Utopie

Bibliography

Société, modes de vie

Éloge des mauvaises herbes. Ce que nous devons à la ZAD

Éloge des mauvaises herbes. Ce que nous devons à la ZAD

Le 17 janvier 2018, le gouvernement français annonce qu’il abandonne le projet très contesté d’aéroport à Notre-Dame-des-Landes. Le 9 avril, il lance une intervention de destruction et d’évacuation de la ZAD (zone à défendre) qui s’était installée à partir de 2009. Cette intervention est le point de départ de cet ouvrage, qui collecte les points de vue de 15 intellectuels (et d’un habitant de la ZAD) afin de comprendre pourquoi la ZAD constitue plus qu ...

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Futurs d'antan

Économie, emploi - Société, modes de vie

The Marxian Utopia of the Communist Society

Who was it who wrote that, “Nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any branch he wishes”? And that “society regulates the general production and thus makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner”? The answer is Karl Marx, the bicentenary of whose birth we celebrate this year, and an author whose imposing body of work offered such an apt description of the struggles that needed pursuing, without however, as Patrice Cailleba highlights, providing many pointers to what a desirable society would look like. And who criticized the socialists of his day for their “fantastic pictures of future society”, condemning these as utopian, if not indeed reactionary.

Karl Marx is a worthy subject for a “Future of Yesteryear” article, as Cailleba’s analysis demonstrates here. Basing himself on Marx’s post-1845 writings, he presents, in summary form, some particularly striking aspects of Marx’s thought with regard to the system of production (in particular, the abolition of private property and its replacement by collective ownership) and his recommendation that, once a sufficient level of production had been achieved, the fruits of that production should be distributed equitably (“from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”). Our readers will undoubtedly be struck by the aptness and topicality of some of the measures he advocated.

Bibliography

Économie, emploi - Société, modes de vie

Utopies réelles

Utopies réelles

Les « utopies réelles », qui donnent à l’ouvrage d’Erik Olin Wright son titre, sont des innovations institutionnelles, réellement expérimentées, qui incarnent des alternatives aux organisations sociales dominantes. L’ouvrage propose bien plus qu’un catalogue de ces expériences sociales : il a l’ambition de poser les fondations d’une science sociale émancipatrice, science qui orienterait la réflexion et la pratique pour une sortie du capitalisme. L’analyse de Karl Marx constitue une précédente tentative avec laquelle l’ouvrage dialogue ...

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Recherche, sciences, techniques - Société, modes de vie

Trois utopies contemporaines

Trois utopies contemporaines

Francis Wolff est philosophe, professeur émérite au département de philosophie de l’ENS (École normale supérieure). Il propose dans cet ouvrage une analyse critique de ce qu’il identifie comme les trois utopies dominantes des sociétés occidentales : le posthumanisme, l’animalisme et le cosmopolitisme. Ces trois courants ont pour point commun, explique-t-il, de chercher à surmonter le paradoxe des sociétés contemporaines. En effet, d’un côté, les individus ont tiré les leçons de l’Histoire et se montrent plus méfiants ...

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Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement - Société, modes de vie

La Société écologique et ses ennemis. Pour une histoire alternative de l’émancipation

La Société écologique et ses ennemis. Pour une histoire alternative de l’émancipation

Le long ouvrage de Serge Audier a pour objectif d’interroger le rapport « complexe et difficile » entretenu par cette « nébuleuse » hétérogène qu’a été la gauche avec les problèmes environnementaux. Si l’actualité de cette problématique laisse espérer une « nouvelle alliance » entre écologie et socialisme, à travers des mouvements comme le coopérativisme, la lutte en faveur des « communs », etc., les contours de celle-ci sont cependant vagues encore. Pour contribuer à ce projet, le livre revient d’abord sur les concepts ...

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Futurs d'antan

Institutions - Société, modes de vie

Happy Five-Hundredth, Thomas More!

