The « immeuble de belle hauteur », a common figure of progressive and residential vertical urbanization in the french cities? 
The case of Lyon, France.

Abstract : The residential towers are today making their return in France after a low period (1980-2000). In preparation/construction for the large majority (76 projects, Mollé 2016), they impact pericentral brownfields and abandoned areas with the symbolic dimension of an urban signal bringing housing function. In between 45 and 55m, the new residential towers seem to be limited by the French IGH regulation (1977, amended in 2011), restricting the height of buildings to 50m (from the street to the last storey’s floor) and the 5 projects growing in Lyon make no exception. Could new residential towers be considered as normative socio-technical objects? Is the IGH regulation a glass ceiling? The aim of this article is therefore to go beyond the regulation and analyze deeper causes to that morphological similarity. First, we show that new commercial terminologies coming from the developers question the word “tower”, such as the “immeuble de belle hauteur”, and evoke a lower and more acceptable vertical urbanization in terms of social representations. Secondly, we show that the limitation of high-rise is due to the avoidance of additional costs for the developers, guaranteeing “easier operations”. Finally we show that the residential high-rise is framed by project scale governance involving interdependent relationships between municipalities and developers, to deliver fastly and with fewer risks a great number of housing in a stressed real estate market. These hypotheses, tested during interviews with both developers and the “Grand Lyon”, lead towards a maximization of the built envelope which rehabilitates the tower into progressive process of verticalization. On the opposite of a past radical gesture of the Modernist era, residential high-rise is being now progressively accepted in France.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01952770
Contributor : Geoffrey Mollé <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - 1:40:28 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - 2:55:08 AM
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Geoffrey Mollé. The « immeuble de belle hauteur », a common figure of progressive and residential vertical urbanization in the french cities? 
The case of Lyon, France.. 48th Annual Conference of the Urban Affaires Association, Apr 2018, Toronto, France. ⟨hal-01952770⟩

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