Social transformation of the Paris agglomeration in the 20th century: A longitudinal and cohort approach to inequalities in access to the city

By Guillaume Le Roux, Christophe Imbert, Arnaud Bringé, Catherine Bonvalet, Catriona Dutreuilh

The Paris region changed radically over the second half of the 20th century as the population of Paris intra-muros declined, its old quarters were renovated, and its outskirts were transformed by suburban densification and periurban development. These changes led to a redistribution of populations across the Paris agglomeration linked to the departure of working- and middle-class inhabitants from Paris to the suburbs, the arrival of new migrant working classes, and the gradual gentrification of the French capital. Although generally based on a cross-sectional approach, research on urban segregation has suggested that changes in the geographical mobility of individuals and households are linked to changes in the social division of space. This article contributes new findings to this research by analysing an original corpus of INED surveys in the Paris region which shed light on the mobility of birth cohorts affected by the social transformation of the capital and its suburbs between 1930 and 2000. It reveals a strengthening across birth cohorts of the link between social status and geographical centrality as the agglomeration expanded and new transport networks were developed.

  • event history approach
  • geographical mobility
  • social classes
  • transport
  • accessibility
  • Paris
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