Photo Exposition Gilles Clément: Giardini di resistenza

The JRC French semester puts the spotlight on the works of Gilles Clément, gardener & botanist, through a photo exhibition which will be held at the Giardino of San Gabriele in Ispra from 23th April to 15th May. It will pursued during InFiorita festival (7th-8th May).

A vernissage will take place this Wednesday 27/04 at 5.45 p.m.

Giardino San Gabriele.

There will also be guided tours of the exhibition on Saturdays and Sundays at 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. until May 15 to be specified at the same time.

The ‘Giardini di resistenza’ exhibition in Ispra will present his three key concepts The Garden in Movement, The Planetary Garden and The Third Landscape.

‘If the planet is a garden, we are all gardeners – perhaps not aware of it, yet the choices and lifestyles of each of us have an impact on the biosphere and on our collective, vital space.’

 His work is powerful rethinking of our relationship with nature:

“Observe before acting”,

“Work with, not against nature’’

Gilles is known not only for his famous public parks like André Citroën and Quai Branly Museum in Paris, but also for his ground breaking books on how gardens should serve society, the community, wildlife, specially insects and nature.

Gilles Clément’s ‘third landscape’ inspired ‘’the Eiffel Tower roundabout’’ in JRC.

For those interested in pursuing their travel with Gilles Clément you could visit the biennial of architecture and landscape in Versailles (13 May – 13 July 2022) http://www.ecole-paysage.fr/site/ensp_fr/2e-edition-de-la-Biennale-darchitecture-et-de-paysage-.htm

See also the special page on the Third Landscape on this website

Photo Exposition Gilles Clément: Giardini di resistenza

The JRC French semester puts the spotlight on the works of Gilles Clément, gardener & botanist, through a photo exhibition which will be held at the Giardino of San Gabriele in Ispra from 23th April to 15th May. It will be also highlighted during InFiorita festival (7th-8th May).

A vernissage will take place this Wednesday 27/04 at 5.45 p.m.

Giardino San Gabriele.

There will also be guided tours of the exhibition on Saturdays and Sundays at 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. until May 15 to be specified at the same time.

The ‘Giardini di resistenza’ exhibition in Ispra will present his three key concepts The Garden in Movement, The Planetary Garden and The Third Landscape.

‘If the planet is a garden, we are all gardeners – perhaps not aware of it, yet the choices and lifestyles of each of us have an impact on the biosphere and on our collective, vital space.’

 His work is powerful rethinking of our relationship with nature:

“Observe before acting”,

“Work with, not against nature’’

Gilles is known not only for his famous public parks like André Citroën and Quai Branly Museum in Paris, but also for his ground breaking books on how gardens should serve society, the community, wildlife, specially insects and nature.

Gilles Clément’s ‘third landscape’ inspired ‘’the Eiffel Tower roundabout’’ in JRC.

For those interested in pursuing their travel with Gilles Clément you could visit the biennial of architecture and landscape in Versailles (13 May – 13 July 2022) http://www.ecole-paysage.fr/site/ensp_fr/2e-edition-de-la-Biennale-darchitecture-et-de-paysage-.htm

See also the special page on the Third Landscape on this website

Equihen Plage – Houses made from upturned boat hulls

France is home to many unique buildings and cultural wonders. However, some of them are really unusual and the village of Equihen Plage is one of them. Located on the northern coast of France, this peaceful place has a beautiful beach, lovely campsites and cozy houses made from upturned boat hulls. The inhabitants of the village live in upside down boats. Today, living in such a small space, instead of a modern house seems pointless. But, the locals are devoted to preserving their culture and their surprising and amazing history.

In the early 1900s, Equihen Plage was known as one of the best places to fish. As many boats had to be destroyed on the shore, local fishermen used them as roofs for their handmade shelters. Unfortunately, the Second World War destroyed almost all the boathouses in the village. However, local families were determined to maintain their legacy. Thus, the villagers restored some of the old upturned boat-hull dwellings and built new ones.

Today, more than 3,000 people live under the boat hulls and some of them are available for rent to tourists. There is no doubt that this village of upside-down boat-hull houses is unusual!

ISOPOLIS: Societal experimentation aimed at making Réunion island the city of open societal innovation

The project falls within the context of civil society’s demand to see Reunionese decision-makers commit to a credible alternative to the current territorial model. Indeed, the yellow vests crisis that erupted in October 2018 highlighted the need for the territory to deploy a clear strategy aimed at establishing a viable societal model, the current economic model of Reunion being almost 90% based on public funding that is no longer guaranteed.

