The City of fertile, inaugurated on 28 August, in Pantin (Seine-Saint-Denis), in a former freight station, marks an increase in the range in the policy temporary occupation of his land by rail by the SNCF. By its size of 10 000 m2 –, but also by its programming and by its duration of three years. “This is our most ambitious project, the synthesis of what we do best “, claims Benoît Quignon, director general of SNCF real Estate.
The subsidiary of the rail company has launched in 2015, a call for projects for the temporary occupation of a dozen sites. The company has 20 000 hectares of land, of which 3 000 immediately urbanisables, covered with warehouses and workshops in pending real estate transactions. “Places such as the Cité fertile, there are dozens that can find a particular life between two occupations, a transition before their transformation,” says Mr Quignon.
The arrival of this heavy weight in the small community of cultural fallow areas and urban temporary, engaged in the social and solidarity economy, did not happen without gnashing of teeth. For the purists, the City fertile is a little too pretty to be honest and redolent of the marketing operation.
Especially, the previous open places by the SNCF – Big Train, The Station and The Aerosol, in the 18th arrondissement, Ground Control in district 12 – were sometimes similar to bars, short-lived, open for the summer in a setting quietly underground. “It is not enough to install printer to beer to make urban planning “, a rattle with a figure of the sector. “The call for proposals was written in such a way that they are not of the cultural actors but the business of business events, who responded,” observes another.
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