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  • Presentation of half-day tours

    Saint-Denis, a united city despite spatial fractures and social inequalities

    Marion Tillous
    Language : French and english

    The city of Saint-Denis, whose historic center is located 10 km from the Cathedral of Notre-Dame, has been, since its foundation, considered by Paris as a service territory. With a certain glory at the beginning, since it is in its Basilica that almost all the Kings and Queens of France are buried ; which awarded it to be connected to Paris by the magisterial avenue that constituted the "Voie Royale" / "Royal Way". But with the industrialization of the 19th century and the opening of the canal in the 1820's, the city that was a stopover for trade from the North of France to Paris gradually saw its agricultural areas covered with factories. Inequalities grew within its population, as newly arrived workers rubbed shoulders with the well-to-do girls of the Maison d'Éducation de la Légion d'Honneur created by Napoleon Bonaparte. The construction of highways during the 20th century reinforced the fracturing of the territory, all the more so since they cut right through the working-class residential fabric. The construction of the Stade de France and, by 2024, of the infrastructures linked to the Olympic Games are also part of this dynamic. Despite all this, Saint-Denis is a city with a strong identity that manages to preserve a unity: this is what we will try to show during this field visit.

               © Photo St Denis, Marion Tillous, 2019 

    The Bois de Boulogne and its margins: the preserve of the dominant classes?
    An excursion to analyze the conflicts of development in the West of Paris and their geopolitical stakes.

    Matthieu Jeanne
    Language : French

    For the past 15 years, development conflicts concerning social or sports facilities have multiplied in the Bois de Boulogne and its surroundings. Residents' and locals associations are opposed to the Paris City Council. These conflicts now occupy a central place in the rivalries of actors for the political control of the Parisian territory.

       © Matthieu Jeanne

    The Paris of the Yellow Vests: spaces of struggle 
    Gilles Martinet et Véronique Bontemps
    Language : French

    Cette sortie propose de parcourir des espaces parisiens des luttes sociales et politiques de ces dernières années, afin d'en comprendre les spécificités et les transformations, notamment celles produites par les Gilets Jaunes. Utilisant le métro, et marchant parfois au pas rapide des "manifs GJ", nous visiterons les Champs Elysées, Saint-Lazare, la place de la République avant de finir place d'Italie. 
    Nous aborderons la reconfiguration des espaces parisiens de la contestation, depuis Nuit Debout jusqu'à aujourd'hui, en nous concentrant sur l'expérience des Gilets Jaunes, qui ont investi les lieux de pouvoir, inventant de nouvelles tactiques de lutte face à des stratégies policières inédites.
       © Photo 24 novembre 2018, Serge D'ignazio

    Créteil a planned centrality in the banlieue

    Sophie Blanchard et Claire Hancock
    Language : English

    The City of Créteil is one of the designated « new centers » on the outskirts of Paris planned in the 1960s in order to decentralize political decision making and limit the banlieue’s dependance on central Paris. A very ambitious urbanistic plan was deployed in an area of relative deprivation, with a striking visual signature and high hopes for a new centrality. This tour of Créteil includes its charming lakeside, daring housing developments and major public landmarks.

       © Photos lac de Créteil, Sophie Blanchard, 2018

    Barefoot City, Slow City?
    Ciudad descalza, ciudad lenta?

    Jérôme Monnet
    Language : English, Spanish and french

    The emphasis on vision encourages velocity as well as speed requires more concentration on vision. To challenge this feedback loop and its dominance on our perception, practice, conception and design of the city, we will explore the urban environment through a barefoot walk. This is intended to enhance the importance of proprioception, touch, smell and hearing to enrich the urban experience through slow motion.
    Duration : 2 hours
    Recommended : hat and water
    El énfasis en la visión fomenta la velocidad, al igual que la velocidad requiere una mayor concentración en la visión. Para desafiar este bucle de retroalimentación y su dominio sobre la percepción, la práctica, la concepción y el diseño de la ciudad, exploraremos el entorno urbano a través de un paseo descalzo. Con ello se pretende realzar la importancia de la propiocepción, el tacto, el olfato y el oído para enriquecer la experiencia urbana a través del movimiento lento.
    Duración : 2 horas
    Recomendado : sombrero y agua

