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The city-countryside relationship and culture as a link

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Profile of stakeholders

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Location: Château de Goutelas, Marcoux            Date: April 01, 2021

Xavier Lemonde, Webinar host, Director of the European University of Scents and Flavors

Speech by Laurent Rieutort, Director of the Auvergne Institute for Regional Development

Laurent Rieutort: The Learning Territory project brings about a change in perspective on territorial development, by crossing different sciences in a territorial context.

The term learner, which comes from the sciences of education, primarily advocates that the school must open up to the territory, create links, highlight learning and training. In town or in the countryside, we will collaborate, trust each other, it is a partnership, a pooling of different skills, we are talking about innovation. Learning Territory is the ability to get different actors in the territory to cooperate. Collaborative dynamics are as true in urban areas by neighborhood as in rural areas. We must therefore also go and see the urban-rural relationship, and the management of their resources, as well as their pooling of cultural spaces.

There is geographical proximity, which facilitates exchanges and the construction of learning dynamics, but not only. There is also the proximity of value, the proximity to organizations that can operate in a broader dialogue, especially in the urban-rural relationship, especially on culture.

This allows a different analytical framework for research, there is the opportunity to model the problems and it serves to reflect, to understand the processes, and to create a dynamic of action-training research.

There is a change of paradigm, we are in permanent co-construction, in particular on the place of culture in the territories. This is a form of learning, culture is the key element of territorial anchoring, it constitutes resources for the territory, it has the capacity to create links. There are no learning territories without culture and no rurality-city relationship without culture.


Speech by Marie-Claude Mioche, President of the Château de Goutelas association

Marie-Claude Mioche: Château Goutelas marks the identity of the territory, of its heritage. The impulse by Paul Boucher initiated a process of reconstruction of the place and this led several actors to participate in the project. Literaries, farmers, workers from the Lyon region, and Spanish immigrants took part in the reconstruction of Goutelas. It is a human encounter. Located in the Forez, on the coast between mountain and valley. Many people from the territory worked together for this reconstruction. It is the story of a brotherhood, of a fight to bring together men who will learn from each other. The reconstruction of the castle is a kind of action-training. It allowed farmers to learn what a territory is and its identity, and it is moreover this reconstruction that has made it possible to create an identity of Forez. Culture is the setting in motion of minds, hearts and wills. Today the castle belongs to the Pays de Loire Forez.

Goutelas is a meeting place, we try to have an open culture with actions in AND outside the walls. Links have been created to create networks with cinemas, media libraries, etc. This network goes beyond the territory with very urban places such as in Lyon. One of the last projects of this place wants to open its local culture to that coming from all horizons.

I want to say that we have to go beyond the rural-urban divide, what is important is the decompartmentalization.


Speech by Philippe Bohelay, Responsible for the Learning City Mission, Clermont-Ferrand

Philippe Bohelay: Clermont-Ferrand is a learning city, the objective is to grow with our proximity. A learning city is a city which surveys itself and which surveys the territory. A city carries all the history of a much larger territory. A small world is being built over the centuries in the city. There is no separation between the city and the rural world. There is a learning of common, universal values. Topographically building a city means knowing how to read the territories with which we have links. In Clermont-Ferrand we defend a project of society where everyone can be a receiver and transmitter of knowledge. It all starts with school, education, whether popular, formal or informal.

We think about how to build gardens in the city. The city must not think of it as an extraction of the wealth of a territory which surrounds it; the city must establish a balanced relationship with the surrounding territories. This is how we build a metropolis. For me, the animation team is all the civil servants who implement public policies. We do not build a city between the users on one side and the citizens who participate in the construction of the city. To link a school and a college, for example, we have set up a participatory garden which makes it possible to create links between the teachers of the two structures.



André Durand: Can you clarify this notion of support which can be at the center of possible actions for development?


LR:  The establishment of a place of exchange makes it possible to support regional projects. Behind this word accompaniment there is an idea of co-construction and sharing, which are at the heart of the Learning Territories. There is an important role of mediators to facilitate this sharing.

PB: Everything is in the idea of support, of being multidisciplinary, rurality supports the metropolis in its development and the reverse is the same too. For example for Erdre and Gesvres, historically this EPCI has supported Nantes in its enrichment through market gardening. And I think that's how you have to situate yourself in your relationship to your territory.

Brigitte GÉHIN: The interventions lead to rethinking the concepts, revisiting the place of education systems, socio-cultural education, artistic education. It is a teaching that lives on through the projects. Through culture there is this possibility of dialogue, for and through youth there is an intergenerational dimension. Do you have things to say about doing Learning Territories for and by young people?

M.-CM: Those involved in culture must open up the strongholds of national education, they must be awakened to something else, inviting young people to participate in cultural events. Once in these places of culture which combine several universes, this opens up other perspectives, the rural world has things to learn in the city.

Xavier Lemonde: On the question of the actors of tomorrow's learning, how is higher education evolving?

LR: On the formations which are interested in the territorial development cross more and more and hybridize with other formations such as for example with the cultural field. I could also cite as an example a training that is opened and which is intended for executives of national education. It is a master's degree, Territories and piloting of educational systems, where we seek to provide them with an openness to issues of territory, partnership, and exchanges.

Gérard Peltre: The RED association (Ruralité Environnement Développement) has worked to propose a definition of the Territory as a place where women and men decide to co-construct a common destiny, and then imagine their destiny in cooperation with their neighbors , including urban.

In my opinion, when you are in a rural area, you have to work to become aware of the value and potential of your area, of what you can bring to it, to convince others of what you are, to be able to create a link. And I would add that the dynamics of networks make it possible to break down these preconceptions that a territory without high density cannot invent a future with others.

Pascale RACT: The role of the narrator in bringing out the potential of the territory, its capacity to symbolize, put in history, and create links, is I think very important. I think that the place of art is also in this storytelling work. And I wanted to know what you think of this dimension, and is it sufficiently valued in the approaches and measures that can be put in place?

M.-CM: It is a question which is essential, but where to provide an answer is a real challenge to be grasped. For example in our territory where neo-rural people are more and more important, we note that the history is not the same any more and that they do not have the culture nor the identity of the territory. We must therefore ask ourselves who transmits these stories, and what can these neo-rural people bring to this territory. It is a question of the relationship of conscience between people.

It is necessary that elected officials seize these cultural themes which make it possible to create an identity on a territory.

PB: I would specify that on this subject the realization of a project must be supported by its territory, and it is in this way that the elected officials will commit to making this project a reality.

In addition, it seems to me that an essential stake in the problem of urban-rural relations is the relation between different centralities, whether it is a village, a medium-sized town, or a metropolis, which leads to the revitalization of other centralities. which are played on their territory. And telling this, creating this story, being able to share it with others, this is indeed one of the major challenges and for that, the territories must be in a position to write this narration.


In conclusion

René Caspar, Consultant on Learning Territories

This is reminiscent of the experience in Brittany, where the mayor wanted to revitalize his territory through culture. Cultural facilitators are not neutral and are often imports from the outside. In the Learning Territories, many things come into play, but above all in proximity, which rhymes with the need for a strong and open identity. Culture can participate. There is a renaissance of proximity with all short supply chain systems, traceability, business support and a whole series of other elements. There needs to be a production by the people of the territory for a culture.

Giang Pham, Consultant - Learning Territories Project Manager

There is a stake in linking proximities which are much greater than geo-cognitive and organizational. We must multiply these proximities. We have to move to another geographic scale.

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