ISOPOLIS thus aims more broadly to make Reunion a living global demonstrator of an agile and resilient society capable of combining environmental preservation, social equity and a prosperous economy.

Goals

The objective is to support the transformation of the Reunionese societal model towards a viable model, based on the individual resilience of Reunionese and territorial and collective resilience.

It is broken down into 3 specific objectives:

  • Strengthen Reunion’s territorial resilience capacities in order to develop its ability to integrate the environmental, social and economic constraints that threaten its development in order to establish a viable model over time.
  • Strengthen the individual resilience capacities of people of la Réunion to develop their ability to make a significant contribution to the development of their territory while cultivating a quality of being and of life. This will be achieved through the deployment of targeted experiments designed to strengthen the individual development, well-being and well-being of all ages and backgrounds by supporting their quest for meaning and contribution.
  • Mobilize the population of Reunion around societal issues in order to consolidate cohesion and robust unity, through the culture of knowledge and the recognition of its culture.

In order to achieve these objectives, three approaches have been chosen: the evaluation of the impacts of public policies by scientists, governance and cooperation by sociocracy, or governance by consent and the use of an alternative territorial index to the Product Gross National (GNP): Gross National Happiness (GNP).

In this project, IRD researchers are adopting an original position: that of supporting civil society by evaluating and measuring the impact of its interventions or experiments. This project is thus rooted in interdisciplinarity and citizen science.

The Beta phase has three objectives:

  • Evaluation of the mobilization and co-construction approach of the ALPHA project to identify areas for improvement in order to take them into account in the ISOPOLIS project
  • Territorial mobilization: engage local stakeholders in the ISOPOLIS project, identify and mobilize researchers likely to support the project and publicize the project among citizens, civil society in particular, via the RISOM network and gather the opinions of Reunionese.
  • Preliminary methodological structuring: continue the structuring work identified in ALPHA

Europe’s only elephant sanctuary in France welcomes first resident

An ageing zoo elephant called Gandhi has become the first inhabitant of a groundbreaking retirement home after nine years of work to get it open

Elephant Haven, near Limoges, Haute-Vienne, is Europe’s first sanctuary for former zoo and circus elephants and currently has space for three females.

Obtaining permits and constructing infrastructure and fences was only half the battle to get it ready – building relationships with other welfare organisations was key before welcoming the first resident in October.

Gandhi was born in the wild in 1969, probably in Thailand, transferred to Givskud Zoo in Denmark in 1973, and arrived at Les Terres de Nataé Zoo in Brittany in 1998. She is now 52 years old, weighs 3.6 tonnes and has never had a calf. The precise details of her story are lost, but what is known is that she has arthritis, and behavioural difficulties relating to other elephants.

“In time, we hope to introduce her to other females,” says Tony Verhulst, who co-founded EHEES (Elephant Haven European Elephant Sanctuary) with Sofie Goetghebeur.

Maewan, a network of people working together in harmony with nature…

Maewan aims to reposition Man at the centre of his environment to tackle one specific issue:

How to achieve collective wellbeing in a world with limited resources?

Maewan’s sailboat, a nomadic operational platform, left France for a seven-year expedition from the Arctic to Antarctica, passing through the Pacific. It supports educational and environmental actions led by world-class athletes, both in France and abroad.

Meawan in numbers

  • 45 educational projects
  • 7 environmental projects
  • 100 exceptional athletes

A sport adventure

Founded in 2014, the Maewan project was initially carried out by a start-up, allowing the activities, sponsoring, financing and management of the sporting adventure. Chaired by the boat’s captain, Erwan le Lann, this structure has created 4 films, 1 photo exposition and a book retracing the few first years of the expedition from France to the Kouril Islands.

MORE INFORMATION

Youtube Channel

DE FACTO – new platform where researchers, journalists and education actors united in the face of disinformation

Presentation

Never before have researchers, journalists and media and information literacy professionals worked together to address the multiple ailments plaguing the information space. DE FACTO intends to open up a plural, open and independent space to put into perspective the challenges of information in the digital age by facilitating verification, analysis and media education. Its ambition is to promote the quality of information, the diversity of public debate, the development of critical thinking and the regulation of digital platforms.

The digital revolution has revolutionised the way information is produced and consumed. Those who produce it no longer have complete control over how it is read. Those who read it are no longer sure whether they can trust those who promote it. Often rich and original, digital information can also be erroneous, viral or misleading. After having been invested with many hopes, the digital revolution is now arousing mistrust and panic. Are we locked in echo chambers? Don’t fake news run the risk of destabilising citizens’ political choices? Do platform algorithms amplify controversy and polarisation of opinion? Faced with these upheavals, the DE FACTO site offers to help us see more clearly by closely associating the practice of fact-checking, the analysis of the transformations of the digital public space and the education of all audiences in order to better discern the risks as well as the promises of new digital information circuits.

