Beside a few remarkable successes of large “urban ships” in which a sense of urbanity developed, there was a large number of failures that have been less documented. The “ideological urban slabs” in the Paris region, which were supposed to develop into new, modern central places, have in fact progressively drifted. The connection between the urban place (here the new urban centers built on slabs, with its various squares and poles of connection, especially shopping centers) and the various networks that interconnect in such a place (especially the much praised “intermodal transport poles”) has suffered from the vicissitudes of urban history. This connection was never actually achieved, due to the lack of a planning and geographical reflection on spatial scales and their interaction, to the lack of a sociological reflection on the relation between urban forms and the behaviors of dwellers, and finally to a lack of coordination between urban actors. As a result, the Choisy-le-Roi slab city center constitutes a remarkable example of an urban grounding.
Special Report: Large Public FacilitiesBy Guénola Capron, Pedro José García Sánchez