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La métropolisation contre la métropole ? Réflexion sur la gouvernance « stratégique » du Grand Londres à partir du cas des zones d’opportunité

Abstract : The expansion of actors networks during the construction of metropolitan governance occurs in a paradoxical situation (Lefevre, 2009). Responsible for coordinating the action of local authorities in order to reduce social and institutional fragmentation, metropolitan governments seem to lack sufficient capacity for action to carry out these missions. The case of the Greater London Authority (GLA), responsible for strategic development in the British capital for the last fifteen years, partly illustrates this situation. In charge of ensuring the socio-spatial cohesion and competitiveness of the capital, the Mayor and the London Assembly nevertheless suffer from limited autonomy vis-à-vis local authorities that make up the functional urban region, central government and private actors. Unable to coerce the communities adjacent to the territory of Greater London to realise its policies, the GLA focuses its planning efforts on the heart of the capital where the majority of large urban projects are produced, inside designated ‘opportunity areas’. Originally designed as engines of progressive policies, these major projects have sparked a wave of criticism during the Examination in Public of the London Plan, the reference document which describes the regional planning strategy of the GLA. Drawing on an original analysis of the results of the 2011 census and a survey conducted among key actors in local and metropolitan authorities, we show that this policy has helped to catalyze flows of investment into areas that were undervalued in previous decades but it also had the effect of excluding the less well-off social groups and strengthened the socio-spatial fragmentation in the centre of the capital. We argue that this shift can be explained by the institutional configuration which governs the implementation of large urban projects more than by the political changeover at the head of the mayoral office since 2008. In total, it seems to be the agenda promoting the concentration of the most profitable real estate investments that has eventually dominated in projects of metropolitan interest, at the expense of the construction of a political entity capable of alleviating the socio-spatial fragmentation of the capital.
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Contributor : Martine Drozdz <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, January 8, 2020 - 1:21:40 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, December 8, 2020 - 10:16:07 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-01482824, version 1



Martine Drozdz. La métropolisation contre la métropole ? Réflexion sur la gouvernance « stratégique » du Grand Londres à partir du cas des zones d’opportunité. Métropoles, ENTPE, 2016, 19. ⟨hal-01482824⟩



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