Cities under the post-Fordist economy: what challenges?

Remi Dormois, November 2012

This sub-dossier serves as an introduction. We will begin with a quick reminder of the characteristics of the current capitalistic system. Let’s remember that the form of capitalism has changed over time, even though the essential principles remain the same. Capitalism in the Ford era was built around mechanised production processes, widespread division of labour and salary increases to guarantee markets for what companies produced. Capitalism in the post-Ford period, which other observers would call neo-liberal, is based on different principles. These are described in detail in the first analysis. Changes in the way capitalism is organised have an impact on spatial use, in particular on the development of cities.

The second analysis looks at why large cities and their surrounding regions account for most of the growth in jobs with high added value, and why cities have an increasingly high concentration of knowledge-based activities (high-level corporate services, research and development, culture and artistic creation, etc.) This concentration dynamic is not without its problems: cities in the same country do not grow equally; there is increased socio-spatial segregation between municipalities, between neighbourhoods in urban regions, etc. These challenges are examined in detail in the third analysis.

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3 analysis

4 case studies

A resource