Neighbourhood

Jean-Claude Carrière Theater at the domaine d’O

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The Jean-Claude Carrière theatre is a unique «environmentally friendly» project, based on a global environmental approach aiming for general energy efficiency and for environmental quality standards.

Other than the slab that supports it, the entire structure could be dismantled and rebuilt on a different site. Just like the similar project at the Comédie Française (the «théâtre éphémère»), the structure is entirely built out of wood panels (KLH). The unique design is enhanced by a light wooden lozenge structure recovering the entire building.

MGB_3838 copieThe renowned Montpellier architect firm A+ architecture has been entrusted with this project, which from the very beginning has been designed taking the natural environment of the location into account : a construction which can be entirely dismantled, the use of wood, a light architectural expression, respecting the surrounding wooded zone. The building is entirely built of recyclable material, using for instance PECF labelled wood, providing an outstanding carbon footprint for this project.

The theatre is more than remarkable in terms of energy efficiency, including the innovative heating system, an excellent insulation system and the exclusive use of LED for the lightning systems. The acoustic insulation system has been optimised in order to avoid neighbourhood sound pollution and to create perfect interior acoustic settings for the stage. Retractable seating solutions, a modular stage frame, a construction that can entirely be dismantled, optimised technical  zones, a bright and welcoming hallway…

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picture credits, following pictures : Jean-Yves GILBERT

 

The Ecology of Innovation

One of the component parts of Citizen Power (a two year programme of innovation, participation and place-making in Peterborough) aims to spark and support local people’s ideas that could make “green” behaviour easier throughout the city. When planning the project we were inspired by insights into what can influence people’s behaviour and decision-making (such as the dramatic effect of social proof).

Our approach has been to teach these principles to local residents and help them apply them to the behaviours that underlie local environmental problems. We think that giving community activists the knowledge and support to “nudge” their neighbours could be a better way of encouraging behaviour change. National attempts to apply these principles could leave people feeling preached at, or alienate people by taking covert approaches.

Instead, we think that training community activists with the knowledge they need to nudge their neighbours can harness their local knowledge, their “one-of-us” status, and their existing trusted relationships with their community.

Towards the end of last year we tested this approach in a two-day workshop. Twenty-five enthusiastic residents learned about the effects of personal, social and infrastructural factors on human behaviour, then worked together to apply this knowledge to Peterborough specific problems. After a pitch to a panel of judges, two ideas were selected for seed-funding and non-financial support to allow them to become pilot projects.

One of the pilots will encourage a wider segment of the community to manage local plots of unused land. The group behind this project plan to map unused land in their neighbourhood and throughout Peterborough, then run small interventions to encourage local people to take an active role in stewarding the land.

The other pilot will encourage residents living near an area of ancient woodland to take an active forest management role. Currently neglected and the scene of anti-social behaviour, the community decided to create a woodland walk to make walking through the forest a normal activity for local residents.

Part of this approach to local nudging was informed by a paper – The Ecology of Innovation – that we published just before Christmas. It presents a few simple principles that could be used to encourage and support local people in getting projects off the ground. These principles include ensuring that local community organisations are able to participate in contributing their ideas, and supporting their ideas with financial and non-financial support so that they can be tested. You can read the paper online or download it here.

In 2011, we’re looking forward to getting these ideas off the ground, and also holding more workshops to encourage and support more ideas that could make Peterborough into an even greener place to live!

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology