Passages to participation

POC Béthune, passages et rues

Passages to participation

Street furniture and signage, urban ecology, culture and places for self-expression in the city, public buildings and equipment, lighting and sound scenography, etc. whatever the category, the city of Béthune’s aim is to foreshadow tomorrow’s public action, in an agile, transversal “project mode” and to participate in a territorial strategy.

Urban projects as a testing ground

The City of Bethune is committed to a“Smart City” approach, aiming to innovate on its territory. To this end, it must re-examine its practices, and particularly as regards to the construction processes of urban development projects. It’s within a logic of public policy design, participation and multi-stakeholder that the town of Béthune, supported by the design agency Espaces Compris, chose to explore this question, through collaborative work with stakeholders and by applying it Rue du Pot d’Étain and Rue Aristide Briand, two of its city-centre streets.

Towards a public action renewal

The project’s stages illustrate well the first steps in public action transformation:

  • Site occupation to observe the urban and social specificities of both streets, paying attention to users’ attitudes and traders’ states of mind.
  • Encourage a strategic workshop with elected officials and services to adjust the collaborative framework, ensure good coordination between the process and the town’s revitalisation strategy and go beyond the strong and conflicting positions of stakeholders.
  • Organise an ideation and prototyping workshop with traders, services and the diverse stakeholders of both streets, in order to frame project directions and reach consensus.
  • Write an aid note for the decision-making, argued and illustrated collectively and given to elected officials so that they take a stand on the different directions and thus decide on the development projects.
  • Porteur : Ville de Béthune (service Smart City & Innovation)
  • Designer : Espaces Compris ,Pierre-Mathieu DEGRUEL (architecte-urbaniste, spécialiste des questions de renouvellement urbain, de gestion urbaine de proximité et de la stratégie de concertation), Mathilde FRANCOIS (ingénieure agronome, spécialiste de l’éco-conception, médiation et sensibilisation, approche environnementale et écosystémique).
  • Acteurs : Commerçants des deux rues, Passants (micros-trottoirs), Office de tourisme, services de la Communauté d’Agglomération, services de la Ville de Béthune (services Commerces, Travaux et voirie, Marketing Territorial, Citoyenneté active, Communication). 
  • Project holders :Ville de Béthune (serviceSmart City & Innovation)
  • Designers :Pierre-Mathieu Degruel & MathildeFrançois, Espaces Compris
  • Stakeholders : merchants of both streets, passers-by, Tourist Office, services of the Urban Community, Béthune City’s services
  • Photo credit : Ville de Béthune (serviceSmart City & Innovation)