Who manufactures DE FACTO?

DE FACTO associates Sciences-Po, whose médialab and the School of Journalism have been studying for many years the transformations of the information ecosystem, AFP, which has developed fact-checking activities in 80 countries in the last four years in more than 20 languages, and CLEMI (Center for Media and Information Education) which organises in particular the Press and Media Week at School in schools.

The vocation of DE FACTO is also to set up an open network of researchers, journalists and media education professionals. Sciences Po leads a network of researchers in numerous French universities and will help to make research work on the transformation of information in the digital age visible. The AFP brings together on the DE FACTO site most of the major French fact-checkers including “Liberation, 20 minutes and les Surligneurs”, as well as Radio France’s public audiovisual fact-checkers. CLEMI is working to set up a network of partners (media, journalists, associations, priority education networks) committed alongside it in media and information education, producers of resources and content in media and information education.

Why DE FACTO?

The quality of information is an essential public good for our democracies. It depends on those who produce it, but also on the way it circulates and the way in which audiences appropriate it. At a time of great digital transformations, our information ecosystem is often stifled by over-sized controversies, binary debates opposing the camp of reason to gullible people, by the attention-grabbing mechanisms of digital platforms. By checking, analyzing and helping everyone to better understand the information, DE FACTO offers to help us breathe better and be critical and inquisitive.

The European network

DE FACTO is the French side of a larger European collective: EDMO – for European Digital Media Observatory. EDMO supports independent networks working on disinformation. In addition to DE FACTO, EDMO is also launching 7 other hubs across Europe, all co-financed by the European Commission under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) program.

EDMO is coordinated by a consortium led by the European University Institute in Florence (Italy), in partnership with Athens Technology Center (Greece), Aahrus University (Denmark) and the fact-checking organization Pagella Politica (Italy).

La recyclerie aims to raise public awareness of eco-responsible values

THE PROJECT

La REcyclerie is reinventing the concept of a “third place”: neither home nor work. Established for 5 years in Paris in a former station in the inner city of the ring, the REcyclerie is a place of meetings, exchanges and sharing, dedicated to the protection of the environment. Together, citizens, businesses, associations and communities are building a fairer and more sustainable world.

Located in a former railway station rehabilitated into a living space, the REcyclerie aims to raise public awareness of eco-responsible values, in a fun and positive way.


• THE 3 R = REDUCE – REUSE – RECYCLE •


Collaborative initiatives and “do it yourself” are values that guide the place in its conception, its programming and catering offer.

The urban Farm

Refuge of biodiversity in the dense district of Porte de Clignancourt
the Urban Farm of the REcyclerie introduces nature over nearly 1000 m2 favoring thus the development of ecological corridors.
The Farm is made up of several complementary and interdependent spaces

  • An edible forest,
  • Two composting systems,
  • An interior plant jungle,
  • A melliferous meadow on the roof accommodating 4 beehives,
  • A henhouse including a farmyard of 12 hens and 2 Indian runner ducks,
  • A 400m2 collective vegetable garden with 150m2 of educational agricultural facilities in the groun

The Workshop of René

What is that ?
Fighting against planned obsolescence: repair rather than buy back
Sharing skills and tools: give ourselves the means to do this by learning and borrowing equipment
Creating new things with materials we thought unusable

The REcyclerie de Paris in figures

  • 365 days of operation and 200,000 visitors per year; 500 members and 100 volunteers;
  • an urban farm which produces, on 1,000 m2: 450 kg of fruit and vegetables, 4,000 eggs laid by 16 hens, and 170 varieties of plants, using 1 vermicomposter and 5 compost bins. 300 training sessions in vegetable garden techniques were organized;
  • a repair workshop, with 3,000 restored household appliances, 1,500 borrowed tools, 500 shared objects, and 130 Do It Yourself initiations offered;
  • a responsible canteen café: with a menu of homemade products, 68,000 vegetarian dishes served, 50,000 liters of drink, 8 tonnes of recycled coffee and tea grounds, and a waste sorting center;
  • an eco-cultural program: 4,000 events, 1,000 speakers, 80,000 visitors and a library of 400 freely accessible books;
  • an eco-awareness initiative: 18,000 podcasts downloaded, video tutorials (on zero waste, biodiversity, responsible food), and 2 guides on responsible food and zero waste, published in partnership with the editions Larousse ;
  • a web community: 50,000 subscribers on Instagram, 100,000 on Facebook, and 5 million views of videos.

