Governing Deprived Neighbourhoods: Resident Participation in Housing Regeneration in France    Paul Hickman Stephen Hall

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About the Presentation . IntroductionThe Research Approach Defining Resident Participation Regeneration and Participation Policy Initiatives Resident Participation in Practice Concluding Thoughts . 1. Introduction . Long-standing concern over the health" of banlieues in France .

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Governing Deprived Neighbourhoods: Resident Participation in Housing Regeneration in France Paul Hickman Stephen Hall

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1. Governing Deprived Neighbourhoods: Resident Participation in Housing Regeneration in France Paul Hickman Stephen Hall Housing Studies Association Conference Cardiff, April 17th 2009

2. About the Presentation Introduction The Research Approach Defining Resident Participation Regeneration and Participation Policy Initiatives Resident Participation in Practice Concluding Thoughts

3. 1. Introduction Long-standing concern over the “health” of banlieues in France …. …..comprehensive regeneration programme in France In the UK and the Netherlands, countries with similar problems to France, residents have played a key role in the regeneration process… … this presentation looks at the extent to which this has been the case in France

4. Why France? And Why Now? Period of reflection in the country after the riots of 2005 A Government with a new agenda? Growing of importance of resident participation in national urban policy? There has been in an interest in the UK in French urban policy, politique de la ville, and contrat de ville, in particular…. …but there has been less interest resident participation…. …. and there has been a tendency to focus on more high profile initiatives such as Régies de Quartier

5. “Health warnings” Restricted geographical focus While this is not a comparative study per se, to some extent the well documented problems associated with this type of work (Hall and Hickman, 2006; Stewart, 2000; and Wacquant, 1993) are applicable here… …… inevitably, our experience of researching participation in England influences the way we see the situation in France

6. About the Research Paper draws on data collected from a number of studies funded by a range of funders including: British Council British Academy Plan Urbanisme Construction Architecture (PUCA) Délégation Interministérielle ŕ La Ville (DIV) Barry Goodchild, Irene Mbouma, Gilles Jeannot, Latifah Waeles, Latifah Waeles, Nicole Commercon Work began in 2004 and is on-going

7. 2. The Research Approach Literature review Stakeholder interviews Documentary data analysis Case studies Grand Lyon Ile de France, with particular attention focusing on Mantes-la-Jolie Marseille

8. 3. Defining Resident Participation Blanc (1999) argues that there are two types of participation in France: 1. “Action” includes participation in the social life of estates, quality of life issues; mainly associated with the work of Régies de Quartier 2. “Decision” i.e. the incorporation of residents into the political process Focus of the paper is on decision

9. 4. Regeneration and Participation Policy Initiatives in France Resident participation in France is not a new phenomenon (Kedadouche, 2003)…. Loi Bonnevay of 1912 allowed for the possibility of tenant representatives on the board (Conseil d’Administration) of public sector HBM organisations Loi SRU 2000 formalised this ‘right’ - legal requirement to have elected tenant representation on HLM Conseils d’Administration

10. The Perceived "Failure" of Banlieues Perceived "failure" of banlieues focused attention on regeneration and resident participation Habitat et Vie Sociale (HVS) 1981 riots 1983: Publication of Hubert Dubedout’s report 1988: Délégation Interministérielle ŕ La Ville established along with CIV and CNV 1989: Pilot Contrat de Ville programmes

11. The Emergence of a Comprehensive Approach to Regeneration 1991: Loi d’Orientation Sur la Ville (LOV) 1996: Pacte de Relance 1998: Demain la Ville Report sets-out a more ambitious approach to urban renewal in France… … re-invigorated Contrat de Ville programme and Grand Projet de Ville (GPV) 2000: Loi SRU

12. Loi Borloo Became law in 2003 New urban regeneration agency: Agence Nationale de Renouvellement Urbaine (ANRU) Provides for an unprecedented level of demolition Focus on physical regeneration and creates an institutional divide between physical and social regeneration… ….Contrat Urbain de Cohesion Sociale (CUCs)

13. Response to 2005 Riots Loi Borloo Plan de Cohesion Sociale and Loi de Cohesion Sociale Creation of Haute Autorité de Lutte Contre les Discriminations et Pour L’equalité Loi Pour les Egalités des Chances

