IGU’s Urban Commission Workshop

The IGU’s Urban Commission workshop in collaboration with the Geographie-cités CNRS research unit will take place 

from 23 rd to 27 th July 2022
Campus des Grands Moulins
Université Paris Cité
Amphithéâtre Buffon 15 rue Hélène Brion 75013 Paris.

This event will be held following the IGU congress. It will bring together, as it does every year, about sixty urban specialists from twenty countries.

Registration closed

In recent decades, the conditions of urban development have undergone  profound changes with the diversification of actors involved in real estate  development projects, stimulated by unconventional macro-monetary policies  and urban governance agendas increasingly aligned with private/financial  interests.

The concentration of real estate investment in the heart of city-regions is  leading in many countries to a two-tiered structuring of real estate markets,  with, on the one hand, residential and business space becoming unaffordable  in central areas, and, on the other hand, declining property markets due to  urban shrinkage in urban fringes and secondary cities.

These developments challenge the “social pact” that had hitherto guaranteed  capital accumulation through home ownership in cities, introducing large  disparities in the geographies of wealth accumulation. They also deprive a  large part of the national population of access to the exclusive resources of  the city-regions and hinders the development of the social economy. Faced  with these changes, grass-root collective action and other bottom-up  initiatives are taken by a variety of local actors to promote more inclusive  property development projects in city-regions (e.g. through community land trusts) and to revitalize the centers of shrinking cities.

The Greater Paris region, which will host the Urban Commission workshop in  2022, provides a good illustration of the tensions arising within the private  sector, between the initiatives of large development groups and the  innovative but very fragmented projects of civil society.

With the construction of Europe’s largest metro infrastructure underway and  the prospect of hosting the Olympic Games in 2024, the Greater Paris region  is currently undergoing numerous large-scale redevelopment projects that are  profoundly restructuring its urban fabric.

These projects point to the growing role of private actors, most notably  property developers but also railway/metro infrastructure operators (SNCF,  RATP), in the financing, imagining, shaping and building the city. Yet some  initiatives also reflect the increasing involvement of civil society in urban  (re)development through frugal approaches such as temporary urbanism.

The special focus of the Paris IGU workshop aims to shed light on the  comparative processes of urban restructuring through the prism of real  estate projects in diverse urban settings, from regional towns to major  financial centers.

Download the IGU Urban Commission conference handbook


Commission urbaine de l’IGU


Université Paris Cité
Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne
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