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FAIRE 2020

No vacancies for medical practice in the city


Study on urban medical deserts

Study on urban medical deserts


“Medical deserts are spreading across the country, from rural areas to the heart of metropolises. Reports from the French Regional Health Agency (ARS) reveal a lack of medical density in the north-east of Paris and express concern regarding the deficiencies that the ageing of the health workforce will bring about even in the better endowed arrondissements of Paris. Issues relating to architecture and real estate play a part in the multifaceted expansion of desertification. Some doctors have needed up to a few years to simply find premises that were suitable for their practice in the French capital.

The health crisis provides an opportunity to reinvent a crucial link in the public healthcare system: city medicine. Architectural and urban innovation can actively contribute to the rebuilding of a primary healthcare network, which is currently found wanting. The first line of action could be setting up health centres and healthcare clusters in premises that have been left vacant by the withdrawal of public services. Drawing up an inventory of heritage and types of available places will lay the foundations for a medical reconquest. Concurrently, an opening programmatic inquiry in the common forms of city medicine will be conducted. What functions must be aggregated to health centres? Should they be limited to bringing together medical practices, or should they be considered as places that are dedicated to urban health, providing information, advice and daily services, and perhaps even residential care? If they are designed to meet everyday needs as well as to live up to times of crisis, new kinds of health programmes could then become a key part of what makes cities resilient.”

Oglo, Emmanuel de France, Arnaud Dambrine, architects
Oglo is an architecture firm founded by Arnaud Dambrine and Emmanuel de France in 2011. They view the sensitive search for form, the poetic and symbolic dimensions of space, as well as materiality as being foundational to the creative process.
Initiated in 2017 by Pavillon de l’Arsenal along with the City of Paris and with the support of the Caisse des Dépôts, MINI and, since this year, EDF, the FAIRE platform invites multidisciplinary teams, architects, urban planners, landscapers, engineers, and designers, to propose innovative research and experimentation projects to address key urban challenges. Since its creation, FAIRE has already supported more than thirty teams alongside its partners, launched the publication of twelve research projects, developed eighteen in-situ experiments as well as a new type of property development. More than a hundred practitioners have joined forces with the winners of the various editions to support their experimental approaches.


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