Place de la République: green space, consultation… what do the residents of Caen and the urban area think?

Three associations have launched a study on the future of the Place de la République in Caen to collect the opinions of residents. The first lessons have just been revealed. ©Grégory MAUCORPS

The future of Republic Square in the center of Caen (Calvados) continues to ignite passions. Mayor Joël Bruneau revealed in mid-September 2022 his main lines new gourmet hall projectat this location.

Already 800 completed questionnaires

On their side, three associations (Common Goods, Uni.es for the Caen Climate and Alternatiba) continue to demand one popular consultation. “So far, the municipality is still against this eventuality”, explains the representatives of the three associations Marie-Joëlle Redor, Véronique Pignè and Michel Moisan in unison.

In the last few weeks, they have met to question the inhabitants of Caen and the urban area with the help of a quiz of seven questions in order to collect their opinions on revegetation of the Place de la République, maintenance of the project in the public domain or support for Caen shops for example. “We wanted to ask seven relatively open questions with the possibility to leave comments”, explains Marie-Joëlle Redor, president of Common Goods.

Three associations have launched a study on the future of the Place de la République in Caen to collect the opinions of residents.  The first lessons have just been revealed
The representatives of the three associations behind the study on Place de la République: Véronique Pignè (Alternatiba), Michel Moisan (Uni.es pour le climat Caen) and Marie-Joëlle Redor (Common good). ©Grégory MAUCORPS

Revegetation and consultation of residents praised

800 questionnaires have already been completed, of which 388 online. The others were gathered in the city center (such as rue Saint-Pierre, place de la République), on the Saint-Sauveur market or on the Caen campus.

This Saturday, October 8, 2022, after a pleasant meal, the representatives of the three associations unveiled at the Place de la République lessons of the first 650 questionnaires already processed. “We were surprised that there were so many answers,” says Marie-Joëlle Redor immediately.

On the question of revegetation of the Place de la République, with plantations, playground, playground…, Caennais were 94% to respond positively to this orientation, only 3% to the installation of new shops (including a gourmet market) and 3% to both (revegetation and new businesses) .

Among the lessons, we realized how much people want a revegetation of the Place de la République, as well as an official consultation with 93% to express their opinion. The mayor must be aware of that.

Marie-Joelle Redor
Three associations have launched a study on the future of the Place de la République in Caen to collect the opinions of residents.  The first lessons have just been revealed
Which project will see the light of day behind the palisades of the Place de la République in Caen? ©Grégory MAUCORPS

What other lessons?

The answers to the other questions indicate that 98% of the consulted residents believe that in light of global warming it is important to promote green areas and tree planting. “Vital and even absolutely necessary, specify some comments”. Following on from this, 90% believe that Caen municipality could do better in this area.

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98% of the residents consulted also want the square at Place de la République to remain in the public domain.

Finally, opinions are more divided on the question of the need to create new facilities to support trade in the city centre: 40% yes, 30% no and 30% do not express an opinion.

Some comments indicate that there is no need for new businesses, but support for existing businesses. For example, they offer easier circulation for bicycles with garages, transport and free parking.

Who answered the questionnaires?

“Our questionnaire is not scientific, but we wanted to collect as many opinions as possible from residents from all walks of life before the official presentation of the Republik project by the mayor in November”, clarifies Michel Moisan, from Uni.es for Caen. climate.

Usually we are blamed that only the convinced respond. There are all types of profiles.

Véronique Pignè, co-president of Alternatiba

Among the people who answered the questionnaires already analyzed, there are around 65% from Caen and 35% from the urban area, 10 km around, according to the three associations. Pensioners represent 25% of the responses, “a proportion identical to the reality in France”. The rest is divided between 65% active (craftsmen, artisans, employees or unemployed) and 10% of students.

People who want to answer the questionnaire can do so until November. It is particularly available in the Guillaume and Brouillon de Culture bookstores, in the Lux cinema, in the Café des images, in biocoops in Venoix and in the city center, in the bike center or in the Coop 5 pct.

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