IFRC Park Project
The urbz team is working with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent societies (IFRC) in Geneva on a participatory landscaping project involving staff, neighbors and partners.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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 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 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 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.
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.