[URBANTH-L]CFP: 4th Intl Conf on Private Urban Governance, Paris

Benito Vergara bvergara at sfsu.edu
Tue Aug 1 15:06:19 EDT 2006

4th International Conference on Private Urban Governance : Production of
urban spaces, Interactions of public and private actors, Sustainability of

Location:              France

Call for Papers Date:       2007-06-05


Dear colleagues,


We are happy to announce details of the 4th International Conference on
Private urban governance & gated communities (Paris, June 2007)


Private Urban Governance : Production of urban spaces, Interactions of
public and private actors, Sustainability of cities.


5-8 june 2007


Location : Paris, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne


More information :



Chair of local organizing committee & contact :

Dr. Renaud Le Goix, Assistant Professor Univ. Paris 1

UMR Géographie-cités 8504 (CNRS, Universités PARIS I et PARIS VII) 13, rue
du four 75006 PARIS - Tél : 01 40 46 40 01 - Fax : 01 40 46 40 09




Deadline for proposals (short abstracts) : 31 october 2006

Please download the MS Word Template on the Conference web site for your


Deadline for papers : 31 march 2007



Following the successful international symposium on Territory, Control and
Enclosure held in Pretoria in February 2005, the next conference in the
biennial series of the international research network Private Urban
Governance & Gated Communities (which started in Hamburg in 1999) will be
hosted in Paris, in the week 5-8 June 2007, at the University Paris 1


Are the new models of urban territorial production created by
privately-operated urbanization significant for the evolution of cities? The
question focuses on the urban patterns generated by the private provision of
collective urban services. Cities have always been shaped by private
interests engaging in the development of land under private ownership and
this process has, in the modern era, generally been structured by state
organised infrastructure development and land use regulation. More recently,
collective territorial interests have been represented by institutions other
than the state, producing urban spaces that are public but not open to all
and private but open to many co-owners. Homeowners Associations, Planned
Unit Developments, Business Improvement Districts, Redevelopment Zones,
condominiums, shopping malls, Community Development Corporations, Common
Interest Developments, gated communities, airport cities and similar are
creating space and territory that is neither purely public nor purely


A decade or more of research on private urban governance has shown how
important it is to understand the dynamics by which these phenomena interact
with other parts of urban systems, including neighbouring communities and
the wider urban economy, society and polity. Local public authorities play a
key role in the evolution of privately governed territory, imposing
financial and organisational regulations, controlling land-use, restricting
land availability, co-ordinating infrastructure and regulating resident and
housing types. An active public governmental role in the production of club
neighbourhoods is nevertheless quite consistent with the gradual erosion of
publicly-owned and managed territory. In many ways the story is an extension
to the trend emerging in Europe in the 1980s, for a shift from direct
production to enabling, contracting out and regulation of public services. A
private urbanism is emerging in which PUDs, BIDs, CIDs and other forms of
private realm are key features.


In thinking about these issues, we should be reminded from history that
urban morphological change has always involved interconnected private and
public actions. Public policy, subsidy, taxation, regulation, arbitration
and direct investment have strongly influenced private investment decisions.
Potsdamer Platz in Berlin and London Docklands tell the story of public
planning relying on private developers to fulfill the state’s objectives. On
one sense, the sprawling private suburbs of Beijing and Buenos Aires are
part of the same story. There is also an earlier historical story in which
private infrastructure, much of it retro-fitted – London’s underground
railway for example - helped shape the first wave of city expansion. A
century later, privately financed infrastructure is once again being
retrofiited to resolve the congestion problems of large cities throughout
the world. The private-public partnerships are more explicit this time round
and more complex and implemented using sophisticated legal instruments.


With these ideas in mind authors are invited to submit papers with the
following emphases:


- historical and cultural analyses that help develop an understanding of the
significance and nature of private urban governance in the long-term shaping
of cities.

- the nature of formal public-private partnerships, including an analysis of
how partnership forms of urban governance are framed by different social and
national contexts and how they shape territory

- the regulation of private urban government, including self regulation,
state regulation, private dispute resolution

- sustainability issues, including the idea that private urban governance
might well be a locally sustainable urban solution, stabilising the
financing of urban growth and the redevelopment of aging neighborhoods;
maintaining social diversity; conserving non-renewable urban resources; and
encouraging reinvestment in urban infrastructure

- impacts and spill-over effects of privately governed territory on other
parts of the urban system, including social cohesion effects, local
spill-overs of crime diversion, systemic spill-overs of traffic diversion,
fear and so on.


The conference aims, therefore, to address several cross-cutting P.U.G.
issues and to encourage multidisciplinary debate (notably geography,
economics, sociology, history, political sciences, law). It will also
provide a forum for discussing operational issues of concern to planners and
policy makers.


Paris offers a good laboratory for studying the long-term emergence,
transformation and contemporary reshaping of private urban governance. A
site visit will take delegates to some of the oldest private residential
gated subdivision (Montretout, 1832) - the blue-collar 19th century private
streets and villas of downtown Paris. This will help focus on the historical
conditions of emergence of private governance and public-private
partnership. We will also visit sites where new complex interactions are
emerging in the suburban areas, for instance between Disney, developers
(Kaufman and Broad, Nexity) and public body of governments (in
Marne-la-Vallée). In some places, local public governments behave as if they
were CIDs (small scale democracy based on consensual agreements); in other
places, public debate has ultimately forced public authorities to ban the
development of private gated enclaves - where they once were used as part of
“new urbanism” designs near Disneyland Paris.


Chair of local organizing committee & contact :

Dr. Renaud Le Goix, Assistant Professor Univ. Paris 1

Dept. of Geography

Research unit: UMR Géographie-cités 8504 (CNRS, Universités PARIS I et PARIS

13, rue du four 75006 PARIS - Tel : +33/1 40 46 40 01 - Fax : +33/1 40 46 40


Email: rlg at parisgeo.cnrs.fr

Visit the website at

More information about the URBANTH-L mailing list