With its reputation for cultural preservation, Paris has the title of the most visited city in the world. In addition to its tourist economy, it also boasts growing technology, media, finance and research-centred industries, which have contributed to its global economic influence.
Christian Lefèvre, one of France's leading urban political scientists, analyses the social and economic forces that have shaped Paris and which have differentiated it from other long-time megacities such as London and New York. He considers how the loss of jobs in industry in the 1970s and 1980s has inspired a post-Fordist shift to service and information sectors, yet concerns over social issues such as equality, environmental impact and adequate services have given rise to a French ambivialence towards promoting the city as a global economic competitor. The book examines the central role France’s national government has played in shaping policies affecting the city and explores how the shift towards political decentralization and localism have contributed to a system increasingly incapable of taking collective action, giving rise to tensions concerning social issues, such as housing.
The book is an authoritative analysis of Paris's position, both globally and nationally, and the challenges that face its governance.
Introduction 1. Paris and Île-de-France 2. Social, economic and spatial history of the Île-de-France metropolis 3. Political history of Île-de-France, 1789–2001 4. The economy of Île-de-France: from national capital to global metropolis 5. Problems and challenges 6. Policies 7. A blocked system of governance 8. Conclusion
Christian Lefèvre is Professor at Ecole d'Urbanisme de Paris, Universite Paris-Est. He is a member of the executive committee of the European Urban Research Association (EURA) and has been a consultant for the OECD, European Commission, UN-Habitat and the city of Paris. He is coauthor of Struggling Giants: City-Region Governance in London, New York, Paris and Tokyo (2012).