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Pierre Gilbert et Charlotte Vorms (ed.) & translated by Oliver Waine, « How the Algerian War shaped French cities » Metropolitics, 21 March 2012.

The Algerian War of Independence, which coincided with a turning point in France’s urban history, had a significant influence on the future of French cities. Metropolitics explores the role of conflict in their development.

The second half of the 1950s was a crucial period of change in the history of French urban policy: it was at this time that urban renewal, slum clearance and the construction of large social housing estates began. And yet these policies were implemented while the country was at war – even if the colonial conflict in Algeria was never officially designated as such. Recent research has shown that this context of war was a decisive factor in the orientation of these public policies, which would indelibly mark the appearance and population of French cities, as well as the administrative practices involved in managing these urban areas. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of the conflict, Metropolitics explores in this series of articles the Algerian origins of modern French cities, which are so often forgotten as a result of limited crossover between the disciplines of urban studies and the history of the Algerian War.
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17 April 2021

Pierre Gilbert

Associate Professor at the University of Paris 8
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