Contesting the Champs-Elysées

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Change Management, 2012, 12 (3), pp. 355 - 373
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World-renowned urban places struggle to retain the qualities that made them famous as the fabric of the city changes. Often their specific charms and qualities, indeed, their identity, are threatened by organization changes in the urban environment. This article shows how the 'Champs-Elysées' is fragmenting into anonymous subspaces that raise the risk of it becoming a non-place. We show the role of a specific institutional influence, the Comité des Champs-Elysées, which seeks to preserve the site despite the heterogeneity of its members. Two strategies emerge from their actions: deceleration of the flows of people is sought to slow and channel people on the Avenue within a modernized iconic space, while the constitution of events seeks to combine different sights and make them coexist together as a mosaic of experiences. The article concludes by showing the limits of influence of regulation that leaves the future of the space undetermined. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
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