14. Participative Democracy Been a key objective of French Government for the last decade 2002: Loi Démocratie de Proximité (Loi Vaillant) Communes with a population of greater than 80,000 must have a Conseils de Quartier (CdQ)

15. 5. Resident Participation in Practice: Mechanisms for Involving Residents Collectively Régies CdQs Public meetings Individually Direct communication with officers Surveys Information sites Newsletters/ letters Resident “working groups”

16. Resident Participation in Practice: Nature of Involvement Residents only involved in “micro” issues i.e. issues that affect their daily lives Not involved in strategic, “macro” issues Residents appear to have very little influence over the decision making model: “Mantes-la Jolie is at the bottom end of the Arnstein model.” (Mairie officer)

17. Nature of Involvement continued Participation is primarily about ‘consulting’ and informing’, not about empowering residents: "Those residents who are staying in the area are involved in the regeneration process. We (the OPAC) and the commune are responsible for consulting with residents. It (consultation) is not about offering choices and alternatives to residents but more about giving them information about what is going on." (HLM, Lyon) “In France, it (resident involvement) is all about passing on information, and plans have already been decided on before they get to the residents.” (Resident. Lyon) “In Mantes-la-Jolie, participation is two-thirds information and one-third consultation.” (Mairie, Mantes)

18. Conseils de Quartier A “top-down” vehicle for disseminating information: “With regard to the bigger projects, it’s about informing them about what is going on. The big decisions are made by the mayor.… it’s about informing them what’s going on. Part of the role of the CDQ is to explain why things can’t happen… it’s about building trust and managing expectations. It makes things more acceptable. Simply saying ‘no’ and not explaining why is simply not acceptable to people….It (CdQ) not a decision making. It’s a consultation exercise. Its’ not here to replace councils” (Mairie, MLJ) “More often than not, they (C d Qs) are quasi bodies for ‘local agencies’ and basically about giving the public information. Even in the areas C d Qs do work well, they focus on trivial issues such as the state of pavements.” (Housing Officer, Lyon)

19. “Technocrats” and Politicians Control the Participation Process “Relevant laws of GPV say that residents should be consulted. But in practice technicians take the lead. And residents aren’t really involved. They (the technicians) just give the blocks back to the residents when they’ve finished.” (Regeneration Officer, Marseille) “The area where residents could be have been involved is around diagnosing the problem and deciding what would happen in areas. In theory, this was a shared process but in reality the process was professionally led.” (Conseil General, Mantes) "In a strategic sense, demolition is decided for them (residents). Residents are not involved in making decisions about demolition. But after, the (demolition) plans have been drawn-up they are involved in implementing the plans at the local level." (GPV Officer, Lyon)

20. Participation as “Manipulation” and “Therapy”? “The main benefit of resident participation is that it calms things down… it creates greater satisfaction even if things aren’t so great. It gives residents the impression they are being listened to, even if they are not.” (Officer, Mantes) “We have participation because people have to be managed.”

21. A “Participation Deficit” in France? “If you go back in history, resident participation was always there in urban policy. There have been lots of experiments and various mechanisms have been developed to involve people. And there have been lots of attempts to construct representative forums…. And a lot towns, particularly those with poor areas, have been experimented with resident participation. But as a rule of thumb, these initiatives have not been a great success and resident participation has not taken-off… DIV is aware that there is a participation deficit. Ministers send us letters from disgruntled residents.” (DIV) Our findings our consistent with those of other studies in the field (Levy, 2003, Sintomer and de Maillard, 2007)

22. But to What Extent do Residents Want to Engage? “Residents in Birmingham were too actively involved in what was going on. They shouldn’t have had the responsibility they had been given… a lot of what happens there (regeneration in Castle Vale) depends on goodwill, but will this goodwill still be there in five to ten years?. Residents are doing the job of local services including the local police and it strikes me that the state has withdrawn.” (Resident) “Tenants are being set-up to fail in England.. if they don’t turn their area around they’ll get blamed for the failure.” (Resident) “We should be involved in all aspects but we shouldn’t end un running services for housing agencies. We should be involved in day to day issues and the starting point for everything should be the needs and wishes of residents.“

