Data on the socio-demographic and cultural landscape of the city of Arles (France)

Published: 31 January 2018| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/kh5wbtbyfz.1
Elena Raevskikh


We evaluate our hypotheses connecting the “placemaking strategy” with the social, economic and cultural transformation of Arles using the statistical databases from the French National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) on the IRIS level. The IRIS (Aggregated Units for Statistical Information) geographical division is more detailed than zip and district codes. France is composed of approximately 16 000 IRIS codes that cover infra-communal territories scaled to the target size of 2000 residents per basic unit. We compare the IRIS level databases from 2006/2007 (when Arles had not yet been impacted by the Luma Foundation initiative and was entirely under the control of the public cultural policy) and from 2013 (three years after the Luma Foundation project implementation began in 2010). The combination of cartographic analysis and a series of linear regressions allow us to examine the city’s transformations both at the scale of the whole agglomeration, and on the level of each neighborhood. As we can only measure the “anticipation” effects of the Luma Foundation as a construction site in 2013, we are neither able to access smaller scale data concerning its audiences nor elaborate the indicators to measure its cultural and aesthetic effects. However, the cartographic analysis takes into account the urban dynamics of the neighborhoods impacted by the new landmark building. To analyze the disposition of Arles Bohemian districts and their relations with flagship cultural institutions (Arles Amphitheatre, Luma Foundation construction site), we have extracted data concerning the cultural institutions (theaters, museums), as well as community-oriented local cultural resources (cultural associations), from the Yellow Pages directory. As the data from the Yellow Pages is not archived, there is no technical possibility to extract the addresses of the Arles cultural amenities in 2006 and in 2013. However, our ethnographic observations show a rather weak mobility of Arles cultural landscape, traditionnaly concentred around the Arles Amphitheatre. In consequence, despite this limit of our analysis, the data extracted from the YP in 2016 is still able to provide a pertinent representation of the spatial distribution of the local cultural amenities. We have geolocated the extracted addresses on the IRIS-level map with ArcGis software. By using this method, we were able to evaluate the relation between the city’s cultural landscape and its social geography before and after the Luma Foundation project implementation.



Sociology, Comparative Sociology, Urban Sociology, Demographics, Cultural Ecology