The area is under “renovation” since a number of years, but is still perhaps not among the “cleanest” areas of Paris. As, often, however, there are some small streets and alleys (Villa des Tulipes, Impasse de Talus, Passage Charles Albert…) with some, at least in my mind, attractive atmosphere.
(Please not that even some old gas lampions are around, of course now electrified.)
There are and have of course been some conflicts between the locals and the authorities about which development the area should take. Some of the “leaders” to defend the spirit of the area have been the urban or street artists (see previous posts about urban art and graffiti), especially “Mosko et associés” who started a campaign 20 years ago. Today, I hardly found any traces of their art, except some modest souvenirs left after a recent 20 year celebration. I added a typical giraffe by “Mosko et associés”, found elsewhere in the city.