23. Understanding the “Participation Deficit” A number of factors appear to have contributed to this phenomenon Three of them may be described as being “structural”: Lack of guidance from central government on the definition of resident participation The importance and power of mayors The concept of “community” does not exist in the French Constitution

24. Lack of Guidance "The experience around France (in terms of resident participation) is very diverse. The law doesn’t stipulate what should be done. It needs to be more prescriptive and tell mairies what they should do.” (Mairie, Mantes) “Participation in French urban policy has been discussed but never defined. So there has been a lack of prescription and precision. This makes the mayor the most important figure.“ (Officer, DIV)

25. The Importance of Mayors Political decentralisation in 1980s strengthened the powers of the communes and increased the political power of local mayors (Blanc, 1999; Chignier-Riboulon, 2001; Levy, 2003). In the absence of guidance from the Government, the mayor becomes the key “player” in the participation process: “In France, the degree of local participation depends on the will of the mayor.. Things are very much driven by the mayor…. The big difference between the two countries (England and France) is the power of mayors in France. These powers were reinforced by the decentralisation process of the 1980s…Mayors are the key. In France, there is an established political elite. It is a career and something people do from the ages of 20 to 70 – for example, like Giscard D’Estaing….the reality in France is that the electoral process have overwhelming priority. A little bit of power can be given to residents in between time, but it’s not important.” (Mairie officer, Mantes)

26. Non-Recognition of “Community” Concept of “community” does not exist in the French Constitution French Republic is legally required to deal directly with individual citizens or their elected representatives This obviously makes collective participation more difficult So in the context of housing regeneration, public authorities are mandated to deal with legally constituted ‘associations’ that represent groups of citizens but, traditionally, not neighbours, or “communities” more broadly

27. Other Factors Contributing to the “Participation Deficit” Relatively recent emergence of resident participation as a (comparatively) important urban policy issue “This (resident participation) is something in France that is relatively new. The apparatus for involving residents is not fully developed.” (Housing Officer, Mantes) "In the past, partnerships in France have been concerned only with institutions and residents have not involved been involved.... unlike the UK, historically residents haven't really been involved." (General Director, HLM, Lyon) Fostering “meaningful” participation takes time…. “It is difficult to get people involved in an area like this (the Val Foure neighbourhood of Mantes). It takes time – probably ten years or more.” (Mairie officer, Mantes)

28. Lack of Resources Resources affect the depth, scope and nature of participation “It’s a paradox. For them (C d Qs) to work well, they need more staff support from local agencies and they need more input from community development workers.” (Housing Officer, Lyon) “La Duchere is better at engaging with its residents than we are here (Venisseux)… it’s because they’ve got more money than us to spend on telling residents what’s going on. They’ve got lots more staff than us.” (Housing Officer, Lyon) The impact of funding reductions when a scheme is completed: “But it’s a two way street.. once the improvements have been completed, the authorities tend to wind down and reduce the numbers of officers on the ground. It’s not then surprising that less residents gets involved.“ (Regeneration Officer, Lyon)

29. The Apparent Reluctance of French Residents to Want to Participate "Health warnings": Lack of data on participation rates in France Low participation rates are the norm in most European countries Why should we expect residents in poor neighbourhoods to participate? Unhelpful use of the term resident or tenant "apathy"

30. The Apparent Reluctance of French Residents to Want to Participate continued A number of reasons account for the phenomenon including a lack of participative “tradition” in France and the failure of authorities to give residents "real" influence: “At the moment decisions are made by politicians but we (residents) should be involved earlier before decisions are made. They (politicians) come to use after they’ve decided what they want to do. It would be good if things were more transparent and they came to us earlier. ” (Resident) “It’s like a vicious cycle. You can’t expect people to participate if their views have been ignored before. Why would they want to get involved if they feel that they are going to be ignored?” (Researcher at a university in Lyon)

31. 6. Conclusion “Participation-deficit” in France A number of reasons for this Participation unlikely to move-up the policy agenda?

32. Governing Deprived Neighbourhoods: Resident Participation in Housing Regeneration in France Paul Hickman Stephen Hall Housing Studies Association Conference Cardiff, April 17th 2009

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