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Published on 29/06/2016

The metamorphosis of tropical cities

On 8 June, Renaud Colombier, urban development expert with GRET, participated in the symposium entitled “The metamorphosis of tropical cities”, held in the Palais du Luxembourg in Paris to prepare for Habitat III. The symposium was organised by Métamorphose Outremers (Overseas Metamorphosis), an association set up in 2014 that aims to increase knowledge on the French overseas territories, highlight their contributions to French international relations and enable them to have increased participation in international debates. Renaud Combier contributed to the round table entitled “How can Habitat III contribute to the future sustainability of tropical cities?” He spoke on the subject of inclusive cities, based on the missions led by GRET in recent years for the commune of Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni, with backing from Agence française de développement (AFD) and the Guyanese directorate of the environment, planning and housing (DEAL), in terms of urban forward planning and renewal of tools and methods for absorption of spontaneous urbanisation.

He attempted to demonstrate how strategic urban forward planning highlights the effects on the city of the continuous implementation of current public policies given current trends (especially the multiplication by eight of informal urbanisation in Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni by 2030), to identify the negative externalities and the cost of inaction, and to put forward potential means for action, especially for managing spontaneous urbanisation. He also insisted on the need to multiply experimentation in terms of social home ownership and improving owner-occupied housing for low-income families via improved balance of public loans between rented social housing, which is not suitable for a large part of the Guyanese population, and social home ownership.

See GRET’s solution factsheets for Habitat III on this subject:
Read the Concerted strategic forward planning solution factsheet (in French)
Read the Housing suited for low-income families solution factsheet (in French)

Follow GRET’s actions for Habitat III