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Val Fourre

Val Fourre, France
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The Val Fourre is a large social housing project of 8,000 units in Mantes-la-Jolie, the west periphery of Paris, was completed in 1959 to accommodate workers of the automobile industry of the Seine valley. It followed the paradigm of cites ideales of Trente Glorieuses and the housing typology of grands ensembles that gained appeal after WWII as a response to housing shortage, rapid industrialisation and new living standards. Since 1991, Val-Fourre has been regarded asa notorious ghetto of bleak housing estates, poverty, violence, drug dealing, and street gang rivalry; an area that most French people would have no desire to go. The population of the Val Fourre was almost 25,000 inhabitants at the beginning of its construction.

Urban Planning

On August 3, 1959, a decree of the Minister of Construction signed the birth certificate of the Val Fourre ZUP at Mantes-la-Jolie. The baby-boom, the development of industrial jobs in this part of the Val de Seine and the arrival of refugees from Algeria, has led to a strong demand for housing. The City of Mantes decided to continue its development towards the west in 1953. Raymond Lopez produced first plans for the urban planning, assisted by Henri Longepierre which continued the project after the death of Lopez in 1966.