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‘Crossroads 2015. Human cities_challenging the city scale’ is a creative workshop organized by Cité du design for the Human Cities program during the Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Etienne 2015. Focused on the conversion of vacant shops and ground floor premises in the Jacquard district, it will bring together local skateholders, designers and international networks . It will be animated by the Carton Plein association, which occupies B.E.A.U. – the temporary urban action office  during the Biennial. Carton Plein leads an atypical study in connection with the planners of the city, partners of the EPASE project – Etablissement Public of Saint-Etienne – in order to imagine collectively different scenarios to initiate new dynamics in the neighbourhood. The aim of the workshop is to try to stimulate the emergence of new services, new ways of investing spaces and new ways of inhabiting and living in them. The keys to get a district moving and to bring life to its streets for cities and towns are in their human capital, creativity and design.

“Crossroads 2015” will show how design tools – such as prototyping, script and visualisation –  can help to invent new urbanistic tools where creativity is at the service of innovation in the territories. It will create also a dynamic network between the members of Human Cities and the UNESCO Creative Cities of Design network invited by Saint-Etienne, by a collaborative experimentation.

 “Crossroads 2015” is also the gathering moment of the 2 main international workshops of Biennale International Design Saint-Etienne : “Human Cities” and “All Champions-People Olympics”: 2 initiatives focused on collaborative experimentation to make an active, creative, vivid city.

The Cité du Design will lead  various experimentations on Saint-Etienne territory in 2015-2017. One of the topics is to tackle the retails and street level spaces. In the contemporary urban context, the classic city, with its town center and its suburbs, disappears to make way for a world of networks, connections, of multi- polarity. The flows of traffic – carried by land, sea or digital routes, take over from places. These structural evolutions are impacting both people and spaces , like the shops in the city centres. How to invent innovative proposals to activate these spaces and scales ?