* Students and young professionnals workshops
The students and young professionnals workshops last 3 to 4 weeks involving thirty participants who work as part of international and multi-disciplinary teams. The work of each team is guided and informed by meetings and forums with professionals. Every topic is chosen and prepared in collaboration with the local authorities.
A direct contribution to reality
Our belief is that the boldness and the creativity shown by the students and young professionals during the workshops can be a valuable addition to the local authority’s strategies and their spatial development programs. Therefore, the workshops are not research labs or university-like summer schools. When the international jury takes place, the proposals are directly presented to local decision-makers.
30 years along, Cergy’s summer workshops
At first, Cergy’s summer workshops were a prospective tool for the New Town, and for Paris Region’s planning authorities. They laid the ground for new operations, shook things up and helped to gain a new perspective on the current urban planning concepts. Then, chosen topics on different sites focused on larger planning and regional development issues, in the Paris Region.
Today, in partnership with various institutions, complex and intersecting topics are at the centre of Cergy’s summer workshops, such as the metropolitan landscape or the rural/urban interface. Participating in this workshop provides eligibility for a university degree from the University of Cergy-Pontoise (12 UCTS credits).
Irkutsk and Porto Novo
Cergy’s workshops are an inspiration for our partners and we wish to develop other permanent cycles of student workshops.
Today, Irkutsk’s sessions are held in the State’s Technical University, and have been since 1999. The West-African workshops are led by the mayor of Porto-Novo’s (the capital city of Benin) since 2010.
Why should you participate?
Exchange, and propose ideas to local representatives and actors responsible for spatial development.
Gain international and multi-disciplinary experience.
Opportunity to receive a diploma.
Become a part of Les Ateliers’ international network and get the opportunity to work as an assistant on a professional workshop.
Participate in a rare, creative and often unforgettable experience.
The jury of a student / young professional workshop gathers officials from the area, university lecturers, experienced professionals, and elected representatives from different countries and cultural backgrounds. When the jury deliberates it considers the meaning and value of the proposals, with a vote establishing a final ranking.
How to participate?
The workshops welcome students from all educational backgrounds. The selection of participants is based upon their application form.
Participation fees: 100 to 300 euros.
* Professional workshops
This formula has been developed since 2005. It is a way of pursuing the principles of the Cergy summer Workshops, which, over the last twenty years have built an important international network of urban planning professionals. The professional workshops are very similar to the student workshops – diversity, freedom, coproduction, volunteer work – but instead they involve professionals and are condensed in two weeks. These workshops usually gather three teams of seven participants, with two local members within each team. They are organized 8 to 10 months in advance, by a dedicated scientific management team.
These workshops are organized to occur at specific points in time, (for example at the beginning of a term of government) so that they encourage strategic debates. This is because the philosophy of the workshop is to ‘shake things up’ in order to create and encourage new avenues of research. The international teams benefit from the freedom of proposal of Les Ateliers, especially because there is no market to win in the end. The topics are often strategic and the local actors expect operational proposals. The team’s proposals mix territorial analysis, regional and local strategy making, policy making – transportation, centralities –, built environment analysis and potential evolution, future plans for the management of public spaces incorporating improving those important to ‘everyday life’.
These workshops are not a substitute to local or international planning professionals’ work. They are more about sharing experiences, and will produce an illustrated inventory for a areas possible evolution. The jury session, which is composed of professionals, investors, academics and representatives of the civil society, is a time for debate and sharing of opinion. From this point on it is the mayor’s responsibility to take ownership of the workshop’s output, taking it forward in whichever way they feel appropriate.
What is the purpose of a workshop?
- Gather local actors together in an environment which encourages free thinking and proposal.
- Step back and raise the questions that really matter.
- Propose new options of development for a specific area, addressing its problems and potentials.
- Produce consistent answers: strategies and projects.
- Organize an international event, enabling the involvement of institutions and possible partners.
How to participate?
Anyone can participate, as with the student workshops, as long as their contribution is relevant to the workshop’s topic. Before each workshop, a document is published in order to present the workshop’s topic and the application guidelines. The management team then chooses the participants.