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First Interregional Policy Brokerage Event in Lille

By Project IMPETUS
IMPETUS project partners in Lille

On January 31st and February 1st, the Metropole Européenne de Lille hosted the IMPETUS project's first Interregional Policy Brokerage (IPB) event. The meeting was attended by all project partners and stakeholders from regional groups that have been active in the current semester, during which the work focused on promoting exchange and cooperation between partners, to enhance their capacity to design regional policies. 

The first day was opened by the welcome speech held by Mr. Dominique Baert, vice-president of MEL which was followed by a plenary session led by local and international experts, which deepened two of the most relevant topics identified by analysing the needs of partners that can enable policy improvements: ‘Collaboration with the private sector, including for-profit and non-profit, and agencies for temporary uses’ and ‘Greening, biodiversity and urban wilderness’.

Partners in Lille

Four international guests delivered keynote speeches on the first topic:

Ms Lucie Renou, International Project Manager at Samoa, presented the urban development project on the île de Nantes. Samoa, a public company, leads the island's development strategy in collaboration with public authorities and oversees the project management of public spaces. Formerly an industrial centre, the area has been transformed into a vibrant cultural centre. 

Ms Sophie Cottier, project manager at Perspective Brussels, described the activities of the Temporary Occupancy Desk, supported by citydev.brussels and perspective.brussels in the Brussels-Capital Region. The Desk acts as a facilitator, a centre of expertise and a link for temporary occupation projects, both locally and internationally.

Ms Emilie Durigneux, representing SEM Ville Renouvelée, presented their approach to temporary use in the Lille conurbation. SEM Ville Renouvelée, a public-private company, offers expertise in urban planning, development, construction, real estate and mobility services.

Prof. Marc Dumont and PhD student Vassili Duverly from the Laboratoire TVES, University of Lille, presented a detailed analysis of temporary urban planning approaches, focusing on the French Urban Renewal Programme (ANRU) and its different scales and dynamics.

The topic of ‘Greening, biodiversity and urban wilderness’ was covered by two keynote speakers: 

Mr Yann Dusza, representing EPF Hauts De France, who highlighted the agency's work in industrial brownfield treatment, urban regeneration and land remediation. EPF plays a key role in acquiring, deconstructing, restoring, and selling brownfield sites to revitalise post-industrial areas, while also spearheading initiatives to introduce temporary uses that contribute to soil restoration.

Ms Jamila Bentrar of Métropole Européenne de Lille presented the ‘Quartiers Fertiles’ urban farming initiative in the metropolitan area, an initiative that aims to restore polluted soils, particularly those affected by the textile industry, through urban agriculture.

On the second day, a peer-to-peer working group session was held in which project partners discussed key features for potential transferability. The working groups aimed to promote the exchange of practices and policy learning by facilitating open discussions and active participation among partners. The activity was organized into separate groups, each focusing on specific topics guided by questions from one partner to another. The methodology was developed based on insights from the Interregional Thematic Seminar held in Riga last November.

Study visits in Lille

Study visits also took place during the two-day event. Partners got to know the transitional urban design of Place Jacques Febvrier, together with Guillaume Dufour of SPLA La Fabrique des Quartiers. The place embodies adaptive strategies that respond to evolving urban needs, encouraging temporary uses while preserving the essence and functionality of the area.

The next day, visits were held to the Condition Publique and the Farm of Trichon, in Roubaix. The Condition Publique is a cultural space that transforms a former industrial site into a dynamic centre for creativity, art and community engagement, revitalising the urban landscape with its diverse programmes and events. The Farm of Trichon is an innovative urban agriculture project that transforms abandoned industrial sites into productive farmland, promoting local food production and community involvement while contributing to the city's sustainable development goals.