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Usages des espaces récréatifs : quand l'enfant questionne les normes de production de l'espace public. Le cas du quartier Villette à Aubervilliers (93) et de la Grande Borne à Grigny (91)

Fanny Delaunay 1
1 CRH - Centre de Recherche sur l'Habitat
LAVUE - Laboratoire Architecture, Ville, Urbanisme, Environnement
Abstract : This thesis aims to question the differences between the way in which recreational public spaces are designed and how they are ultimately used by children. The central hypothesis of this study is that the gap in design and use is the result of a normalization process, whereby the recreational city essentially becomes merely another ‘field’ to satisfy regulations. To validate this hypothesis, I study the public space design process and observe how the spaces, both formal (public gardens, playgrounds) and informal (bottom of the building, pavements, abandoned urban places), are ultimately used by children. As children are developing their social and psychomotor skills, they are particularly interesting individuals through which to analyze deviations from the norm. In order to understand the practices of the participating children, an observation participant was conducted at two children's leisure centers situated in the Ile-de-France Region: the district Villette-Quatre-Chemins in Aubervilliers (93) and the Grande Borne in Grigny (91). In all, forty-six children participated through mind maps, commented strolls equipped with cameras, using aerial views, as well as individual and group interviews. The reported speeches were confronted with acts by sessions of floating observation in the studied spaces. In order to identify the urban project design process, twenty-one semi-directives interviews were undertaken with project owners (designers and administrators). In addition, an archival survey highlighting the evolution of the projects was also conducted. The survey conducted in Villette-Quatre-Chemins in Aubervilliers, reveals that the transgressive practices of children are a result of unmet needs. Far from being organized in opposition to the current rules, the children assume control of the functional logic and segmentation of the public spaces, enacting a dialogue in accordance to logic and social control. The practices developed therefore constitute a modality of participation in situ in urban planning, which relies on commonly shared rules. However, designers struggle to recognize this silent but active means of expression, revealing one reason for the gap between how and why the space was designed and the way in which it is used. The district of the Grande Borne, an iconic representation of 1970’s design dedicated to the child, composed of public spaces with accessible works of art. Is it the use which has evolved or the representations of the public square and their associated use? This leads us to analyze the process of project management, which highlights a conflict between managers and designers, concerning issues of heritage and standardization. The redevelopment also provides information on educational issues in the recreational city. The results of this research underlines that far from being anomic, a child’s use of a space is influenced by a dialectic with the norms that are in force. The usage gap, perceived as transgressive by the designers and the administrators, constitutes, in reality, an appropriation and a redeployment of the norm. The principles of normalization of play areas, under the guise of safety for everyone, is the over-infantilization of the child. The logic of repositioning the playground in the public space is then more an update of the mechanism of social control than attention to the needs of the child.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, January 6, 2021 - 4:10:16 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, April 28, 2021 - 10:24:19 PM


  • HAL Id : tel-03100434, version 1


Fanny Delaunay. Usages des espaces récréatifs : quand l'enfant questionne les normes de production de l'espace public. Le cas du quartier Villette à Aubervilliers (93) et de la Grande Borne à Grigny (91). Architecture, aménagement de l'espace. Université Paris Est, 2018. Français. ⟨tel-03100434⟩



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