Some studies on the subject … and some questions
What is the impact of the setting up of these campuses in urban areas?
Is it possible to invest these areas in the process of requalification and to invent, together with local actors, the modalities of an inclusive living together?
What can we learn from the Montreal case, the future MIL Campus?
These questions are at the origin of the project “From waste land to an integrated urban campus” (2015-2016). Current knowledge developments provide relevant answers to the stated issues. They can be grouped according to the angles of disciplinary approaches and associated themes:
– In Sociology and Humanities: knowledge in networks and the economy of the intangible, (Castells, 1998; Ingallina P. (ed.) 2012) on the one hand; the place granted to the co-production of knowledge (Monceau, 2012; Tillard, 2010; Équipe Praxcit, 2011), on the other hand.
– In Urban Studies and Architecture, researches have focused on the effects and limitations of gentrification (Hamnett, 1991; Donzelot, 2004; Bourdin, 2008; Charmes, 2011; Harvey, 2011; Minnaërt, 2014), the future of cities (Lemire, 2007; Ascher, 2010; Paquot and Younès, 2012; Theatrum Mundi (coll.), 2014; Le Monde, 2015, special report), their redeployment in the era of “design thinking” and open innovation (Brown, 2009; Chesbrought, 2011; Almirall, Lee and Wareham, 2012).
– Some interdisciplinary studies overlap these different concerns and also question the place and power of actors in urban transformations (Von Hippel, 2005; Lemoine and Samira, 2010; Paddison and Ostendorf, 2011; Darre, 2011). Methods of research in urban space are also well documented (Grosjean and Thibaud, 2008), even in their phenomenological and creative dimensions, in particular with market maintenance (Kusenbach, 2003) or geo-poetics (Bouvet and Bordeleau, 2012).
In this general theoretical context, the specific question about the place of integrated urban campuses – already rare in the scientific literature (Mattei, M.-F. and Aust, J. (ed.) 2015; Dang Vu H., 2013) – has not, until now, been questioned in terms of the capacity of creative approaches to be involved in urban transformations by allowing the invention, through the means deployed, of new forms of cooperation in the spaces that are considered.
Building on existing literature and on the knowledge that researchers and members of the project have regarding interventions in the urban space (Levesque, 2013), the narrative of experiences (Uhl, 2015), workshops of ideation (Abrassart 2013), mediation and citizen mobilization activities (Racine et al., 2012; Lamoureux, 2008; Gaudet, 2012; Goulet-Langlois, 2015), as well as regarding Montreal fieldwork (Harel, 2013); we therefore focused on the following question: How to mobilize the creative approaches of the Arts, Design and tools of Cultural Mediation as levers towards a common future, and a vector of social inclusion.
These approaches are conceived here as methods of knowledge and action to identify and explore possible forms of relations between the campus and its immediate environment, in particular because of their potential to promote, through the prism of citizen reflection, the appropriation by local actors of urban transformations.