Bulletin of Geography
Socio-economic Series
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Socio-spatial diversity of Marseille at the turn of the 21st century.

  • Anna Grzegorczyk - University of Warsaw, Faculty of Geography and Regional Studies Institute of Regional and Global Studies, Karowa 20, 00?324 Warsaw, Poland

  • Keywords
    France, Marseille, socio-spatial diversity, immigrants, ethnoclass, ghettoisation, gentrification

    In recent years, cities have significantly changed due to globalisation processes that influence also social aspects of their functioning. Hence, immigrant inflows are observed, social segregation and polarisation significantly increase, and city space is transformed by gentrification processes. Social conflicts seem to be an integral part of the functioning of contemporary cities, what can be seen on the example of French cities. The aim of the article is to show socio-spatial diversity of Marseille, the second largest city of France, with the largest port serving as an economic and immigrant gateway to the country, and as a consequence, making the city prone to socio-spatial restructuring. The study involves the analysis of the demographic and socio-economic diversity of the city's ZUS (zones urbaines sensibles) - districts delimitated by local councils as objectives of urban policy due to social problems concentrated there. They are concentrated in the 'triangle of poverty' of Marseille. The districts highly populated by immigrants represent at the same time the highest level of deprivation. This residential segregation involves mainly Maghrebians. These foreigners overrepresented in the lowest social classes and in the poorest districts are an ethnoclass prone to ghettoisation. However, in contrast to other French cities, social conflicts that burst into riots of the banlieue were almost absent in Marseille in 2005. The reasons for this are the historically determined central location of the deprived districts and failure of the gentrification process, and the policy of local authorities.


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