The international peer-to-peer review took place in Brignoles from 16-21 October 2011.
The Municipality of Brignoles, a town of nearly 18 000 inhabitants in the French Provence, has called on INTA to review its strategic development potential: how to give new dimensions to the City centre and make it an active, inclusive and vibrant pole contributing to the overall development of the agglomeration ?
Brignoles is home to the Community of Municipalities of the Counts of Provence District: it has geographically and historically significant weight in the district but also throughout the County of Var. The municipality of Brignoles wishes to receive responses to a series of questions taking into account the planning guidelines adopted by municipality during the consultation phase:
- How to create a new centrality in connection with the old centre? How to improve the connection and re-associate the historic centre and new neighbourhoods?
- Which environmental approach to protect the built heritage while remaining resolutely innovative in terms of development?
- Which character to give the project of new centre to revive the attractiveness of the town and of its agglomeration in terms of services, economy, tourism, identity?
- How to rethink the public service delivery vehicle to foster citizenship and urbanity?
- What other facilities are needed to establish the centrality of Brignoles? What programme?
- Which project governance and which relationships within the District, with adjacent territories and with the regional poles of attraction (Aix en Provence, Toulon)?
- What funding?
INTA responded to the invitation of the City of Brignoles by offering an international panel to supplement local expertise. This intervention led to proposals allowing the local team who have already achieved or have performed preliminary studies to refine their strategy at local and territorial-wide scale.
In the context of French instituionnal reform of local authorities and with the potentialy future urban community gathering 3 of the 4 current intermunicipalities of the Provence Verte, the urban project on the Cours Liberté is a central issue for the positioning of this new agglomeration and the attractiveness of the territory and its capital, Brignoles.
The three days of hearings have allowed experts to gather valuable information for understanding the context, at all scales (neighborhood, city, intermunicipal, Provence Verte). 26 groups were formed to allow stakeholders of many different fields of Brignoles and its surroundings to be heard (elected officials of the City, the intermunicipality and the Provence Verte, district committees, communities associations, youth, economic, cultural, social and education sectors...).
The experts heard the concerns and expectations of residents to have the development of the project "Liberté" closely linked with the development of the old medieval center, jewel of the town, but not enough highlighted.
The problem of lack of leisure, cultural and recreational activities was unanimous, as was the traffic and parking issues in a city not suitable for such an intensive use of the car.
The youth, which is the vitality of the population of Brignoles, is requesting a new neighborhood with cultural facilities where people can gather, meet and exchange. These facilities could fill the gap observed not only in Brignoles, but in the whole Provence Verte.
The Panel, after three days, has worked in conclave on proposals to bring, first to the technical teams of the city of Brighton, but especially to the inhabitants.
Programmatic proposals have been developed to illustrate the approach chosen by the Panel:
The project Liberté is an opportunity not to be missed to address the social challenge facing the territory today. The expansion of the study area, previously only focused on the Cours, was a necessity to take into account the center as a whole and make the neighborhood Liberté, a lever for regeneration and development throughout the city, economically and for urban connections.
The revaluation of buildings along the Cours, carrying part of the history of the City, and an important work on public spaces in order to free the city from the ubiquitous car parks, must be actions to promote social cohesion, exchange between people, especially inter-generational.
Facilities planned and financed for the intermunicipality (Cinema, dance, music and arts school, rehearsal spaces, theater, or possibly to create meeting place for young people including cultural and sport activities...) and innovative activities offered on the sites (Colibérative, process "learning by doing" through which the transformation is experienced in the city) will participate in the social ties and economic and social development planning.
Download the report (in French)