Tast’in Fives at the European Social Economy Summit

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Le 04/06/2021

Tast’in Fives at the European Social Economy Summit

Last week, the city of Lille participated to the European social economy summit in Mannheim by presenting the Tast’in Fives project.

The ‘European Social Economy Summit’ is a jointly organized digital conference by the European Commission and the City of Mannheim. It aims at strengthening the social economy in Europe and harness its contribution to economic development, social inclusion as well as green and digital transitions. It is also a good opportunity to bring all stakeholders active in the social economy together. The discussions were focused on three dimensions: digitalisation of the Social Economy, (social) innovation, cross-country and cross-sectoral collaboration.

The City of Lille, alongside Mannheim and the Finnish city of Espoo, was given the opportunity to present its own experience as part of a conference called « Local green deals, what role for cities, local and social economy stakeholders ». To this extent, Lille presented the Tast’in Five project.

At Fives, the closure of the metallurgic industrial fleuron “Fives Cail Babcock” company in 2001 has been a tremendous shock for the the neighborhood which has dramatically declined. With more than 20% unemployment rate, half of the population lives under the poverty level. Young people can meet little job opportunities in the surroundings.

To reverse negative trends of urban poverty in the deprived neighbourhood of Fives and as part of a larger urban brownfield regeneration development, the project aimed at reintroducing productive activities centred on food. At the heart of the brownfield, a building of 2050 m2 has been renovated to host an innovative combination of activities in the fields of urban agriculture, production, culinary transformation and catering. The project has been able to use food-related activities to seek and leverage against urban poverty. It has also developed prefiguration as a tool to testing a future Food Court in real-life. Gentrification process is addressed from the start.[BC1]  Also, the existing population is the subject of special attention and is identified as the main target of the activities deployed. This project has integrated all the beneficiaries and related partners to co-create the most suitable building and activities for them all.

The project gathers 14 partners combining local authorities (both City and Metropolis of Lille), together with researchers and stakeholders who are familiar with working with precarious publics. Other partners supported the activities around jobs and skills and IT development activities. Finally, a public /private company has been involved for the purchase and management of the site. The project was managed via a collective governance model involving all the partners. The design of the future Food hall was co-created with the local residents and participants to the activities.

The project was prototyped during 3 years at a temporary site, to allow residents and stakeholders to get to know the future project, to provide local NGOs and residents with facilities and material to cook, produce and process food and to provide inhabitants an open space for social activities several days a week, and, and develop a regulatory framework adapted to the objectives of the project. The learnings fed into the design for the future site, “Chaud Bouillon !”. The results of the first 2 years of the project are: 15 000 users of the site, 23 events for the general public, 120 000 visitors during the summer, 500 cooking workshops and more than 100 partners involved.

As part of the initiative "urban innovative actions", the project has beneficiated from a funding of 5 m°€ (European Regional Development Fund budget).