In Lyon and Villeurbanne, homeless mothers accommodated in “tiny houses”

At the top of the Vaise district, in the 9th arrondissement of Lyon, a small village has just appeared, discreetly located along the railway line. It is made up of about twenty tiny houses, these small rolling houses of 15 to 20 square meters which are usually the delight of “bobos” in the countryside.

There, on the outskirts of the city, the wooden-walled caravans shelter women with their very young children, in a very precarious situation. Toys stored between the little houses brighten up the old industrial land. To the right of the portal, a trailer contains the food reserve. Opposite is the laundry room. At the end of the field, a tiny house is transformed into a mini-crèche, with its games and its Christmas tree.

For a year now, the metropolis of Lyon has been increasing the number of locations of these micro-houses, used as innovative solutions among its emergency accommodation offers. They are offered to a particular audience of homeless people: women with children under 3 years old.

Forty-eight tiny houses were set up in 2021, on two sites open in Lyon (9th) and Villeurbanne. One hundred women and young children benefit from these habitats, which provide social assistance to the most disadvantaged. In Villeurbanne, the site is managed by the association Le MAS. In Vaise, Le foyer Notre-Dame des sans-abri takes care of the support and management of the village called “Les Amazones”, in reference to the Scythian people, advocating equality between men and women.

We feel at Home

The metropolis, run by environmentalist Bruno Bernard, is set to launch three more markets over the next year, targeting women with young children. In the second largest agglomeration in France, 500 women and small children are currently placed in homes or hotels as part of emergency accommodation. There are also 850 unaccompanied minors, falling under the social skills of the metropolis, which has integrated the Rhône department into its geographical area.

In the Amazons village of Vaise, Peggy, Odette and Jeanne finally seem to have found some stability and privacy, after months of wandering between continents and lawless areas. The mothers mostly came from sub-Saharan Africa, following a migration punctuated by painful stages, difficult to recount. Their small 16 square meter houses offer a welcome break.

“We feel at home, at night we fall asleep without fear, we rest. In homes or hotels, I was never quiet, I thought too much, I worried, I did not know what I could become, “says Odette. Originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, the young mother crossed multiple countries, including England, before arriving in Lyon in the summer of 2021, where she experienced the homes of 115 and hotel rooms. “Children play together, mothers meet, imagine activities. The place allows you to enjoy a home and encourages the collective spirit, ”says Sébastien Guth, director of the Notre-Dame homeless home in Lyon.

Effective support

The formula seems particularly suitable for young mothers. Above all, the stability of the place allows effective social support. “Single women with children have a safe space, with the possibility to make meals and organise their lives. When they were in hotels, they were isolated for months, with no open rights, in depersonalised places. This changes a lot in the support we provide to find lasting solutions “, explains Bruno Bernard.

French architect’s scheme saves building waste from skips

Nearly 75% of all waste comes from the construction industry, according to the government environment agency Ademe, a figure that architect Joanne Boachon is hoping to change

An architect has come up with a way to reuse waste from the building industry that would otherwise end up in a rubbish dump.

Joanne Boachon, from Lyon, had the idea while writing her thesis for her final exams, after realising how much material was being thrown away.

Nearly 75% of all waste comes from the construction industry, according to the government environment agency Ademe.

In 2016, with the support of other architects, she set up Minéka, an association which collects unwanted material from builders, checks it to make sure it can be reused, and sells it on at low prices from a warehouse at Villeurbanne, north east of Lyon.

It is open to professionals, individuals or associations, but anyone wanting to purchase has to become a member of Minéka for insurance reasons first (€10 for private individuals and €50- €150, depending on the size of a business).

A website shows what is in stock, including timber, doors, windows, insulation, pipes, paint and roofing materials.

Products could come from the end of a building project, a renovation, demolition or an order error. When buildings are about to be demolished, the association goes in to see what can be reclaimed and actively looks for people who might want to reuse the material.

Minéka also provides a collection service for professionals. Between 2018 and 2020, it collected 93 tonnes, of which more than half was wood.

In 2020, Ms Boachon won third prize in the Fondation Yves Rocher Terre de Femmes Award, which recognises women’s efforts from across the globe to save the planet.

She says she wants to make people aware that building waste can often have a second life rather than ending up in a skip.

Her association also offers advice on how this can be done, including speaking at conferences and via training sessions and exhibitions.

