International Panel on Social and Urban Support for the La Darnaise Neighborhood Renewal Project, Vénissieux, France
18-22 September 2016
In 2011, the Lyon Metropolis and the Vénissieux Township defined the objectives of a prospective urban framework for the neighborhood of Minguettes. The various studies conducted enabled the political validation in 2014 of the 2030 horizon urban renewal strategy for Vénissieux.
Within this Framework, operational priorities to be developed in the New National Program for Urban Renewal have been set. Objectives for the la Darnaise neighborhood, in which GRAND LYON HABITAT own all of the housing, are to successfully enhance economic development and profound change of the neighborhood, notably in terms of social mixity.
Relevant operations must revive the neighborhood image in order to stimulate its attractivity at the scale of the agglomeration. Thereupon, the urban renewal project, to this day, anticipates the demolition of four towers and a shopping center.
The application of a global urban renewal project is a timely endeavor, and any project with such an ambitious plan takes several years to be achieved. Today, moreover, one can reasonably forecast some lengthening of the time required to complete such projects, given the current economic constraints and given the increasingly complex social realities regarding household insecurity, difficulties in terms of relocation of housing, social tensions and withdrawal, etc.
The main issue therefore becomes the necessity to determine the support structures and actions from various domains (social, built environment, management, exterior spaces, etc.) that are necessary to maintain an adequate residential quality of life within this potentially destabilizing context, where in the long run the daily routine of residents must be conjugated with an influx of new residents.
From this main issue stem several complementary questions:
- How should we communicate and consult with residents about the project and developing spaces, and how do we make sure their needs surface and are heard?
- What types of spaces are best to facilitate a sense of community, favor social relationships, increase the strength of preventive measures, and make the neighborhood more attractive?
- What layouts, spaces, activities and/or services would be advantageous to reinforce neighborhood attractivity and respond to the needs of residents?
- How to promote the economic development of the neighborhood and attract activities to the sector (social and solidary businesses…)?
- What management strategies (adapted, reinforced…) should be used to enhance life in the neighborhood (tranquility and security, cleanliness, urbanity…) and notably regarding current buildings that will stay?
It is within this context that « GRANDLYON HABITAT » has called upon INTA, to help in deepening the reflection surrounding their project.
The nature of INTA’s intervention is to interrogate different actors involved or concerned with the project, including elected officials and agents of the municipality, economic, social, and institutional actors, as well as neighborhood residents. The value of INTA’s participation stems from its capacity to solicit local and international experts specialized in the above issues, in order to obtain and analyze the various statements and point of views.
We therefore were in Vénissieux from September 18-22, 2016 to develop our reflection further and attempt to answer the various questions cited above through and INTA Panel.
A number of activities were planned during the Panel, including technical visits, diverse presentations and discussions, interviews and a public presentation of the recommendations that will follow.
In order to ensure the success of this Panel, three preparatory meetings are planned with French actors, experts in the themes that will animate the activities.
- 4 July 2016: First preparatory meeting in Lyon;
- 30 August 2016: Second preparatory meeting in Paris;
- 1 September 2016: Third preparatory meeting in Vénissieux.
Following the analysis made by the Panelists, thanks to interviews and technical visits, INTA recommended Grand Lyon Habitat to take action rather on the "soft" than "hard".
The Panelists noted that the environment, the quality of the public space and the urban planning were not the problematic elements of the Darnaise district.
According to their experience and knowledge, the experts have put forward many initiatives and actions to act on the following "weakness" points : Image of the Darnaise and identity of the inhabitants; Participation and "empowerment" of the inhabitants ; Developing ephemeral and adaptive facilities ; Developing innovations (social, cultural, technological ...) and improve the governance and cooperation between the different actors of the territory (institution, business, social...)