Located opposite the Carnot school complex, the new square symbolizes for the City of Dijon co-construction with the inhabitants, the preservation of biodiversity and the defense of republican values. The inauguration took place this Wednesday, June 29 in the presence of Nathalie Koenders.
A square in front of a school complex receiving the name of a teacher murdered near a college. This is the symbolism highlighted this Wednesday, June 29, 2022 during the inauguration of the Square Samuel-Paty in front of the Cité Carnot in Dijon.
On October 16, 2020, Samuel Paty, professor of history and geography, was the victim of an Islamist terrorist attack near the Bois-d’Aulne college where he worked, an establishment located in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine (Yvelines).
Inauguration by Nathalie Koenders
This Wednesday, at the corner of rue Ledru-Rollin and boulevard Thiers, Nathalie Koenders (PS) canceled the electoral campaign of many elected municipal officials, representatives of the educational community of the Cité Carnot, students, partners and residents of the neighborhood.
The inauguration began with the unveiling of the exterior plaque when the first deputy accompanied to the Mayor of Dijon was Aya, third-grade student, Louis, fourth-grade student, Leïla Mayot and Marie-Charlotte Bador, representing landscapers Mayot & Toussaint.
“This garden has become an example of biodiversity preservation”
Speaking, Nathalie Koenders recalls that the choice to transform the 629 m² space into a square comes from a consultation carried out with the inhabitants in 2021. Once the decision was made, the association Un Tigre au Parc was associated with co-construction and the firm Mayot & Toussaint selected. The principle of leaving local vegetation to evolve freely, like an urban wasteland, has been adopted.
“A significant biodiversity has settled here. Our wish was to preserve it but also to develop it by planting many trees, shrubs and plants”, points out Nathalie Koenders.
All the trees have not yet been deployed in order to allow the first shrubs, catalpas and elderberries in particular, to develop. The first assistant in charge of ecological transition therefore gives an appointment “at Sainte-Catherine”.
“This garden has become an example of preserving biodiversity but also of observing the urban flora which contributes to the green fabric of our city”, adds Nathalie Koenders.
The budget envelope that the City of Dijon has dedicated to the establishment of the Square Samuel-Paty amounts to 140,000 euros.
“The City of Dijon wishes to recall its attachment to the principle of secularism”
“On November 22, 2021, the municipal council of Dijon chose to give this square the name of Samuel Paty, in tribute to the history and geography professor victim of Islamist terrorism and cowardly murdered for having taught the values of the Republic. and more particularly the freedom of expression”, recalls with gravity the first deputy.
“Through this tribute, the City of Dijon wishes to recall its attachment to the principle of secularism since secularism is emancipation. It gives everyone the right to believe or not to believe, to follow their religious, spiritual or philosophical convictions. Secularism is also a certain vision of the Republic, inclusive and protective of the rights and freedoms of everyone”, declares the elected socialist, alerting that this idea is today “attacked”.
In summary, this square, by its name and its location, “carries in itself many satisfactory principles, I am attached”, insists Nathalie Koenders, “the co-construction of the city with these inhabitants, the preservation of biodiversity and, finally, the defense of the values of our Republic”.
The college students Aya and Louis then intervene to read the charter of secularism displayed in their establishment.
“Even in urban areas, there is a very important biodiversity”
“It’s an urban wasteland which, at the start, was very wild. The main idea was to keep as many plants as possible present and arriving on their own, so that they manage to develop,” explains Leïla Toussaint.
“It is important to know that, even in an urban environment, in a small plot like this, there is a very significant biodiversity. It is both a work of recognition and education to show the importance of these small plants in the end”, continues the landscaper.
Work has been carried out with the Jardin de l’Arquebuse in order to have a few explanatory sheets relating to certain varieties of sixty endemic plants.
The involvement of the “Carnot plant space” collective
If Michel Dumont thanks the mayor of Dijon for having changed the destination of the land, initially planned to be integrated to accommodate an apartment building, he does not forget to mention “those who challenged the town hall and managed to convince Mr. the Mayor to turn this place into a square”.
Indeed, the “Carnot plant space” collective was particularly active in particular for a petition to avoid the reconstruction of the site, following the demolition of a house which occurred in 2019. The collective was supported by elected environmentalists, Stéphanie Modde (EELV) having even organized in 2019 its campaign launch for the 2020 municipal elections at this location.
This Wednesday, the former elected municipal official, now a member of the Metropolitan Development Council, Frédéric Faverjon (EELV) is also among the participants in the inauguration.
Soon, a composting plot
The president of Un Tigre au Parc finally salutes “a fine example of biodiversity while being a space for relaxation, shared composting and artistic creation”.
The Arborescence association has trained volunteer composter-guides who manage the composting plot sized for 70 households – in conjunction with the Sorting Ambassadors of Dijon Métropole – and ensure the maintenance of the aromatic plants.
The inauguration of the composting plot is scheduled for July 12.
As part of the participatory budgets of the neighborhood workshops, a fresco project to decorate the adjoining wall is being considered.
Educational and republican values
Principal of the Carnot high school since the start of the 2021 school year, Brice Léthier welcomes the initiative of the City of Dijon: “it brings us back to our educational values and our educational values”.
Even if the pupils have green relaxation areas in the school complex, the principal welcomes this additional green space.