Parisiens, Parisiennes 2050

Context and objectives

As part its “Resilience Program”, the City of Paris and the Council of Architecture, Urban Planning and Environment (CAUE) of Paris launched a creative foresight process,”Towards Paris 2050, facing the challenges of our century together”.

Based on four fictional narratives (produced by Design Fiction) and set in Paris’s 2050 possible future, our proposal is to:

  1. Diversify the viewpoints, by seeking out audiences we feel are missing from the consultation process: citizens from working-class neighborhoods who, while committed, do not often take part in participatory democracy mechanisms; and “professionals in the functioning of the city,” those who maintain it, operate its networks, etc.

  2. Diversify the forms of participatory creation beyond writing: by organizing theater, design and art workshops, etc.

  3. To report on what happens during the collective creation processes, and not only on their results, in the form of an ethnographic documentary film.

The “Parisiens, Parisiennes 2050” process

Taking the four inspirational texts as a material to start the discussion, “Parisiens, Parisiennes 2050” :

  1. Will forge partnerships with two types of actors :
  • Non-profits involved with citizens from working-class neighborhoods of Paris, some of which already have creative approaches;

  • Businesses and public institutions whose activities concern the functioning of the city: construction and maintenance of equipment, mobility, water, energy, waste…

  1. Will organize with these partners and their audiences a series of creative workshops. Based on the inspirational texts, led by artists, these workshops will produce “narratives” of the transformations of
    Paris as seen through the eyes of these citizens and professionals, and expressed in a variety of forms.

  2. Will present all of the productions during an open meeting, organizing the exchange between the participants and the public.

  3. Will produce an analysis based on the content of the productions and the documentary film, which will shed light on avenues and lessons to be learned in order to feed the work on the Paris Resilience Plan, as well as the strategic thinking of the other project partners.

Timetable

The partners

We wish to allow the images of Paris’s resilient future be embodied by diverse audiences in order to allow more citizens to build capacities and grow awareness towards the future of their city.

To start, we will work with non-profits that explore or wish to explore creative formats and reflect with their publics around issues that concern them, as much today as in the future:

  • The LABEC (supported by the non -profit “plus loin”: Located in the 20th arrondissement, offers a space to practice of theatrical improvisation and to help the inhabitants of the neighborhood improve their theater skills and gain confidence.

  • La Cloche: La Cloche’s mission is to engage citizens, to act against extreme exclusion by creating social links and changing the relationship we have to homelessness.

  • The Ugob : This association aims to create social dynamics through artistic and cultural expressions such as radio and podcasts with children and adults.

Partnerships

We are still open for partnerships! If you are a non-profit, professional or entreprise whose mission and actions are aimed towards social transformation or building and/or (re)activating the city (transport, real estate, garbage collector, insurance etc.) get in touch !

What is creative foresight?

We describe our approach to anticipation as “creative foresight”. It is based on the double use of elements from profound research and analysis (“factors of change”, “tensions”) and fiction. This singular use of fiction as a methods has two theoretical and practical foundations:

  1. The future is in essence an imaginary construction. This construction can be very focused when it comes to defining a strategic plan in a fundamentally stable environment. On the other hand, if we are interested in emergencies, in exploring new possibilities or in projecting ourselves into a context that is different from the present, then we must give liberties to actors’ and participant’ capacity for imagination. This approach is, in our view, collective in nature.

  2. The use of fiction facilitates participation and exchange by erasing hierarchical differences and the weight of expertise. By appealing to their subjectivity, among other things, it invites participants to become involved and to see themselves as actors of change. It allows us to go beyond anticipation, which is too often thought of as an adaptation to external changes (resilience, risk management, adaptation, etc.). Our approach integrates the intervention of artists and designers in the animation of groups and the sensitive translation (literary or plastic) of the collective work.