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CITY CITÉ Atlanta x Marseille : Altermetropolization : How to Make Another City ?

Atlanta Design Festival

The Gathering Spot

384 Northyards Boulevard Northwest

Atlanta, 30313

October 5, 2022 @ 8:30 am 11:30 am

Can social innovation – guided by the needs of citizens – constitute another way of producing and building the city? Is it inevitable that our society and our cities are Uberized and commodified? Inequalities, diseconomy, pollution, insecurity, urban discrimination: are they insurmountable problems? Are competition and attractivity the only option in metropolitan development? In this talk, Alexandre Grondeau invites us to consider that these outcomes are not inevitable. From the urban regeneration operations in Marseille to the Galeria de Arte Urbana in Lisbon, from the Fablabs to the Freetown of Christiania via the responsive cities, he claims how, at different levels of initiatives, another city is possible. In order to explore options other than current utilitarian and commercial visions for the city and for innovation, Alexandre Grondeau invites us to rethink urban functionality by giving more importance to cities’ cultural, ethical, political, social, historical, and ecological dimensions. He will discuss with Gene Kansas, Atlanta commercial real estate developer and champion of historic preservation, adaptive reuse and community building. 

Alexandre Grondeau holds a PHD in geography, urban planning and development, and is Assistant Professor at the TELEMMe laboratory of Aix-Marseille University. He is the organizer of the colloquiums “Une autre manière de fabriquer la ville” (Another way of making the city), the founder of the Observatoire du développement local PACA (PACA local development observatory) and the author of Géographie Urbaine (Urban Geography), 2020 and Altermétropolisation, une autre vi(ll)e est possible (Altermetropolization, another city (life) is possible), 2022. He is the author of numerous academic articles on cities in globalization, alternative environments and territories. He works in particular on the conceptualization and definition of altermetropolization by mobilizing the notions of social innovation, commons, responsive city, new right to the city, social and solidarity economy, heterotopia, circular economy, street art, chrono urbanism and slow urbanism… 

In his 23+ years in Atlanta commercial real estate, Gene Kansas has garnered a reputation as a champion of historic preservation, adaptive reuse, community building, and storytelling through the built environment. The founder and president of Gene Kansas | Commercial Real Estate, his projects include: the historic preservation of the Atlanta Daily World Building in Sweet Auburn, named the #2 Preservation Win by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 2014; the catalytic marketing and design contest that helped save the Clermont Hotel; etc., and he is also the creator and founder of Constellations, a civic and socially-based shared workspace in the reimagined Southern Schoolbook Building on Auburn Avenue, Atlanta. 

“Altermetropolization: How to Make Another City” is presented at The Gathering Spot by Villa Albertine, Atlanta Design Festival and France-Atlanta. 

Designed in 2015 and first implemented in Chicago and San Francisco, CITY CITÉ is a transatlantic cooperation and exchange program on urban issues and city making, initiated by Villa Albertine, the cultural institution of the French Embassy in the US. 
In 2022, CITY CITÉ comes to Atlanta for the first time on the occasion of the French Consulate’s annual France-Atlanta program, Atlanta Design Festival and the City of Atlanta’s ELEVATE festival. CITY CITÉ – Atlanta x Marseille 2022 aims to make a case for the role of culture in urban and social development, by creating a dialogue between cities of Atlanta and Marseille and inviting La Friche la Belle de Mai, a major institution in Marseille, at the forefront of cultural, social, environmental and urban innovation. 

CITY CITÉ – Atlanta x Marseille 2022 is supported by the Institut français, Villa Albertine, The City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs and France-Atlanta.