Eco-neighborhoods and the question of locational advantage: a socio-spatial analysis of French ‘ÉcoQuartiers’

Joss, S. , D'Assenza-David, H. and Serra, L. (2022) Eco-neighborhoods and the question of locational advantage: a socio-spatial analysis of French ‘ÉcoQuartiers’. Cities, 126, 103643. (doi: 10.1016/j.cities.2022.103643)

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In response to the need for ecological transition, a multitude of eco-city and eco-neighborhood initiatives have been instigated around the world. A major challenge has been the charge, captured by terms such as ‘eco enclaves’ and ‘environmental gentrification’, that these initiatives poorly attend to questions of social diversity and spatial equity. In France, too, where since 2008 a major national ÉcoQuartier initiative has been underway with close to 500 projects launched, some have warned against creating ‘écoquartiers bobo’ – urban development catering for a mainly ‘bourgeois-bohemian’ clientele. Consequently, this article investigates whether there may be selectivity at work in the placement of ÉcoQuartiers that favours advantageous locations. To this end, a detailed socio-spatial analysis was carried out with a sample of 214 implemented ÉcoQuartiers. Using exploratory factor analysis (EFA), eight factors were extracted from a comprehensive set of 53 socio-economic and geospatial variables. These were used to compare the sampled ÉcoQuartiers with the overall territory (mainland France and Corsica) as well as with a parallel national urban policy initiative, the ‘Quartiers Prioritaires de la Ville’ (‘urban priority neighborhoods’) which expressly focuses on areas of social disadvantage. As a result, this study reveals several dimensions of locational selectivity, which are discussed in terms of their policy and practice implications as well as their significance for conceptualizing eco-neighborhoods as socio-spatially inclusive places.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Serra, Mr Luis and Joss, Professor Simon and D'Assenza-David, Mr Hugo
Creator Roles:
Joss, S.Conceptualization, Methodology, Formal analysis, Writing – original draft, Writing – review and editing, Supervision
D'Assenza-David, H.Conceptualization, Methodology, Formal analysis, Software, Visualization, Data curation
Serra, L.Methodology, Formal analysis, Software, Visualization, Data curation
Authors: Joss, S., D'Assenza-David, H., and Serra, L.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Journal Name:Cities
ISSN (Online):1873-6084
Published Online:10 March 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 The Authors
First Published:First published in Cities 126:103643
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
304042UBDC Centre TransitionNick BaileyEconomic and Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/S007105/1S&PS - Administration