Bordeaux Moments - - Carte De Visite -

What is Agora’s pur­pose?

Agora har­bours a de­sire to give the ge­ne­ral pu­blic ac­cess to the ac­tors of the ur­ban scene with three ob­jec­tives. First of all, to open up de­bate on the big is­sues that arise across the Eu­ro­pean me­tro­po­li­tan areas. Then, we want to be­come a la­bo­ra­to­ry of ideas that can help town plan­ners and those who have in­fluence, in­clu­ding real es­tate de­ve­lo­pers. In the context of Bor­deaux’s ex­pan­sion, the lat­ter of­ten feel obli­ged to par- ti­ci­pate in fi­nan­cing the event, but eve­ryone ex­presses a great sense of en­rich­ment from this cultu­ral ex­change af­ter­wards. Fi­nal­ly, we want to pro­mote the Bor­deaux pro­ject.

What is the theme of this 7th edi­tion?

As a one-off, we wai­ted three years since the last edi­tion ins­tead of the nor­mal two, as we wan­ted to coin­cide it with the mar­quee event that is sym­bo­lic of the de­ve­lop­ment of the ci­ty: the ar­ri­val of the LGV. Our theme this time is the me­tro­po­li­tan land­scape, as such, “land­cape” has be­come the theme for all of the cultu­ral events that will be on. As for our com­mis­sio­ner ge­ne­ral, that is the land­scape ar­chi­tect Bas Smets and his ex­hi­bi­tion is cal­led ‘pay­sage aug­men­té’ (“heigh­te­ned land­scape”).

What exact­ly do you mean by land­scape?

In Eu­rope, there is no more re­mai­ning na­ture that has been left un­tou­ched by hu­man na­ture. The de­fi­ni­tion of the land­scape has be­come emi­nent­ly cultu­ral. It is an en­semble of re­pre­sen­ta­tions that are the fruit of ma­ny dif­ferent pers­pec­tives. We have wel­co­med the di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion of our theme on a bor­de­lais scale, we as­ked se­ve­ral pho­to­gra­phers and film­ma­kers to work on the same areas. They all came back with a dif­ferent ci­ty. For some, the fo­cus was on the people

In at­trac­ting a large crowd- 55,000 for the pre­vious edi­tion- the bien­nial Agora sho­wed that it has be­come a ma­jor ga­the­ring for the key Eu­ro­pean fi­gures in ur­ba­nism. We met with the or­ga­ni­ser of Agora, Mi­chelle La­ruë Char­lus, who al­so hap­pens to be the ma­na­ging di­rec­tor of ur­ban plan­ning at Bor­deaux Mé­tro­pole.

who live here, others fo­cu­sed on the land­scape, and others put an em­pha­sis on mo­ve­ment, be it th­rough phy­si­cal mo­ve­ments or the change in the wea­ther and the sea­sons. Ho­we­ver, it’s more than that; the theme of land­scape is es­sen­tial at a time when man and geo­gra­phy must live in har­mo­ny. In the face of sustainable de­ve­lop­ment and cli­mate change, we now know that there is no tech­nique that can solve everything. We have to try to coun­te­ract it but that will not be en­ough; we al­so have to adapt. The land­scape, th­rough the glo­bal reach of everything that it en­tails, is an es­sen­tial ins­tru­ment.

You have said that there is al­so an af­ter-ef­fect of each edi­tion?

Cer­tain­ly, at least on a lo­cal scale. For example, the de­bates on mil­lion­naire me­tro­po­li­tan areas have crea­ted a po­li­ti­cal consen­sus lo­cal­ly to reach a cer­tain po­pu­la­tion le­vel, the edi­tion on he­ri­tage and the work of Marc Ba­ra­ni al­lo­wed us to em­pha­sise the de­ci­sive cha­rac­ter of traces, the on­ly he­ri­tage which runs across all time per­iods, and here we spe­ci­fi­cal­ly loo­ked at the role of the wa­ter­ways that have so im­por­tant­ly sha­ped the de­ve­lop­ment of the ci­ty. I can not say what we will draw from this edi­tion, but I hope to see a new ur­ban pro­ject that will see us in 2050 in a di­gi­tal world that takes in­to ac­count the ur­ban life around the great ring road while paying at­ten­tion to the small com­munes on the per­iphe­ry of the ci­ty.

How do you or­ga­nise this event eve­ry other year?

Everything that we say and show in the Agora is the re­sult of a lot of work, but it is al­so an ani­ma­ted and fun ga­the­ring. In Han­gar 14, the ex­hi­bi­tions will have three sub­jects: ur­ban agri­cul­ture, the ur­ban plan­ning of the sprawl in­to the sur­roun­ding coun­try­side, and de­si­gn with the fa­bri­ca­tion of ob­jects in the di­gi­tal era. There will be a lot of mo­dels concer­ning the Bor­deaux pro­ject, films on the wa­ter­ways, the Am­bès pe­nin­su­la, the green del­ta of Bègles, a ka­lei­do­scope of the me­tro­po­li­tan area and fun spaces for the fa­mi­ly, de­bates of course, ter­races In the ci­ty there will be nu­me­rous ex­hi­bi­tions: at the Sub­ma­rine Base, the Town Hall, the Mai­son éco-ci­toyenne, le 308, the ga­ted walls of the Jar­din pu­blic, the mi­roir d’eau, Sta­tion Au­sone, St Ré­mi's Church, ga­le­rie Ma­ren­go And a sur­prise that will co­ver 1 km of the quays, a par­ty at Bas­sins à flot, a 'white night' bet­ween the CAPC (contem­po­ra­ry art centre) and le tri pos­tal in Ar­ma­gnac with Rock­school Bar­bey. The Ins­ti­tut Ma­grez is hol­ding an ex­hi­bi­tion, Port­zam­parc, Arc-en-rêve which pre­sents the land­sca­pists of To­po­tek. Now, pro­fes­sio­nals and those who are simply cu­rious don’t just come for Agora then leave, they put it firm­ly in the ca­len­dar and take the time to en­joy what is on of­fer and ex­plore the area.

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