Series 14 Vol 1 No 2 (2018)

Ambivalence et complexité des nuits urbaines contemporaines : le cas de Bordeaux

Cécilia Comelli
CNRS - Centre national de la recherche scientifique, Bordeaux, Aquitaine, France

Published 2019-07-11


  • Night,
  • city,
  • Bordeaux,
  • revitalisation,
  • attractivity

How to Cite

Comelli, C. (2019). Ambivalence et complexité des nuits urbaines contemporaines : le cas de Bordeaux. Bollettino Della Società Geografica Italiana, 1(2), 85-97.


This article focuses on the night-time in Bordeaux, as a complex and ambivalent space-time. The urban night is a space-time no less complex than the daytime, as we will see with the example of the city of Bordeaux. Indeed, this space-time, according to the actors, may be attractive, denied or more normative than night owls could not or would not like to believe (Cauquelin 1977). The policies of requalification and revitalisation that has been running for the last twenty years have played a major role in the return of people to the city, in all temporalities. This nocturnal attractiveness is also sometimes accompanied by conflicts of use. These new practices and the resulting conflicts have led to a municipal policy that is more strict than tolerant, although at the same time the municipality uses lighting as a communication medium for marketing aims. Be it for authorities or the general public, night-time in Bordeaux seems comparable to a physical and mental border.