                 © Photo, Jérôme Monnet, 2017

    Nature in the city. A walk in the heart of the Bièvre valley, in Arcueil and Cachan
    Language : French and english

    A small guide on line on the IGU website could to be downloaded and allow you to discover the various forms that nature can take in the city. It proposes an itinerary in the form of a sensitive urban walk of about an hour and a half in the Bièvre valley, with the future Arcueil-Cachan Grand Paris Express station as the starting point. You could discover the different meanings of nature in the city : parks, planted promenades,, shared gardens. The Vallée de la Bièvre, located in the southern suburbs of Paris, has a characteristic landscape shaped by its historical function in the service of the capital. Working-class housing and suburban buildings, works of art and industrial wastelands are the witnesses of a rich past and form the landscape signature of a territory between city and nature.


    Nature in the city. A walk in Ivry-sur-Seine

    Language : French and english

    An online guide on the IGU website could to be downloaded and allow you to discover the place of nature in a city of the suburbs close to Paris at the heart of the deindustrialization and urban renewal processes. From the Ivry town hall (metro 7) to the Voltaire square, you will (re)discover the history of this city through the evolution of its gardens, from the workers' gardens to the family gardens, to the insertion gardens, to the shared gardens and to the recent urban parks. You will see how plants were integrated by architects in the functional urbanism of the 1960s-1970s, and, in the early 1980s, to blur the line between public and private space.


    Urban kitchen gardens in Versailles – Agroecological transformations and landscape architecture:
    time and space for a desired transition

    Sophie Bonin, Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Paysage de Versailles

    The last “Agricultural Revolution”, was based on the adoption of mechanization-motorization and chemization. It was the result of searching for an autonomy from the land (soil, climate, limits or frontiers), and even from the territory with a disconnection from local markets and chains of production. This has led to both the dramatically increased specialization of certain regions/territories and a great simplification of the landscapes. In many ways, agroecology aims to recreate relationships both with the characteristics of the landscape (landscape structures are integrative of soil-climate-water relationships but also of the history of human / non-human relationships built over the years), and with territorial dynamics (reconnection to local markets, upstream and downstream of agricultural activity). Thus, it is a general rule that agroecological practices are closely linked to a consideration of the landscape, and at the same time produce a more complex landscape, even if these two aspects are not always explicitly integrated into the projects. Among the transformations underway, which from being possible alternatives are now becoming widespread practices, we can cite agroforestry, conservation agriculture, direct seeding, diversified living infrastructures (hedges, permanent or temporary prairies), limited irrigation, but also the movements of urban agriculture, and the development of short economic circuits which also have spatial effects. All of them relate to issues of transformation and organization of space, at different scales, but it is the interweaving of the different temporalities involved that will be the guiding thread of this visit.

    The ecological transition of agricultural systems needs to integrate the spatial dimensions of transformations, according to different and increasingly complex temporalities:

    - the temporality of the farming system,
    - that of the urban food project and the organization of actors
    - that of urban demand which allows and exerts pressure for changes in agricultural practices: food demand but also aesthetic demand, in relation to the land and the living
    - that of agroecosystems, their adaptation and their reaction to global changes which are reasoned over an even longer time step.

    The two proposed sites are urban food gardens in the centre of Versailles. One was created at the end of the 17th century, the other in 2021. Both are now managed according to strong agroecological principles, experimental or on the contrary based on a rich horticultural past, and on an increasingly accepted theorizations (permaculture). Their functions of production, conservation and training or awareness raising are quite similar, their questioning of public reception as well, but their economic models, heritage issues, and their respective histories are very different. How is the agroecological transition taking place on these sites? What spatial design has been put in place to ensure the multifunctionality of this agriculture? How does the renewal of food concerns in our rich cities influence the practices and development of these spaces?


    © Arnauld Duboys Fresney, École nationale  supérieure de paysage, 2018

    © Potager du roi Sophie Bonin, 2021

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