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Petition to Save R-URBAN

Date uploaded: August 11, 2015

Atelier d’Architecture Autogeree has launched a campaign to save R-URBAN, a professional and citizen initiative of resilient regeneration in Colombes, near Paris. It is hoped the petition will persuade the municipality and other authorities of the general interest of preserving this project, whose main site in Colombes is currently under threat to become a car park.

R-URBAN was initiated by Atelier d’Architecture Autogeree (AAA) to create opportunities for citizens to change their lifestyle and develop resilient activities: saving resources, recycling, energy production, grey water depollution, social economy, eco-construction, urban agriculture,ecological co-housing, green transports, etc.

AAA started in 2009 with several partnerships to develop the first Civic Resilience Units in Colombes funded within the framework of the Life+ programme of Europeen Commission for environmental governance. In this context, the Municipality of Colombes agreed to host the project and contributed €240.000 over 4 years (2011-2015).  During the same period, AAA managed to secure more than €1.240.000 (including sponsorship from Europeen Community, Ministere de l’Ecologie, Conseil Régional Ile-de-France, Conseil Départemental Hauts-de-Seine, Fondation de France).

Currently several hundred local users regularly develop and run resilience-oriented activities (urban farming, bee keeping, poultry, recycling, eco-design, organic waste processing, etc). Amongst them, dozens of people have been working on the project or have initiated their own jobs.  The ecological balance promoted by these initiatives includes: 6 time reduction of CO2 emission/year for the Agrocité users,  24t/year organic waste recycling, 50t/year water reduction, 3t/year organic vegetable production.

The R-URBAN Units have received international prizes including Zumtobel, Curry Stone, EIB Social Innovation, European Public Space Prize and has attracted attention from professionals, urban stakeholders, students, researchers and political representatives. Visitors regularly travel from other cities in the region as well as from across France, Europe and other continents (Harvard GSD, MIT, UCL Londres, U Sheffield, U West Sydney, Municipality of Seoul, Municipality of Montreal, MoMA New York, etc). National and International press including France2, Huffington Post, New York Times, The Guardian, Asahi Shimbun (JP) have published R-Urban, which alongside Freibourg, BedZed, and Hamarby, has now become a global reference point in terms of urban resilience.

In order to start the implementation of these pioneering activities in Colombes, the R-Urban Units were built on municipal land made temporarily available and designed to be relocated on a mid term basis. These temporary locations were proposed by the Municipality of Colombes which was strongly engaged throughout the Life+ contract to guarantee the dissemination and durability of the project.

After the municipal elections in March 2014 and the change of municipal team, the Municipality has asked in June 2014 that Agrocité leave its location without reason given and with no proposal for relocation. The decommissioning of the project has been proposed for September 2015, motivated by the municipal team’s desire for the construction of a temporary car park for 2 years. In a parallel move by the municipality, Recyclab is also being forced to leave by 30 September 2015, without any concrete reason given.

There are only 2 months remaining to save R-Urban, as an invaluable model of urban resilient regeneration, and convince the Municipality of Colombes of the need to preserve R-Urban and eventually provide a mid term relocation space for the two units in Colombes, when new urban projects will be approved on the existing sites.

By signing this petition for the preservation of the R-Urban Units in Colombes, you are directly supporting a resilient way of conceiving and practicing urban change. For more information or to sign the petition click here.