In recent years, the working-class neighborhoods of the city center have changed. New businesses and new population arrive.
Slowly but surely, the face of the working-class neighborhoods in the city center is changing. Fruit of a long policy led by the town hall of Toulouse, that of leveling up. The renovation works on rue Bayard, completed in 2017, and those on Place Arnaud-Bernard, which ended in 2018, have refreshed these colorful neighborhoods, and their image somewhat – eaten away by trafficking and prostitution for many years. years. The City has also allowed new businesses to set up.
This lift attracted various investors, private and professional, who speculated on the two neighborhoods, where summer has long lagged behind. In a few years, the price of real estate has jumped in these crucibles of immigration, estimates the poor relatives of the city center. According to the Haute-Garonne Chamber of Notaries, the median price per square meter in Arnaud-Bernard was € 3,400 in 2015. Today, it is € 4,290.
The brake on trafficking and prostitution
Luc Vivès, director of Orpi Toulouse Immobilier, gives a mixed picture of the rise in prices. “In these so-called ‘at risk’ neighborhoods, it has doubled in just a few streets. It is the case of Arnaud Bernard, the arteries which lead to the hyper center are appraised. What moreover made increase the price of the real estate. But in the square, goods are often sold off, ”he analyzes.
According to him, the work of the town hall “pays off”. “Artists and ailments settle in, seduced by the social mix. But to see the well-to-do classes settling in these sectors, some barriers have to be broken down… ”. For him, the problems inherent in Arnaud Bernard and Bayard (trafficking or prostitution) slow down gentrification.
“We cannot speak of gentrification”
In addition to the new businesses, a new population is moving in. Pierre Coustures, manager of the City crossroads rue Bayard and president of the Amitiés Bayard association, does not particularly observe “a visible population change”. “If it happens, it’s in a trickle,” he notes. The works and the doubling of the police force have opened up the neighborhood. It is more attractive ”. A few meters from her shop, a resident of Place Belfort says “that the profile” of her neighbors “has changed”. “Now, executives are moving here. Prostitution is hidden. Only the historic prostitutes remain, ”she said. Seated at a bar, another inhabitant said that before “Drug addicts used to take drugs here, which is unthinkable now”.
At the Capitol, the word “gentrification” crumples. “At a pinch, the gentrification of shops,” slice Caroline Adoue-Bielsa, mayor of Bayard. Julie Escudier, district mayor of Arnaud Bernard adds: “The identity of the districts will not be erased. The evolution takes place in synergy with the citizens. “
And now it’s Bonnefoy’s turn
In a few months, the Bonnefoy district has changed. In the avenue de Lyon, many buildings have been demolished. In this urban renewal project for Toulouse town hall, “the question of gentrification has been adopted”, slips Souhayla Marty, the district mayor. “We want to maintain social diversity in the district, the social innovation pole will help to strengthen”, specifies the elected official. 35% of social housing is planned. On the other side of the scale, the share of free housing will allow a new population to settle. As for future store openings, “a form of diversity will be maintained”. “We can understand the link between the available premises and the project leaders. Freedom of trade will be essential, ”announces Souhayla Marty. In a few years, Bonnefoy will have had it, its facelift.