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Les Cinq Toits

Quick facts

Based in Paris, France

Cooperation of two NGOs

SDG Goal 11 , 12 and 15

Located in former military barracks, the “Five Roofs” project is a social innovation project at the heart of Paris. The project is an example of transitional urban planning at the service of social inclusion and is led by the “Aurore Association” which f ights against exclusion by offering access to accommodation, care, and professional integration. They partnered up with “ Plateau Urbain”, an urban planning cooperative which works to turn vacant urban spaces into social and cultural hubs.

The social innovation project Les Cinq Toits builds the community and brings people together through a range of activities.

Over 350 people are living on the premises in emergency housing. The space furthermore houses 35 craftsmen, artists, social entrepreneurs, and NGOs ( partner structures) to create an economic,  social and cultural hub to support social inclusion. The site is open to the public and offers a range of activities for people from various backgrounds to come together and meet. On the premises, one can f ind a solidarity restaurant, a small garden, a bike repair centre, and a shared DIY workshop as well as an engaging event program.

How does the organization address societal challenges in an innovative way?

The purpose and main objectives of the project are to offer a space that can be used for a range of activities and to bring people from different backgrounds closer together. On the premises of Les Cinq Toits local residents come together with refugees and migrants to discover each other’ s cultures and to improve mutual understanding. The project utilizes the vacant space to promote social inclusion and thus helps to shape a solidary urban development. At the project site, visitors are being educated about issues of migration as well as environmental challenges. Furthermore, vocational training and employment are offered to those in need.

What societal benefit does the organization create?

The work of Les Cinq toits creates societal benefit by working for the following objectives:

strengthen the relationship and understanding between the public and the residents amplify the active participation of all offering holistic support to people in need promote access to education, training and employment improving neighbourhood relations

Advocacy and awareness of societal and environmental challenges

What new urban trades are created in the project?

The multitude of activities and audiences at Cinq Toits make it an ideal place to offer vocational training and employment for the refugees residing there. The project offers refugees the opportunity to gradually integrate into the workforce by offering comprehensive socio- professional support such as job training, help to f ind housing, legal help, access to healthcare and professional integration. The offered support allows socialization through work and, more broadly, the integration into the French work environment for people who have never worked in France. There are also opportunities to learn French.

What makes the organization particularly interesting as an example?

The project especially inspiring because it successfully combines multiple societal, environmental  and  economic  objectives:  It offers people in need comprehensive support as well as enhances cultural understanding and integration into the local community. It furthermore, provides a social and cultural hub in the centre of Paris with many different events and provides space for local organizations and artists. Lastly, many of the operations are environmentally friendly and targeted at spreading awareness about environmental issues. Thus, Les Cinq toits is a great example of how to successfully combine many sustainable objectives.

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