Felicitas Wettstein (2010)


Between imagined, lived, and built reality.

Potentials of public spaces in the periphery of Paris with regard to a non-violent community.

Background   The thesis “Between imagined, lived and built reality” deals with public spaces in marginalized suburbs of Paris. The interest lies in the analysis of their production and the localisation of the role that architecture and urban planning play in this process.
Abstract   Public spaces in marginalized suburbs of Paris are spaces of long lasting conflicts. After a phase of social community development, where the marginalized population and their demands were taken serious, today there is a shift towards repressive measures undertaken against them. The urban renewal programs that are realised by now should reintroduce social mixity and therefore revaluate regions and overcome boundaries. Target group of the changes is a population group with a high social status. Residents, that already live in these areas are often run over and there is hardly any attention paid to possible interactions between these different population groups. The discourse of a marginalized population that is dangerous for the nation leads to the fact, that it cannot be the target group of changing processes. This often leads to the perception of architecture and urban planning as part of the enemy system.
    With the development of an utopia of a non-violent cohabitation, that makes it possible to perceive and elaborate potentials and specificities of public spaces in these areas, the current discourse of fear and repression is contrasted with a new perspective of spatial change. Goal of the empirical research in Épinay-Sur-Seine, a northern suburb of Paris, is to confront the view from the inside with the view from the outside and to analyse the role of architecture and urban planning in changing processes. Based on the conclusions of the research, different aspects of the production of these spaces are worked out and action spaces are developed. They deal with different aspects of the change of public spaces and generate ideas of how interventions and projects can be developed, organised and shaped in these areas.
Submitted   at the  Faculty of Architecture and Planning on 5th November 2010
Supervision   Dr. phil. DI (FH) Sabine Knierbein