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L’élu, le citoyen et le praticien.Chroniques urbaines : L'expérience du projet urbain participatif dans les petites villes

Ségolène Charles 1, 2
1 LET - Laboratoire Espaces Travail
Ecole d'architecture de Paris-La Villette, CNAM - Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers [CNAM], LAVUE - Laboratoire Architecture, Ville, Urbanisme, Environnement
Abstract : In a national context of transferring their competences to intercommunal institutions, reducing their resources and weakening of their regulatory prerogatives, local elected representatives in small cities, and their technical services, are faced with issues that often exceed their capacity for action. The implementation of a participatory urban project requires a paradigm shift in the political and professional cultures they have inherited. It clearly makes it necessary to rethink their roles and modalities of intervention. Based on the experience of an architectural and urban planning agency, this thesis analyses the place and the modalities of action of the elected representative as "Occasional Contracting Authority", for urban projects organized with significant and unusual participatory ambitions for the community. On the basis of three case studies, it describes and interprets the difficulties encountered by the small city and its accompanying structure. Relying on an approach of "observant participation" and on the Theory of Social Regulation, this research examines the conflicts and negotiations within the system of actors implied in the urban project in which the local elected is involved. It highlights the importance for an architectural and urban planning agency to be able to decipher the underlying stakes that govern action and decision-making. The attitudes of elected representatives towards participation are diverse. But this perspective still seems to them above all to be a constraint and a source of uncertainty, all the more so since they are now institutionally fragile. The rise in power of the intercommunal level disrupts their role: they tend to be deprived of the elaboration of the main decisions as much as it becomes mysterious for the citizens involved. The opacity of decision-making mechanisms, linked to the reconfiguration of the local political system, is accentuated all the more since project engineering in small cities is poorly controlled by elected representatives and their technical services. The difficulties in implementing a participatory system are also due to the low acculturation of local elected representatives to the approaches of urban projects, and to the types of studies or expertise they require to mobilise. For its part, an agency of urbanism and architecture, until then rather accustomed to intervene as urban project supervisor, does not necessarily have the in-house skills to understand and analyse the systems of actors it is confronted with, in all their subtleties. It must thus acquire new knowledge in this register in order to be able to better accompany these approaches. It can then act as a lever in the implementation of a participatory urban project method that goes beyond the application of a few tools. However, the level of achievement of its mission and of this type of initiative seems to depend above all on the will and capacity of the mayor or the president of the intermunicipality, to achieve this approach and to assume it with the inhabitants and other political and institutional actors.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, March 25, 2020 - 9:34:58 AM
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Ségolène Charles. L’élu, le citoyen et le praticien.Chroniques urbaines : L'expérience du projet urbain participatif dans les petites villes. Architecture, aménagement de l'espace. Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, 2020. Français. ⟨tel-02518210⟩

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