For people who do not live in Lyon, the Minéka website gives details of similar schemes operating in other parts of France.

LYDIA, THE MOBILE PAYMENT APPLICATION

You have surely already heard of Lydia, a mobile payment application that allows you to “forget about the cash”, to reimburse yourself with friends, to pay using your Lydia card or even to pay via your smartphone. Created in 2011, the application has been running since 2013. Today, the application has more than 4 million users mainly in France and the development is now international.

Origin and activities of Lydia?

“Lydia” is the name of the kingdom where the first coin was minted in the 7th century BC. Instead of barter, the Lydians sought an efficient and secure way to trade, hence the creation of money.

The startup allows you to get back to the basics of cash: when you ask for or give someone money; bank details are not required; you instantly know your balance. Lydia has made it possible to provide control, security and immediacy, but with digital and mobile means. Lydia is a company that designs mobile payment solutions created in 2011. It is the French leader and currently has a little over 4 million users (total number of people using at least one of the services offered by Lydia ) . 70% of the app’s users are “millennials” (18-30 years old).

Lydia is basically a universal wallet that allows you to reimburse yourself between friends while avoiding all the complexity of transfers. The application brought fluidity, immediacy and security. Initially, the application was also designed to pay professionals who accepted this payment system or pay e-merchants online.

The digital evolution of our society has developed expectations of real time and control: how can we explain that it is still necessary to wait a few days to receive a transfer in a bank?

Digital evolution and comparison with retail banking

Why is there no “Lydia-type solution” in banks yet?

The context of banks today: there are resources, competent people who are very familiar with the digital age and finally significant financial means. But there are constraints:

  • Old computer systems that were not designed for real-time operations and that require years of work to transform them,
  • The regulations which are constantly evolving for each service offered.
  • Bankers combine many professions and come to aggregate regulatory systems.
  • The organisation and structure of major banks with the weight of social and union procedures.

Bocaux & co, a circular economy project

Bocaux & co is a circular economy project for the reuse of jars throughout the Dijon metropolitan area (Burgundy-Franche Comté region); Recycling is no longer enough, more must be done! This has a much heavier environmental impact than reuse.

Bocaux & co revolves around 3 activities:

  • Reuse – to set up a circuit for reuse of jars
  • Processing, to develop the practice of conservation in jars
  • Training, to train and raise awareness of jar conservation techniques

Based on such a common resource – the glass jar or screw cap jar – Bocaux&co aims to:

  • 1)support the food self-sufficiency of a territory, by promoting the development of the practice of canning and its various techniques
  • 2)participate in reducing waste and our environmental impact
  • 3)contribute to the social and solidarity economy, by initiating a circular, participatory, inclusive and united economy model

Compared to recycling, reusing the jars saves:

  • 79% greenhouse gas
  • 76% energy
  • 33% water

Recycling vs Reuse

The jars reuse circuit, offered by the Bocaux & Co Association

France has over 60 currencies beside the Euro

Alongside the euro, dozens of local currencies are in circulation across France. They surged in 2010 following the global financial crisis and can only be used in a limited area like a town or region. Some of them have become increasingly commonplace in French regions over the past few years, as they help boost the local economy and protect the environment.

That’s just one of some 60 currencies besides the euro that are accepted in France. It’s not a phenomenon unique to France. Around the world, there are hundreds of these complementary currencies.

Local currencies debuted in France in 2010 after the financial crisis as a way to support local economies, since local currencies can only be used in a certain town or area. (Abeilles can only be used in Villeneuve-sur-Lot, Occitans in Pézenas, Languedoc-Roussillon, etc.) Not every store in a town will accept the local currency. Only stores where using the local currency will contribute to the immediate town and surrounding area will accept the currency. So your “boulanger” will gladly take your “Occitans” because the bread was made using wheat grown in the area by local farmers.

Some currencies are printed on paper and others are paperless to cut costs. The exchange rate is always one euro to one local currency.

Map of the actual local currencies in France

To learn more about local currencies in France and the new Paris currency, “la pêche”, check out the video below.


Local currency nameLocationRegioncurrency units in circulationLaunch Date
La PêcheParisIle de France90.0002018
EskoPays BasqueNouvelle Aquitaine3 millions2013
CagnoleAuxerreBourgogne-Franche Comté42.0002018
BuzukPas de MorlaixBretagne22.0002016
AbeilleVilleneuve sur LotNouvelle Aquitaine14.0002011
La DoumePuy-de-DômeAuvergne-Rhône-Alpes170.0002015
some examples of local currencies