Wednesday 10 August 2011

When the layout makes all the difference

If so, Londoners of all stripes will have to learn again to live together in a way Parisians and their banlieusards haven't even attempted to for generations. The divide is that complete, due mostly to the reinforced-ghetto nature of many French projects. Indeed, one of the biggest complaints that France's banlieue residents continue airing is how their geographical remoteness from the centers of France's main cities only the most evident form of their exclusion from and rejection by wider, productive, profitable French society. Transportation to and from projects into city centers is limited at best, and it takes significant effort for residents to jump what's become known as the “invisible wall” separating them from the turf of wider French society. This, indeed, was a major reason why when rioting broke out in 2005, the burning cars and pitched battles with police were limited to the suburbs: that's where the anger was created, grew, festered and exploded; seeking to export that into the areas that white, comfortable France calls home would have left rioters dissipated, disorganized, and exposed so far from their bases.
Conversely, in London—and the other English cities in which unrest is now flaring up—the people doing the most damage are believed to live among relatively well-off working families. 
TIME: The Riots of Paris and London: A Tale of Two Cities, August 9, 2011

No comments: