"Leisure time and the urban dynamic": how does leisure time impact the territory of the city in France?
The Bouygues Construction Sustainable Construction Club and Group subsidiary Bouygues Bâtiment Ile-de-France have published a joint discussion paper in which ten specialists - sociologist, urban planner, architect, doctor, operators from the cultural and leisure sectors and a representative of the media - discuss harmonising the questions of leisure time and urban planning.
Launched by Bouygues Construction in 2010, the Sustainable Construction Club is a forum and think-tank devoted to current, strategic and forward-looking issues. It seeks to plan ahead for changes to the market and to advance the offer in sustainable construction solutions, for both new build and renovation. Consisting of several different "clubs" (offices, social housing, infrastructure), it has attracted 300 members to date (including employees, customers and partners) and it constitutes a significant network of players from a number of disciplines.
In Western countries today, leisure time has become the most important time in people's lives, and it is constantly increasing. How should it be defined? What new practices are in play? What places and spaces should be devoted to it? In what ways does it constitute a driver for territorial development? To address these issues, the Sustainable Construction Club launched a collaborative thinking process, with the aims of harmonising the questions of leisure time and of urban territory in France.
The ten contributors are specialists who decipher trends and analyse practices: sociologists, urban planners, architects, a doctor, operators from the cultural and leisure sectors and a representative of the media. The group's work has been guided by project sponsor Jean Viard, a CNRS research director at the Sciences Po political research centre, CEVIPOF. Organised over a year, from November 2012 to October 2013, the work fell into two phases: first each specialist presented his or her vision of the topic in the form of an individual interview, and then the ten experts met together several times in order to open up a broad discussion.
A synthesis of the experts' views and findings is presented in a document titled "Temps Libre & Dynamique Urbaine", which can be consulted on line of the Sustainable Construction Club's website, along with the complete interviews.
By pooling together the thinking of numerous participants, the Sustainable Construction Club hopes to make a modest but active contribution to the thinking of public- and private-sector decision-makers. In this context, it will continue to work on new usages in the city, extending its ideas to incorporate concepts of better living. As such, it will continue to be a source of inspiration for new approaches to construction that put greater emphasis on the well-being of city-dwellers.