Eco-neighbourhoods: the last frustrated outline of the great history of Utopia?

Jean-Louis Violeau


Utopia today draws a critical horizon rather than a promising future. Too often, this promise may have been a tool to plea for patience and justify the immediate sacrifices in the name of a nebulous future. For a long time the construction of the city was an integral part of a larger project to build a new society. But under the contemporary aegis of "sustainable development", the new sentence is yet to take an original form. In eco-neighbourhoods, the plot is still despotic, and it only re-emerges from its box under the spectre of heliotropism, under the aegis of thermal performance and of neighbourhood plans dictated by the housing orientation. As for the "smart city" -a discovery of the field of marketing-, it will always draw a smile in our faces. Whereas sustainable development emerged in the 2000s as a soft and unanimous slogan, degrowth took over in the 2010s, turning into a hard cleaving slogan. But how to envision the "project" within this horizon without adopting a regressive posture?


Utopia; eco-neighbourhoods; urban dispersion; degrowth; Lacaton & Vassal

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