Our 2011-12 course kicked off last week with guest professor and urban designer Jean-Michel Roux from the Institute of Town Planning in Grenoble, who’s approach to our theme “Urban Regeneration” emphasizes the observation of everyday life of a community and performing urban acupuncture as a way of changing urban scale, creating social cohesion and improving quality of life. Although case studies are located in France, Jean-Michel’s methods of working with low-income neighborhoods serve as useful tools which can be applied to foreign contexts, both in developed and developing countries.
The methodology employed by Jean-Michel and his studio BazarUrbain is explained in their book HEM: Les Haute-Champs, La fabrique d’un quartier (“the fabric of a neighborhood”) which details the urban regeneration of a neighborhood pertaining to the town of Hem, near Lille, France, and the processes of sociological analysis undertaken as a basis for the regeneration project.
Below are several images taken from the book that highlight the extensive research, interaction and communication with the neighborhood’s existing community.
Watch Jean-Michel in this interview recorded during his workshop with our students, talking about his approach to “Urban Regeneration” and the relevance of his methodology in different urban contexts.