Youths growing up in the French banlieues: Partners that make the city

Simone van de Wetering, Femke Kaulingfreks

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


How can cities become ‘livable’ for all urban residents? In this chapter, the authors explore the livable city as a city that is livable also for youths and also in marginalized urban areas by zooming in on the case of French youths growing up in the banlieues of Paris. Drawing on ethnographic research in Seine-Saint-Denis, a banlieue northeast of Paris, the authors explore the activities which banlieue youths undertake to realize quality of life in their city. The findings show that youths in the banlieues engage in ‘making their city’ in everyday practices and informal partnerships, even if they do not engage in ‘governing their city’ through formalized partnerships. Based on this study, the authors suggest that attention for informal practices that shape collective life in the city could inform a more inclusive perspective on urban decision making. Exploring the activities that youths take to ‘make the city’, this chapter teaches the reader not only that youths can be vital actors in partnerships for livable cities, but even more so how these partnerships can be effective and legitimate from the perspective of marginalized urban youths.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPartnerships for livable cities
Editors Cor van Montfort, Ank Michels
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-40060-6
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-40059-0
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2020


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