Could you talk to us about the Territory Paris Est Marne&Bois? What are your tasks and responsibilities?
This territory, as its name indicates it, is marked by the Marne, which crosses 9 communes out of 13 and the presence of important natural islands such as the Bois de Vincennes or the Departmental Park of the Tremblay. In addition to this exceptional natural setting, in the immediate vicinity of Paris, one can note the architectural quality of the city centres, the diversity of the webs of habitats, in particular pavilions, and the high level of public service in terms of school, cultural and sports facilities. Paris Est Marne&Bois is distinguished by its exceptional living environment: you can feel as if on holiday or as if in the province all the while being in the metropolis!
It is also a lively territory, made up of a very strong network of very small businesses and SMEs (54% of the companies of Val-de-Marne are implanted on our Territory) which will benefit in the years to come from the metropolitan dynamics with line 15 south and 15 east of Grand Paris Express and major development projects (Charenton-Bercy, Marne Europe Villiers-sur-Marne, Péripole Val-de-Fontenay …).
The Territory has a share of skills called “operational”, such as the management of household waste and water and sanitation, but also skills called “strategic” in the fields of development, environment and economic development. Based on all these skills, the effects of pooling have been rapid: several hundreds of thousands of euros have been saved thanks to a common collection market in several cities, the harmonization of practices and regulations in terms of sanitation to achieve the common goal of bathing in the Marne in 2022, the launch of a climate plan at the scale of 13 cities in order to obtain a framework document to fight against climate change at the local level… On the issues of mobility, economic development or planning, it appears that the Territory is a relevant scale because they are related to the living areas which exceed the municipal boundaries.
As part of your skills, could we go back to the environment and the local urbanism plan? How about current and future projects?
We do not have the “environment” competence as such but we integrate the environmental dimension in the management of all our skills (“household and similar waste management”, “water and sanitation”, “development”…). For example, waste management is a fundamental lever for sustainable development and we are also working with schools to set up bio waste collection. This makes it possible for children to be made aware from a very young age of sorting and food wastage as well as the harmonization of sorting instructions to improve the recycling rate of waste or our fleet of dump trucks so that they run on CNG. The fact of being 13 communes allows to “push” the competence, going further than if a municipality had been all alone. We also have a critical size that makes it possible to benefit from subsidies, to launch experiments…
In terms of sanitation we act by several means to reduce pollutant discharges in Marne, to improve connections to the network and even rainwater management.
If the environmental requirement is constitutive of our action and transversal to the various public policies that we lead, it is also expressed through our climate plan, in the process of being drawn up, which will fix for the next 6 years a strategy and an action plan to combat climate change at the level of our territory.
The local inter-communal urban plan (LIUP) is one of the compulsory competencies entrusted by law to the Territories. Completion of a LIUP is a complex, multi-year project to determine the community’s strategic direction for planning and sustainable development. Paris Est Marne&Bois began the reflection by launching workshops with the 13 municipalities on a certain number of themes (the first workshop concerned, for example, the environment) in order to establish an inventory of current rules in urban planning and common goals for the coming years.
Territorial governance, the notion of subsidiarity! Could you give us your point of view on these major issues on the eve of the European elections?
The process of metropolisation and the reflection around it has been developing for many years, particularly on the establishment of a governance to organize public policies in this direction at the Ile-de-France. The date of the Metropolitan Conference was more than 10 years ago. The law has put in place an institutional scheme in which the EFA-communes pair is a structuring step for the functioning of this Metropolis of 7 million inhabitants, guaranteeing in particular its local anchorage and the link with the inhabitants.
Our Territory Paris East Marne&Bois is positioned as a “cooperative of cities”, in which each of our municipalities keeps its specificities and its autonomy. The Territory is positioned as a coordinator, a catalyst, on functions and missions that cannot be provided by the municipalities or less well so. It is the whole notion of subsidiarity which consists in entrusting to the higher level, in this case the Territory, only what is necessary and what would be provided less efficiently by the lower level, in this case the municipalities.
The Territory brings added value on several aspects: the realization of economies of scale by the development of common markets or groupings of orders, but also the management of several cross-cutting issues that transcend communal borders such as travel, economic development, the environment…
What is the message you would like to convey to the citizens at the centre of public service in your Territory?
The territories, from the cities, are there to do to many what is no longer possible to do alone. The extremely constrained budgetary context experienced by the communities must push them to innovate, especially in the context of pooling, experimentation… Our Territory Paris East Marne&Bois has an exceptional living environment, which we want to preserve, while allowing it to be part of the dynamic metropolitan area carrying potential in terms of economic development, transport and housing. The fact of being 13 municipalities allows us to have a voice that carries institutions to defend these projects necessary for the development of eastern Paris.