Paris Under Construction: Building Sites and Urban Transformation in the 1960s, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Paris Under Construction

Building Sites and Urban Transformation in the 1960s, 1st Edition

By Jacob Paskins


234 pages | 34 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9780815381952
pub: 2017-11-22
Hardback: 9781138939998
pub: 2015-10-30
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315674537
pub: 2015-12-07
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During the 1960s, building sites in Paris became spaces that expressed preoccupations about urban transformation, labour immigration and national identity. As new buildings and infrastructure changed the city, building sites revealed the substandard living and working conditions of migrant construction workers in France. Moreover, construction was the touchstone in debates about the dangers of urban life, and triggered action in communities whose districts faced demolition. Paris Under Construction explores the social, political and cultural responses to construction work and urban transformation in the Paris metropolitan region during the 1960s. This examination of a decade of intensive building work considers the ways in which the experience of construction was mediated, produced and reproduced through a range of complex and sometimes contradictory representations. The building sites that produced the new Paris are no longer visible, and were perhaps never intended to be seen, yet different groups closely observed and recorded construction, giving it meanings that went beyond specific building activities. The research draws extensively on French newspaper, television and radio archives, and delves into rarely examined trade union material. Paris Under Construction gives voice to the witnesses of—and participants in—urban transformation who are usually excluded from architectural and urban history.


"Through the eyes of Henri Lefebvre, Paskins takes a bold new look at Paris's second cataclysmic transformation in the 1960s. Weaving together disparate threads of France's postwar national identity, corporate capitalism, and the lives of immigrant construction workers, Paskins uses official documents and non-traditional resources to reconstruct the production of Paris's multilayered urban fabric and come up with a radical new definition of architectural history." –Meredith L. Clausen, University of Washington

Table of Contents

1. Building Sites and Nation Building 2. Politics on the Building Site 3. Housing Builders: Constructing Inequality 4. The Building Site Next Door 5. Building Site Accidents: Construction in Crisis

About the Series

Routledge Research in Planning and Urban Design

The Routledge Research in Planning and Urban Design series provides the reader with the latest scholarship in the field of planning and beyond. The series publishes international research covering spatial planning, regional planning, planning history, planning theory, communities, impact assessment, transport, sustainability and urban design. Building on Routledge’s history of academic rigor and cutting edge research, the series will contribute to the rapidly expanding literature in all areas of planning and urban design. 

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ARCHITECTURE / Urban & Land Use Planning