Les bienfaits du végétal dans nos villes et nos villages par Samuel CRAQUELIN – Caen (France)

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Les bienfaits du végétal dans nos villes et nos villages par Samuel CRAQUELIN – Caen (France)

The benefits of plant life in our towns and villages

Enhancing towns through plants
Via a number of examples of realisations in Normandy, this conference will focus on how we can approach the subjects of landscape, plants and heritage in public and private spaces.
Presented sites have been created, restored or transformed over the past 40 years, each time with a different response to the programme established by contractors.
The common denominator – plant life – will be presented in a diversified manner on a scale in line with gardens, public spaces, and living areas, whilst broaching the subject of site management, an essential ingredient in ensuring their longevity and quality.
The event is an invitation to share experience and to engage in ‘landscaping conversation’ aimed at highlighting known and lesser-known, improbable and surprising sites in the heart of Normandy, a land of exceptional landscape and heritage.

Samuel Craquelin is from a family of farmers and very quickly associated his fondness of the land and his taste for drawing. After secondary school which led him to a horticultural apprenticeship, he studied at the Gembloux School of Landscape Architecture in Belgium. Diploma in hand, in 1985 he took on the challenge of setting up at ‘home’, convinced that his acquired skills could be of use to his homeland and to those in charge of its management. His agency, comprised of landscape architects, technicians and surveyors, develops a great variety of landscaping projects, both in urban and rural sites. His most noteworthy realisations are essentially located in Normandy and, more rarely, beyond the region’s frontiers. As mayor of a rural town, he pertinently perceives the difficult challenge facing such realisation and the often complicated communication between the various players involved in territorial development. He strives to obtain fitting recognition for his profession. His action offers him the opportunity to promote political commitment to respect our landscapes’ environment and balance. He believes that awareness of these three values – aesthetics, ecology, economy – is the key to his projects’ success.

A presentation by Olivier Cantat – geographer and meteorologist at the University of Caen-Normandy – on the role of trees as urban air conditioners.

In towns and cities, nature offers inhabitants a number of services and favours to make their lives more comfortable. Beyond the peaceful and sociable environment these urban green spaces, parks and gardens provide, they also improve the viability of the town’s atmosphere. Throughout this presentation, data from the Caen conurbation’s network of meteorological measurements will not only offer improved understanding of nature in the city, but also an insight into how and why fresh air, when in contact with the urban environment, is transformed – as is the case in Caen’s Botanic Garden – or integrated via major routes or through the ebb and flow of town and country breezes.
Over recent years, urban planning policies have paid particular attention to these aspects, the risks of which are likely to increase along with climate change, in particular via the multiplication of ‘tropical nights’ – already a health hazard.

Olivier Cantat is a geographer and climatologist, lecturer-researcher at the University of Caen-Normandy, with authority to direct research (HDR) and a member of the LETG (Coast, Environment, Teledetection, Geomatics) Laboratory in Caen. His research work focuses essentially on regional climatology and climate change, but also on urban heat islands. He currently chairs the ‘Climate change and territories’ commission at the CNFG (French National Geographic Committee) and is in charge of the ‘Environment, territorial diagnosis’ option of the Master’s Degree in geography.

Free entry subject to prior registration.