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Governing the urban project through socio-cultural animation: prospects and limitations. An example of the agglomeration of Grenoble





The municipality and its territorial jurisdictions are ubiquitous in metropolitan construction today. In view of the ongoing processes observed through the French metropolitan urban projects and strategies (Popsu2 research programme), the importance given to the dynamics of mediation, participation, interface and exchanges between local authorities and social, cultural and economic actors is increasing (see the multiplication of places of participation, focus groups and other approaches by Mainland Fabrique. In this context, the place of occupations in the region has been redefined (Feyt, Louargant, 2008), in terms of interprofessionality, a reorientation of the fields of intervention and the pooling of activities, giving rise to interference between the social, cultural and more ‘technical’ professions in the region. The increased territorialisation of projects included in metropolitan dynamics encourages the emergence of these unique contexts in which empowerment ideologies (Vallerie, Le Bosse, 2005), rationality of public action and increasingly managerial development are intertwined, not without difficulty for local actors in finding a revamped trade framework and agreeing on a common vision of urban development (Linossier, Jaton, 2004; Linossier and alii, 2004). As a result, socio-cultural facilitators (ASCs) have seen their profession evolve in recent years, with the gradual opening up of the tasks of social and cultural intervention in the field of urban manufacturing and local management. They are required to take part in the preparation, conduct or evaluation of urban projects, in particular by organising and organising public debates with residents and users, with urban planners (architects, local authority technicians, experts, social workers), social work professionals (social workers in neighbourhoods, CCAS, inhabitants’ houses, local community equipment managers, etc.) and, of course, elected representatives. They see their urban expertise gradually recognised and mobilised by local politicians to facilitate dialogue with the population and accompany the city’s factory. However, this widening of the professional landscape of socio-cultural animation poses new challenges for the ASC training centres, which now need to include theoretical and practical lessons in the city, urban planning, spatial planning and management in their curricula. The role of the SACs in the project carried out by the agglomeration of Grenoble — called Fabrique Metropolitaine as in Bordeaux or Nantes — will be presented in the context of this communication and put in perspective with the training challenges. This analysis of the role of facilitators and their urban expertise (contributions/participation of local structures and animation networks — MJC, Federation of People’s Education in particular) was carried out by participating observation and interviews, conducted in the context of meetings on the preparation of the Grenoblois agglomeration project.

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