Last December we celebrated the five-hundredth anniversary of the publication of Thomas More’s Utopia, which revived a literary tradition begun by Plato — the detailed description of a society that its creator views as ideal. Nicole Morgan, a leading Thomas More specialist, takes a fresh look at this now classic work and its author, a great scholar and statesman, who in it outlines his vision of the optimal form of government as he and his humanist friends of the time saw it. A vision which, in the context of the 16th century, he could serve up only in the form of this humorous narrative that gave us the term “utopia”.

Revue

Société, modes de vie - Territoires, réseaux

Smart Cities, Between Utopia and Experimentation

While elsewhere in this dossier Carlos Moreno shows how the “smart city” represents a new paradigm for utopian thought, Jean-François Soupizet goes into detail here on what smart cities actually are today. After a historical reminder of the origin of this fashionable concept, he analyses the many –technological, organizational, political etc.– issues inherent in the data worked on by cities and in the so-called “smart” management of that data. He then outlines various ongoing experiments relating to smart cities, before examining a series of questions that are crucial to the thinking about them: are smart cities useful, do they optimize partnerships, do they improve local governance? The future of this new urban model will surely depend on answers to these questions and on the capacity of smart cities to open up to all their stakeholders.

Revue

Territoires, réseaux

The Resurgence of Urban Utopias

This year marks the 500th anniversary of the publication of Thomas More’s Utopia, which gave that term its current meaning and reconnected with a literary genre begun by Plato –the detailed description of a society that is seen by the author as ideal. This utopia of More’s, which was highly regarded, particularly in Europe from the 17th century onwards, became very influential and in subsequent centuries many authors have tried their hands at utopian proposals, applied in most cases to circumscribed territories. As Jean Haëntjens reminds us, this strain of utopian thought contributed greatly to fuelling the visions of towns and cities deemed desirable by the political actors and urbanists of the 19th and 20th centuries.

After a long period of “utopian silence”, which led to an absence of innovative thinking on urban matters in the second half of the 20th century, we have for some years now been seeing a host of urban innovations that are akin, in many respects, to utopian ventures. This is why Futuribles has decided to take stock, in this issue, of the complex relations between utopian thinking and urban policies.

Jean Haëntjens opens this dossier by reminding us, first, of the historic collusion between utopians and urbanists, the different periods of utopian thought, and the way urbanists and architects have seized on these utopias to modify the urban landscape. He also shows the developments that have been underway since the 1970s, particularly the emergence of new urban proposals of a utopian or similar nature emanating not from visionary theorists but, increasingly, from associations, communities, enterprises or citizens resolving to take the future of their town or city in hand. It is these initiatives, these new urban utopias that are presented in this issue, with the following question running through the whole enterprise: will they enable us to meet the formidable challenges posed by the accommodation of three billion new urban dwellers by the year 2050?

Revue

Société, modes de vie - Territoires, réseaux

Urban Smartness or Algorithmic Cities? What Scope for New Utopias?

For some years, “smart cities” have aroused a great deal of interest, particularly in a context of renewed concern with towns and cities, which provide the optimal experimental scale when it comes to ecological transition and resilience to climate change. Though there is no unanimously accepted definition, “smart cities” nonetheless have widely recognized characteristics: reconciling economic development, a reduced environmental footprint and improvement of the quality of life of city-dwellers by drawing on available –and, particularly, digital– technologies. Given these objectives, plans for smart cities belonged for a long time to the category of urban utopias. However, with rapid technological advance and a growing awareness of the need for ecological transition, utopia has gradually been caught up by reality.

In this article, Carlos Moreno shows us how urban “smartness” represents a new paradigm for utopian thinking and may offer a real opportunity for our urban areas and their citizens to evolve. He also stresses the importance of not confining ourselves to a focus on the technological dimension and contributing to the emergence of human smart cities.

Editorial

Territoires, réseaux

Les utopies urbaines

Le précédent numéro de notre revue était très largement consacré aux relations entre science-fiction et prospective, aux apports de celle-ci à celle-là. Nous avons bien vu alors, notamment au travers de l’article de Gérard Klein [1], que les réflexions sur l’avenir relèvent de genres littéraires différents (utopie, dystopie, uchronie, science-fiction, prospective…) mais qui ne se distinguent pas si aisément… En témoigne le dossier spécial orchestré par Jean Haëntjens sur les utopies urbaines que nous publions dans le présent ...

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Revue

Société, modes de vie - Territoires, réseaux

The Darwin Urban Ecosystem: From “Territorial Hacking” to a New Model of Co-producing the City?

Jean-Marc Gancille and Philippe Barre give an account here of the urban eco-system they have played a part in developing in Bordeaux on the wasteland left by an abandoned military barracks. After rehearsing the history of their “takeover” of the site, they show how their project fits into a long-term perspective, combining local traders, co-working, culture, leisure activities, an urban farm and other ecological experiments against a background of alternative citizen culture. It is all about another way of seeing and conceiving urban space, and particularly of putting ecological transition into practice, a notion that has been much talked about in France but has struggled to find wide-scale implementation. And, despite the obstructions and resistance that continue, on a regular basis, to hamper this process of urban creation, the site is expanding, activities and employment are growing, and the ecosystem is developing after the fashion of the Darwinian evolution of species: it is adapting and progressing.

Revue

Société, modes de vie - Territoires, réseaux

The Prototype City: Or How the Countries of the South are Reinventing Urbanism

As the Habitat III international conference to be held at Quito in October 2016 is in preparation (following the conferences of Vancouver in 1976 and Istanbul in 1996, it will lay down the United Nations road map for urban development over the next twenty years), one thing is clear: solutions for the city of tomorrow are no longer to be sought solely from among the developed countries, but increasingly from the cities of the South. Those cities, with populations that are increasing rapidly and should continue to do so in the coming decades, are offering a new approach to urbanism: namely prototype urbanism, an approach that is less theoretical and more experimental. Morgan Poulizac outlines its mechanisms for us here (responding –often urgently– to the social demand with the means that happen to be to hand) and provides various examples from the African, Asian and South American continents.

Revue

Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement - Territoires, réseaux

Urban Nature, a Paradoxical Utopia

Whereas in most countries the issues around sustainable development are well acknowledged at all institutional levels, the question of the place of nature in towns and cities still remains a crucial element to be confronted by those who conceive and craft our urban policies. And yet, as Jean-Pierre Lévy and Isabelle Hajek stress in this article, combining the two terms “nature” and “urban” may seem paradoxical, to say the least –and quite often is so. Is the idea of nature in the city purely utopian then, in the sense that the city might be said by definition to be “anti-nature”? Precisely because of the currently prevalent context of the pursuit of sustainable development, are there not future prospects for urban nature? This is the question Lévy and Hajek analyse here, after first examining the way city-nature relations have been viewed historically; they emphasize the expectations associated with sustainable development and the renewed interest in working out how to reintroduce nature into the urban environment and overcome the paradoxes. Though often idealized and as yet still poorly defined, urban nature remains a dynamic concept which, in its way, also feeds into visions of urban reconfiguration.

Revue

Société, modes de vie - Territoires, réseaux

Utop, an Ongoing Utopian Housing Project in Paris

As Jean Haëntjens stressed in his article at the beginning of this special issue, we have, since the 1970s, seen the emergence of new urban projects, coming not from visionary theorists but increasingly from associations, collectives, companies or citizens who have decided to take the future of their city in hand. Marthe de La Taille-Rivero outlines one of these initiatives here, the work of a collective of Paris citizens who are carrying out a project in participatory living. She shows how a utopian vision of housing shared between friends is about to become reality, since, after surmounting a series of administrative, financial and technical hurdles, the Utop project has been approved by the Paris city authorities and translated into an architectural project that is both environmentally friendly and mindful of the need to connect with the residents of the area. If everything goes according to plan, the housing complex should be in place in two years’ time, lending substance to a new form of urban utopia.

Bibliography

Recherche, sciences, techniques

Pour une histoire des possibles. Analyses contrefactuelles et futurs non advenus

Pour une histoire des possibles. Analyses contrefactuelles et futurs non advenus

Quel aurait été le nouveau destin de Napoléon « si » celui-ci avait gagné la bataille de Waterloo ? Imaginer un scénario, une « uchronie » ou une Histoire « contrefactuelle », dans lequel l’Histoire aurait pris un autre cours, semble vain puisque la réalité historique est connue. Quentin Deluermoz et Pierre Singaravélou, deux historiens, expriment un autre point de vue en montrant dans leur livre que l’Histoire contrefactuelle peut être utile aux travaux historiques. Leur ouvrage comporte trois parties : une enquête sur les raisonnements ...

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Note de veille

Recherche, sciences, techniques - Territoires, réseaux

Demain, une ville sous-marine ?

Les gratte-ciel ont incarné la modernité urbaine du XXe siècle, mais l’avenir des villes pourrait basculer vers les grands fonds marins. Telle est la perspective ouverte par le projet Ocean Spiral, un concept de cité sous-marine du futur dévoilé en novembre 2014 par le géant japonais de la construction Shimizu Corporation, et conçu en partenariat avec des experts de l’université de Tokyo et de l’Agence japonaise pour la science et la technologie marine et terrestre (JAMSTEC). Le ...

(966 more words)

Bibliography

Économie, emploi

Ma France de 2025

Parmi les livres récents qui analysent l’état de la France et scrutent son avenir, celui de François Essig tranche par son parti pris original. À travers l’évocation de 21 événements imaginaires égrenés au long de l’année 2025, ce « journal d’espoir » trace les contours d’une France apaisée qui a dépassé ses blocages et repris la route de la croissance et de l’optimisme. « La campagne présidentielle de 2012 m’avait rendu furieux, écrit-il au début de ...

(738 more words)

Bibliography

L’Atlas des utopies

Depuis 2007, les rédactions des journaux La Vie et Le Monde réalisent chaque année, en collaboration avec des experts extérieurs, des atlas thématiques sur la géopolitique. Après les religions, les civilisations, les migrations et les mondialisations, la présente édition s’intéresse aux utopies qui, tout au long de l’histoire, ont guidé les sociétés, et pourraient aussi orienter les projets de demain. L’utopie peut concerner tous les domaines et est, de ce fait, difficile à cerner : c’est pourquoi ...

(265 more words)

Futurs d'antan

Société, modes de vie

Theodor Hertzka’s Journey to the Ends of Africa

The 19th century saw a plethora of social utopias, either theoretical constructs (Charles Fourier’s phalanstery, for example) or more novelistic productions (cf. the works of Jules Verne, Edward Bellamy, Étienne Cabet etc.). Among these, Theodor Hertzka’s Freeland: A Social Anticipation, a book published in German in 1890 and translated into English in 1891, wholly deserves to have a short “Futures of Yesteryear” article devoted to it. In this article Bernard Cazes sketches the outlines of this free-market African utopia, set in present-day Kenya, the story of which is told by the Austro-Hungarian journalist Theodor Hertzka in two novels (the second a slimmed-down version of the first) that enjoyed genuine success in their day. After some investigation of the author’s geopolitical choices, Bernard Cazes emphasizes the originality of the socio-political framework advocated by Hertzka, particularly where political organization and the role of women are concerned. Lastly, he presents the economic strand of the utopia. This is, in his view, a little less impressive, but an evocation of the free circulation of labour emerges from it nonetheless.

Bibliography

Territoires, réseaux

Le Monde en 2112. Utopies pour après-demain

Laviedesidées.fr publie des travaux transdisciplinaires écrits par des auteurs d’horizons et de nationalités diverses. Dans le cadre d’un dossier sur « Le monde en 2112 », des chercheurs ont été invités à décrire la réalité telle qu’ils la voient ou aimeraient la voir dans 100 ans. Dans leur domaine de prédilection, ils se projettent dans l’avenir et décrivent ce que pourrait être le XXIIe siècle.Jean Gadrey, professeur d’économie, oriente sa réflexion sur le plafonnement des ...

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