2nd Meeting for a Joyful and Creative Frugality

On November 30, 31 and December 01, 2019,
the 2nd Meeting for a Joyful and Creative Frugality was held in Bretagne.

Born following the drafting of a manifesto, this annual initiative brings together those who wish to commit to a sustainable life and practice of the constructing field in the face of the collapse of biodiversity and the climatic crises of the Anthropocene.

If the initiative speaks to you and you want to know more...

More details at frugalite.org

As you can imagine, with Lost&Find the initiative spiked our interest… We went there full of curiosity and enthusiasm, Lauriane, Jade, Perrine and Valentine, for three days of visits, meetings, lively debates and, as promised, festivities. Three municipalities shared the reception of the event and the participants: Guipel, Hédé-Bazouges and Langouët.

Thus, architects, students and other curious people were able to visit the towns accompanied by elected officials and discover how, in their own way and at their level, they practiced urban life sustainably. From the construction of innovative ecological houses - the relevance of which was nuanced after a few years of use -, to a waste management by weighting, organic and local canteens, and free-range chickens as “natural” speed limitation for vehicules, were some of the few many discoveries inside those surprising towns.

A succession of discussions followed. First of all, an inventory of the various regional representatives of the movement and their actions and interactions since the last meeting. Then a collective moment of reflections organized in the form of poles around one big question: "Is construction still relevant?". Each pole took on this question regarding different scales and environnement: in peri-urban area? In the city ? In rural areas? In towns? And finally, on the coast? The objective of each group of around 30 people was to extract from debates several propositions, measures, and commitments, to be then submitted to the participants.

All the propositions were again placed in 4 categories of ambitions and written on large posters:

1/ Preserving the soil as a precious resource,
2/ Anticipating climate change,
3/ Telling the territory,
4/ Repairing the territory.

All the measures can be found on the Joyful Frugality report (in french), here:

2ème rencontre de la frugalité heureuse et créative [télécharger PDF]

And finally each participant, using 5 stickers, was able to vote directly on the posters for those who seemed to have priority. “Fourteen commitments for frugal town planning” to be developed and argued in order to communicate them to as many municipalities as possible in France (and elsewhere ..), were therefore voted on by all the participants.

These commitments include measures such as: Favoring the transformation of existing buildings before considering any new construction.
/ Sanctuarize good agricultural land, biodiversity sectors and hydraulic catchment areas.
/ Work to strengthen citizen involvement in a shared project.

For our part, the fact of meeting briefly in a friendly and festive context allowed us to exchange easily with professionals and actors of the territory of all origins and generations. This configuration, going so far as to create a strong feeling of unity and community that is dear to us, has largely contributed to crossing the views and experiences of the participants for fruitful exchanges on these subjects, however complex and worrying. The central question “Should we keep building?” has, in our view, lacked breadth in the responses given, in particular because it was not treated in a radical way, but rather by seeking to temper the act of building. Not necessarily being given to young people in relatively small numbers, the general discussion showed a lack of diversity in the opinions and feelings collected. In particular, it seems easier for the younger generation to consider not starting to build than for the older generation to stop.

However, the level of commitment that the signing of such a manifesto implies was also recalled: its clear and alarming findings, deeply questioning the implications of the profession of builder, must influence everyone's practice.

A good example of pro-active commitment was given by the Studiolada agency in Nancy, which proposed the creation of a “resource map” available in short circuits in eastern France.

Ressource map

Do not hesitate to consult it, use it and enrich it with new deposits of local & responsible materials!

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