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Patrimoine matériel et immatériel, défis et régulation de l’urbanisme au XXIe siècle : les cas de Verviers et Tourcoing by Sonia Laloyaux


Tourcoing and Verviers are two cities of the North of Europe, distant some of the others of less than 300 kilometers. They developed in regions of Europe where the industry, and in particular the textile industry, knew a strong development from the XIXth century. If the works concerning industrial cities, heritage(holdings), urban restructuring are many, there is no work of comparison of these two cities. So, Tourcoing is less often studied, compared, than her « sister Roubaix », while the textile industry so much marked its history and its landscapes. So, to work on Tourcoing, but also Verviers, allows to see the various politics organized to re-revitalize these spaces, while protecting their heritage. A number of questions summarize our thinking. In fact, it is first of all necessary to think about the place of heritage in urban projects, in the organization and planning of the spaces studied. How do heritage, culture and tourism related to this heritage take over from pre-existing urban sites and “divert” them from their primary (industrial, for example) use, either through the re-qualification process, or by their diversification? How can this heritage contribute to the emergence of other activities, to the development of a certain attractiveness? To these questions, we can also add a reflection on the actors, institutional of course, but also users, residents, businesses… These actors are involved in the implementation of policies aimed at promoting the heritage of Verviers et Tourcoing, a multifaceted heritage. This development is part of the architectural, urban renewal of these cities and enters into the emergence of new forms of attractiveness, be they demographic, economic, cultural, political. These issues are all avenues of research that have shaped our thinking, framed it and paved the way for this doctoral work. Work that can be subdivided into three main parts. First of all, it is necessary to present not only the concepts which have substantiated our reflection, in particular that of heritage, but also the grounds for this analysis. Here, it is not only necessary to contextualize the territories studied, but also essential to be able to understand the specificities of the two cities studied. In a second phase, we will study the enhancement of this heritage, a heritage that is multiple: architectural, cultural, know-how, memory, a patrimony that wants to be alive and transferable. This valorization is very diverse: it exists by museums and associations, by feasts and other events, but also by the upgrading of certain buildings, by taking into account certain constructions. Elsewhere, companies perpetuate a certain form of heritage while innovating in the activity in which they develop, especially in the textile industry. Finally, a final part will make it possible to take stock of the policies put in place to change the image conveyed around the cities of Tourcoing and Verviers, in the context of the urban renewal, the restructuring of entire districts, windows of this renewal. These policies aim to create the elements of a new attractiveness. This attractiveness involves demographic development, the diversification of the category of the inhabitants and the attraction of the well-to-do populations; but also the attractiveness of transport infrastructures and cultural infrastructures; by the development of companies already present in these territories and by the installation of new enterprises, hoping that they are not only creating wealth, but also jobs for the locals and a real dynamism. However, if there are real successes, we must not forget to plan for longer periods and exercise our critical mind. Being a researcher means being able to think and take a step back, compare and see what exists in other territories to be force of proposal.

Source: http://www.theses.fr/2022ULILA005


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