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Bordeaux: could the Darwin ecosystem on the right bank disappear?

2023-06-08T18:02:46.071Z

Highlights: Darwin is an alternative cultural and festive place, installed on the right bank of Bordeaux. A hangar, which did not welcome the public but served as storage space, has just been destroyed by the real estate developer Marignan. The founder of Darwin, Philippe Barre, sounds the alarm. He denounces "inadmissible practices" of the promoter, whom he describes as "rogue" after destroying a hangar, ignoring a court decision. The situation of this alternative place remains unresolved, despite the goodwill displayed by the municipality.


The founder of this alternative cultural and festive place, installed on the right bank of Bordeaux, denounces "inadmissible practices" of the promoter Marignan, whom he describes as "rogue" after destroying a hangar, ignoring a court decision.


Le Figaro Bordeaux

In recent years, it has become an essential place on the right bank of Bordeaux. The Darwin ecosystem, housed in a former disused barracks, is even one of the most visited places in the city. There is the world of "street art", skateboarding, urban agriculture, including a bistro, a bookstore, a bakery, a café, a bike repair shop, etc. A lively place, host of many events, but with an uncertain future.

This Sunday, the founder of Darwin, Philippe Barre, sounds the alarm. A hangar, which did not welcome the public but served as storage space, has just been destroyed by the real estate developer Marignan. However, a decision of 7 February 2023 of the Commercial Court of Bordeaux ordered the suspension of demolition operations. "The developer and the developer agreed and sat on a court decision," laments Philippe Barre, who accuses Marignan of being "a rogue developer" and the developer, Bordeaux Métropole Aménagement (BMA), of being "complicit in an illegal construction site and a demolition of heritage".

But how did we get here? Since its installation, the project has been partly based on quicksand. In 2008, Darwin won a call for expressions of interest and moved into what is now mainly occupied by general stores. The company proceeds with the purchase of the land and its rehabilitation, and also has a temporary occupation permit (AOT) for other spaces, which will become the urban farm and skatepark.

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'The political decision has not been ratified'

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It worked so well that the CUB (Urban Community of Bordeaux, ancestor of Bordeaux Métropole, editor's note) decided to allocate us more AOT, to accommodate even more collectives. " This is how Emmaus Gironde joined the adventure. From now on, "there are about sixty associations and more than 15,000 members," explains Philippe Barre, who welcomes the success of this unique "ecosystem" in Bordeaux. The worm was, however, in the fruit of these AOTs, because part of the ZAC is sold in 2017 to the development company Bastide Niel. The latter did not renew them and demanded Darwin's expulsion from these spaces.

Since then, the situation of this alternative place remains unresolved, despite the goodwill displayed by the municipality of right and ecologist. A solution finally seemed to have been found last December: the Bordeaux city council unanimously adopted a resolution to perpetuate the space occupied by Darwin and the associations, by creating a cooperative society of collective interest (SCIC) to buy and manage the hangars. But six months later, this decision is not followed up. "The political decision was voted, but it was not ratified," says Philippe Barre. Incongruities still exist today: Darwin owned the sheds but not the path to them, "when you pass the gate, you are not normally allowed to enter".

Contacted, the city of Bordeaux recognizes only that Marignan has indeed "begun its work on a plot of the ZAC Bastide Niel of which it owns, without waiting for the deliberation of a court decision which concerns their demolition and construction project". Pierre Hurmic, the ecologist mayor of Bordeaux, "exchanged with the various protagonists and worked to return to a peaceful situation". The municipality also specifies that "the developer has informed him of his decision to suspend his work until the deliberation of the court decision expected on June 20". But for Philippe Barre, the destruction of the hangar now prevents any resumption of negotiations. According to him, Marignan and BMA "deny the existence of Darwin".

Source: lefigaro

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