In this video, Tarik Benhattat, from the Islamic Cultural Foundation, Geneva shares his thoughts that make us reflect on the presence of a large institution in a small-scale neighborhood. Both, the neighbourhood Mosque and the IFRC, appear to echo each other when referring to the moment of hesitation that a visitor feels when approaching the entrances of these institutions...
In this short video, we hear the voices of the IFRC staff, including that of the director, Francoise Le Goff and understand how the new building came to replace an older space. We also learn about the development plans of the premises as they unfold, step by step. The clip allows us to pause for a bit and take stock of the process, as it has been happening over the last few months.
This video provides a glimpse of how there can be a lot of serious emotions expressed , when it comes to sharing urban resources with other species - especially when that species happens to be the proverbial best friends of humans - dogs. It shows the joys and fears that a simple act of taking a walk with a pet can generate in the neighourhood. How fact and rumour can mix to escalate conflict and how reasonable dialogue can help to mediate and resolve them.
This video focuses on the question of safety. Most respondents pointed out the subject in question was not simply 'a forest' but a forest in Geneva. There were humorous asides about some people coming from urban places in the world which were far more dangerous than any forest! And then there were those who said they walked through it at any given time without a modicum of fear....
In this conversation with a neighourhood 'expert' we meet Nebih who speaks of his connections with the place thanks to his father bringing him to the mosque located here. He talks of how his bond has been passed onto his children who have developed their own relationship with the neighboourhood - especially through the forest.
In this video we provide a small glimpse of the kaleidoscope of suggestions made by members of the staff of IFRC. From practical to the wishful, these ideas are an excellent example of why such an exercise is important. It reveals the enormous empathy people have for a project and with the points of view of each other. Besides, It is not easy for a fully functioning organization to spare time to give inputs to an ongoing exercise that involves a spatial makeover of a part of their office.
In this video - we hear a selection of voices who express their ideas and make suggestions a small representation of the larger archive of knowledge that comprises this ongoing documentation exercise. From community spaces, to betterlighting, from factoring the needs of children to those of the environment, from suggestions for street furniture to promoting an aesthetic of wilderness, from a refuge from traffic to a space of convivial interaction; the archive of suggestions made are rich and diverse.
This short interview gives us a glimpse of the organization, concerns and hard work that goes behind the scenes in creating the vibrant public life that Geneva has. These are useful to keep in mind for the proposed IFRC park too as that will depend on similar energies and initiatives. Alain Clerc, President de l’AHPTSG tells us about the association of the residents of Petit-Saconnex and how it has been working with the IFRC in animating the chalet in the park.
This film presents some key findings and points on the ongoing participatory landscape project. It focuses on the shared vision and the values which emerged from its participatory approach. It summarises the points discussed in workshops that involved a host of people, from members of the IFRC to residents of the neighbourhood. These were presented in the exhibition showcased in the video.
In this film we see the Christmas party which took place on Saturday 17 December in the Petit-Saconnex village square. The event introduces the people of the neighborhood to the IFRC park and its forest. In the film showcases the dynamic neighbourhood association such as Ô P'tit-Sac organizes celebrates the local variation of a Swiss version of a Christmas tradition (where Saint Nicholas comes way before Christmas eve to give goodies to children,) in our favourite ‘public’ space, the IFRC Community park.
In this film Matias Echanove from urbz explains the proposed promenade to connect the IFRC and the ICRC, two historic city institutions that are vital organs of the global Red Cross movement.
In this introductory video, meet the two co-presidents of the Ô P'tit-Sac association, Lydie Morel-Jean and Nathalie Gajić who are willing to be happily surprised by the ‘hidden’ IFRC park in their own neighbourhood. They have been participating in workshops since early 2021, actively writing statutes and organizing events for and on behalf of the association. They are hugely qualified to get more and more inhabitants involved in the ongoing brainstorming about the community park. They bring in their considerable knowledge of the neighbourhood, their connections with local networks and are eager to help discover / re-discover the surprisingly unknown and hidden park (in their own words) that is part of the IFRC campus.
In this little conversation with historian Lescaze, we see the immediate vicinity of the IFRC Building and park through the lens of the past. The insignia of the court of arms, the sign of a hundred year old cafe, old routes of trams and buses, the invisible remains of old streams that once flowed through the park - come momentarily to life.
In this conversation with Raymond Demierre we see a glimpse of how space is slowly shaped by its users, bit by bit. Raymond has been working in the neighbourhood for several years. He has observed various users who come and go using the forest and the park for several activities - including collecting worms for fishing.
In this film we have a conversation with Karl Julisson - member of the Global Security Unit of the International Federation of the Red Cross. He clearly reinstated the links between the concepts of the environment, community and security for the IFRC park project. He shared how environments provide security at several levels and cannot be reduced to their physicality alone. They are enmeshed within the social dimension. After all, neighbourhood life is predicated on human presence. In this sense a community made up of social interactions is an environment too. One that acts as a shield, providing a layer of protection to all those who exist within it.
In this film The Director of the IFRC, Francoise Le Goff talks about the partnership between IFRC and urbz and the value of neighbours working together. According to her the partnership between IFRC and urbz has a double benefit – since urbz works as a specialist in participatory urban planning and as a neighbour. It is a fine neighbourly coincidence and an opportunity for exchanging expertise. IFRC itself is full of experts that deal with similar contexts but mostly at a global level. This makes having local involvement valuable on its own and an exchange of ideas between the two an invaluable resource.
This film captures the events and the fun activities organised as a part of the IFRC staff party to involve the staff into the participatory process. This party brought together the IFRC staff and the wider neighbourhood to publicly launch the participatory process and included guided tours of the first project exhibition, site visits, music, BBQ and “a cocktail for a story” stand.
The IFRC building is surrounded by a forest, a village, people and parks. The Community Park project builds on this relationship and normalizes the urban forest as an intrinsic part of the environment of the IFRC. The forest is thus - like all forests - inhabited and used by people. Making the forest the focus of the proposed community park, this video is an invitation to all its constituent members to become part of this process.
In the next film, one of the IFRC staff members re-iterates the significance of the community in the Community Park project which refers to all its members- residents, IFRC staff, institutions and associations. The presence of the IFRC as an institution becomes an effective community creator as it actively seeks to know its own context, environment and its neighbors. Shared usage is based on commonly agreed rules that generate rights and responsibilities. These are the very foundations of the concept of community.
The first film, a teaser, is an introduction to the IFRC Park Project. The teaser introduces the context, along with its stakeholders such as the IFRC staff members and the neighbors along with the urbz team who is facilitating the entire participatory project.