The word "banlieus" as plural
I encounted this word in a book written in English. When I consulted the dictionary, I was given the meaning that it is equal to "suburbs" in English. But does it have any derogative sense in it? I wonder.
Thanks in advance.
Merci d'avance :-)Context:
(In the 19th century,) the villages and small towns (including Bougival, Argenteuil, Gennevillier, etc)of the banlieues, built in patchwork around the loop of the Seine, varied hugely in size, architectural appearance and general ambience. Most of them were predominantly rural, serving the city with agricultural produce grown in market gardens and brought in train to Les Halles.