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Heart of the City

Urban intervention (artis’cité programme), 2010

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Actions / Public Space / Paradise Lost / Politics / Beneath the Surface

An urban intervention for the artis’cité programme, coordinated by ’Le 19’, the regional contemporary art centre of Montbéliard. Cultural project, part of the ANRU urban restructuring programme, led by the Communauté d’Agglomération du Pays de Montbéliard, with support from the City of Valentigney.

The area of Les Buis at Valentigney, near Montbéliard, initially conceived as a model housing project, is in the process of being completely restructed. Tower blocks have been destroyed, some small town houses have been built. One of the major problems is the former heart of the area aound the commercial centre : several blocks are still going to be demolished, and apart from three or four shops still resisting, all of the others have closed.

On a proposal by Jakob Gautel, Maxime Fraissenet has produced a realistic model on the scale of 1/200, based on plans, elevations, photos and satellite images. The centre of the model, the heart of the area, is empty. ’Le 19’ has organised workshops inviting the inhabitants, children as well as adults, to put forth proposals : 

« In this empty space please feel free to express your ideas, your desires and visions for the heart of the area, using any kind of material you want. All of your proposals and ideas are welcome, from the more realistic to the most utopian, from the most pragmatic to pure dream. According to their feasibility, they may serve as an inspirational source for the work of the urban and landscape architecture agency presently working on a study of the case. You can also meet their representatives when they come to the area. »

I also put forward a proposal myself, somewhat surrealist (or might there be a symbolic touch to it ?) : a volcano right in the middle of the area.

- Le 19, Montbéliard

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