"Searching for the Grand Paris" "How have the suburbs developed since the 19th century?" -The history of the suburbs and in particular, the history of the Parisian suburbs, is fascinating to study. Of course, it is marked, in a way, it is driven by urban development. It is driven by the major redevelopment and renovation projects of the city center. We tend forget that it was capable of preserving its working classes over a long period of time, especially in the outer arrondissements of Paris, annexed in 1860, so Paris, contrary to what people could say, also remained a working-class city, and not an exclusive bourgeois city. And, indisputably, the working class then spills over into the suburbs, which results in industrialization, throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, and which also gives this area its working-class anchoring, working-class roots, but not just this. It is preferable to speak about the suburbs "of the people" rather than the "working-class" suburbs, even in the early 20th century. And so, opposite these suburbs, which cover a significant amount of land, among the 80 communes in the Seine department, around 30 have working-class roots. You have another type of population, which appears at the same time, that of the residential suburbs. The residential suburbs signify, in a way, a change in vacation trends, a rise in second homes, which, over time, particularly during the 19th century and the start of the 20th century, evolve into the more well-off areas, but not just in terms for the bourgeois upper classes. They become the expression of a more conservative political culture, and they are in contrast with the working-class suburbs, which have a more socialist or communist foundation, from the beginning of the 20th century. We should also note that these suburbs are not solely working class, and not solely residential. They are more mixed than that. From a sociological perspective, they are more mixed. The population is more diverse than what you would find in the traditionally working-class or industrial towns or in the highly bourgeois towns. One particular example is Neuilly-sur-Seine, which is archetypal of this type of bourgeois population. Ivry and Saint-Denis are the industrial, working-class examples. "What is the relationship between Paris and its suburbs?" The Paris-suburbs relationship, over the course of the 19th century and the early 20th century, we associate it with a history of conflict. A power-based relationship, between the dominant and the marginalized. I believe that its history is characterized by the collective imagination. It is still characterized by this today. But this does not necessarily reflect reality in the sense that Paris has been portrayed, since the early 20th century, in the press that defends the interests of the suburbs, particularly the Journal de Saint-Denis, founded in the late 19th century, the capital city has been portrayed as a colonial power, as a colonial city. A colonial city that does not attack other countries, but, in some ways, attacks its own periphery, its more rural towns, which includes the Seine department, established during the French Revolution alongside the other departments of France. So, this image of a colonized suburban area, under the capital city, is largely because of... the city's control over the cemeteries located outside of central Paris, which cover around 300, 400 hectares. These necropolises were imposed on the suburban towns, for example in Pantin, Bobigny, Bagneux, Saint-Ouen, Saint-Denis as well, they still have a Parisian cemetery. I will not name all the locations, but the most recent one is the Thiais cemetery which was created in the 1920s and covers 100 hectares in one of the suburban towns, so this shows the influence the city center had over urban, economic and social development over a town like Thiais in the early 20th century. So the reality is one of expropriation. I have mentioned cemeteries, but I should also talk about the sewage fields, areas that received waste water from Paris. This sewage field, in the early 20th century, spead over 5,000 hectares. Eventually, these sewage fields were replaced by treatment plants. The largest one is probably Achères. These are monumental occurrences. This expropriation constitutes a form of domination. Domination by a capital city which has rejected industrial activity it no longer wanted to see in that area. I should mention other facilities, hospices, prisons, which also form part of Paris's desire to push the things they do not want further away. So, this expropriation... The numerical disadvantage of representatives from the suburbs in the instance of the Grand Paris, the general council, clearly translates this idea of marginalization. Simply, we should remember, I could have mentioned this earlier, the concessions that were discussed and pondered within the Seine department general council also allowed them to go beyond these contentious zones and in a way, I would say, to compensate for this feeling of marginalization through developing urban policy : policy related to these technical networks, water, electricity, and the funding or aid given to construction projects and social housing planning, which fell under the jurisdiction of the Grand Paris initiative and so, under a co-financing essentially covered by the Parisian taxpayers. This troubled history should not hide the fact that a great amount of solidarity existed, which is an important factor in the relationship between Paris and its suburbs. So, conflict, but also overcoming conflict, I think this is important to highlight, as well as certain organizations that played a key role in overcoming conflict, who played a kind of mediatory role, a kind of political mediatory role. For example, the Seine mayors' union. This was created in 1909 and it is an interesting example because it brought together the mayors from the 80 suburban communes and, evidently, it was at the same time a body that allowed them to adopt a common strategy in front of the Paris representatives, to defend the interests of the suburbs, to put forward a stronger position in defence of the suburbs. It also allowed them to develop the ability to compromise in the sense that the sectarian divide was lessened within this union of Seine mayors, which, in a way, had a depoliticizing effect. It allowed the representatives, whether they were conservative, whether they were radical socialists, socialists, communists, to agree on the essential issues, defending their taxpayers, their citizens, those who lived in the suburbs, who were of course less well-equipped, and more isolated than the Parisians. Political parties also played an important role in the search for compromise, in particular, the French Section of the Workers' International and its local representatives. We could say the same for the Communist Party and their high-level representatives who ensured the success of municipal communism and who were early radicalists, and were involved in revolutionary engagement. There is also a need to accept concessions, to make concessions, with the aim of responding to their citizens' needs, mainly in the working-class suburbs, where the need for public services was much more prevalent than in the residential suburbs.