Author(s): Collectif Faro

A post-residential urban

Our intent falls into the scope of the spaces for encounters built by our collective Faro. We define a collaborative dialogue between built projects and research projects, the daily imbrication of which creates our practice. These two complementary approaches are illustrated here by a university study and projects of built architectures build in suburban territories at a distance from the city centres, where we perceive a necessity to create “new resources”.

The hypothesis of a “post residential area” urbanism in creation in suburban areas drove us to conduct a geographical university research* consisting in determining how an urban planning breaking with the dominating model of the residential area urban spreads outside metropolis comes to be manufactured. By studying inter-metropolitan territories made up of a hundred or so communes between Rennes and Nantes, the portrait of a residential area town planning appears before our eyes. Five housing projects (small communities or dense individual houses) in urban spread are chosen as the subject to thirty or so interviews with elected authorities, urban planners, renters, and commune community agents. They all testify of the difficulties encountered when implementing such unorthodox projects to the urban spread in locations faraway from metropolis. We also see that they do not (yet) result from an active ideological intention to preserve agricultural resources, but that they stem from real estate opportunities and mobilization of some elected authorities.

Although the study does not demonstrate a radical shift towards an urban planning breaking with the urban spread, it shows an on-going movement made of experimentations and swarms of new practices, inventing its owns of doing characteristic to less attractive suburban territories. The symbolic scale of these projects is very important here, as it affects the space of city centres that convey a value of share and community areas. The research encourages experiments with urban projects in discussion, new operational assemblies integrating the inhabitants to build their own everyday living spaces (property and cooperative associations), question new methods sought for a post-residential area urban planning that is both participative and rural and that invents itself away from the metropolitan economy.

The research work produces elements for understanding the process to implement alternatives to the industrialization of the production of inhabited spaces echoing our built practices.

Main topic : sutdying urban planning in suburban spaces