Prevent downtowns from dying

In the continuation of the LH Forum organized by the Institute of Positive Economy, Pierrick Fay and his guests decipher for “The Story”, the news podcast of “Echoes”, the origins and challenges of the phenomenon of the devitalization of centers -cities.


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City centers are dying in France. Medium-sized cities are seeing their fabric of shops, inhabitants and activities flee to their periphery and the covid-19 epidemic could further accelerate the movement.

While Paris lost 11,000 inhabitants per year between 2012 and 2017 to the benefit of its suburbs but also of medium-sized towns in the regions, candidates for this new life may be surprised by the lack of dynamism of certain city centers and the spectacle. iron curtains of stores pulled down as shopping malls push around.

Theme explored within the framework of the LH Forum organized by the Institute of Positive Economy, in Le Havre, the question of the desertification of city centers is of the first order. This phenomenon of shrinking city, called “shrinking city” in English, resides in the combination of the loss of population, the loss of activities and jobs associated with a development of poverty and insecurity. The keys to the problem being known, some agglomerations are trying to reinvent themselves in order to fight against it.

The Story is a podcast of “Echoes” presented by Pierrick Fay. This episode was recorded in October 2020. Editor-in-chief: Clémence Lemaistre. Guests: Charlotte Ruggeri (professor of geography and associate researcher at Gustave-Eiffel University) and Marie-Agnès Poussier-Winsback (mayor of Fécamp). Director: Willy Ganne. Music: Théo Boulenger. Graphic identity: Upian. Photo: FRED SCHEIBER / SIPA. Sounds: Seul au Monde (2000), France 3 Bretagne, France 24, “Un Village Presque Parfait” (2015), France 3 Nouvelle-Aquitaine.

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