Work Task 2

Building and regulating residential high-rise buildings in the neo-liberal city (2017 – 2018)

Objectives :

1/ Understanding the process of production of residential high-rises and

2/ Assessing inclusiveness in the production of these buildings. By production, we mean the iterative process of building, from the choice of location and housing typology, to finance, design, regulation by planning authorities. We particularly focus on the rationale and involvement of all stakeholders at each stage in the making of the tall residential building. The description will enable us to better understand the strategies of stakeholders and their interactions at each stage, a basis for the assessment of the degree of inclusiveness in the iterative process of building.

All tasks are based on 1 case study in each of the two cities, Lyon and Sao Paulo, with a further case in London, our benchmark case for the analysis. We postulate that the London governance is the most advanced in accommodating the neo-liberal and entrepreneurial agendas. Lyon and Sao Paulo contexts will be tested against this very advanced form of neo-liberal governance. In each of the three cities, the case studies will be chosen among high-rise residential developments. The selection of the case studies will conducted with the help of practitioners in each city (for example, Confluences and Gerland in Lyon, or specific examples in recent developments of Águas Espraiadas/Chcuri Zaidan and Tietê Arch in Sao Paulo). We are questioning here the degree of inclusiveness of the very process of financing, designing and regulating residential towers (WT2.1.). The outcome of the process is evaluated in task WT2.2.

Persons in charge: Manoel Alves (IAU-USP), Márcio Minto (IAU-USP), Manuel Appert (Université Lyon2), Christian Montès (Université Lyon 2), Lucas Pereira (PhD student, IAU-USP), Marília Reis Sé (Master Student, IAU – USP), Carolina Heldt (SMDU – São Paulo; PhD student, IAU-USP) and Natalia Fillod-Barbarino (Agence d’Urbanisme de Lyon).

WT2.1 Residential high-rise governance: between socio-technical solution, commodity and urban model (T6-T18)

Hypotheses : high-rise residential buildings as much as being a socio-technical solution for housing people and households, are becoming a commodity in an increasingly financialized real estate market. At the same time, they have also become a lever for municipalities to achieve the compact city model they look for. Research on the governance of high-rise office buildings (Appert, Montès, 2015) reflects on the process and we assume that it is now reaching the residential high-rise market.

Case studies help describe and formalize the iterative process of building high-rises in different economic and political contexts defined according to the way they accommodate neo-liberalism and financialization. Inclusiveness is here appreciated in the iterative process of high-rise projects involving several stakeholders in interactions: developers, investors, architects and landscape designers, contractors, local authorities, the state, but also citizens, communities and associations.

We postulate that stakeholders’ discourses are developed and negotiated in the iterative process, revealing strategies and agendas in the pursuit of their interest. The role of public authorities in balancing, mitigating and negotiating these interests is questioned. Methods: Data collection and analysis of discourses: interviews with stakeholders, grey literature (strategic planning documents to planning permits) and media oriented documents for consultation (leaflets, brochures…). Through the analysis of discourses in the planning process, inclusiveness is particularly appreciated through its political and cultural dimensions.

Milestone WT2.1: Assessment of the balance between democracy and corporate and municipal interests in the governance of residential high-rises in Lyon, Sao Paulo and London.

WT2.2. Public and private interests in the design and implementation of residential towers (T12- T24)

This mission uses the results of WT1 as well as of WT2.1 to investigate the design of residential towers (shape, uses allocation, flat configurations) and of private and public spaces in and around the buildings. Three residential towers in each of the three cities are studied: in Sao Paulo, Lyon, and the benchmark city, London. Spaces of public domain considered will not only be horizontal (street level) but also vertical (building levels). The balance between domestic and collective spaces, issues of accessibility, security and sense of places are particularly addressed.

Hypotheses : Developers strategies, targeted potential buyers, but also the social and also morphological characters of the areas as well as the planning framework are factors affecting the accessibility and the acceptability of residential high-rises. The capacity of the planning system to insure inclusiveness in the making is tested against the balance of interests between individual interests and collective ones, at the design and implementation stages.

Methods: interviews, grey literature particularly visualizations and associated discourses: plans, 3D rendering and videos, visualizations for marketing and branding…

Milestone WT2.2 : Assessment of the balance of public and private interests in the design and implementation of residential high-rises in Lyon, Sao Paulo and London.

Deliverables : Diagrams of the major stakeholders and stakes of the process of building residential high-rises at different and stages. Identification of democratic failures in the process and the design. Commented residential high-rise architectural drawings and plans. Risks: Lack of interviews with investors and private developers (as often the case). Possible fall-back solutions: Getting the discourses of developers and investors through architects and municipal staff or representatives of real estate actors (federations or associations).


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