the Ile-de-France. Ever since, the region has been subdivided into three administrative zones, the City of Paris, the Interior and the Exterior circle. Within these zones, population development between 1954 and 1996 was as follows: in the City of Paris: decline from 2,83 to 2,13 million, in the Interior circle: increase from 2,73 to 4,06 million, in the Exterior circle: increase from 1,74 to 4,84 million. Today's total population is just about 11 million. Continuous residential relocation from the city-core towards the periphery has taken place over the last decades. Similar shifts can be observed in many other respects. They are particularly obvious in the field of industrial relocation. Traditionally, industrial plants were highly concentrated in the city area of Paris. With regard to relocation, one has to diffentiate between intraregional and innerregional movements. Intraregional shifts were very frequent between 1954 and 1981, when almost 4,000 industrial plants with an average of 150 employed left the Ile-de-France in order to establish new units elsewhere. Most of them remained, however, within a radius of 200 km around Paris. Innerregional relocations where much less important in number, but if they took place, it was mainly to the profit of the Interior circle. As a consequence, important areas of former industrial plants and their neighbourhoods fell vacant or deteriorated. A striking example is the Plaine Saint-Denis at the northern edge of the City of Paris. On the initiative of the national government it was here that a new Stadium (Stade-de-France) was being built on the occasion of the world soccer championship 1998 in order to promote the area and to generate economic linkages. Whether or not the development will be sustainable has to be seen in the future. For the time being it was very obvious that unemployment rates within the Departement Seine-Saint-Denis rocketed to the peak for the whole region once the construction of the Stadium had been finished. This case stands somewhat as an example of structural problems Paris has to struggle with. Especially the outskirts of t he city very often encounter social tension, high unemployment rates and unsufficiant means to satisfy daily life's needs. Today, more than a quarter of the total population of the region lives in social housing. At the same time, high standard housing and office space remains empty because of decreasing demands. The drop of activities in the field of construction is a logical consequence in this situation. In comparison to other metropolises , Paris can certainly not claim the pool position on the European scale, unless it manages to overcome its handicaps within the near future. Prestigeous operations such as the construction of the Stade-de-France may not be sufficient.
Keywords France; metropolis; capital city; urban geography; town; urban development; structural change; population; population development; economy; economic development (on national level); enterprise; change of location; internal migration; out-migration; industry; tertiary sector; redevelopment; residential area; world championship; soccer; influence; conflict potential
Classification Population Studies, Sociology of Population; Area Development Planning, Regional Research; National Economy; Sociology of Settlements and Housing, Urban Sociology
Document language German
Publication Year 1998
Page/Pages p. 2-11
Journal Europa Regional, 6.1998 (1998) 4
ISSN 0943-7142
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications