"In 40 years of business, the LVP has successfully shown how useful its approach can be. In the “priority”-listed La Florane neighbourhood, its shared garden project should help to bring residents together around a place that will be of benefit to everyone. I am fully confident that the League will take this entire project to a successful conclusion." Emmanuel Plessis
The Var Social Protection League (LVP) brings together specialised educators, social mediators, family counsellors/mediators, psychologists, social workers and others. It was established in Toulon in areas like La Valette, La Garde, Ollioules and Vallée du Gapeau to foster social cohesion. Founded in 1974, it has gradually become a major influence in the Var for containing social violence by fighting isolation and exclusion.
The LVP employs specialised educators by day, who make contact with youths under 18 and their families. The educators are relieved by night-time correspondents and social mediators working out of Ollioules and of Toulon in the La Beaucaire and Le Grand Jonquet neighbourhoods.
One project for one neighbourhood: La Florane
The new project driven by the LVP involves the La Florane neighbourhood, listed as a “priority area” following a diagnosis performed in 2012. It includes 36 buildings with 1,600 residents inside an area that is withdrawn and lethargic. The real-estate is deteriorating and people do not feel safe.
A shared garden meant for everyone
Given the background, the LVP has designed a collective, participative initiative, namely the creation of a shared garden. Known as “DisVertCité”, the project aims at improving the life setting and encouraging encounters and dialogue between neighbours from different age groups and different social backgrounds. The objective is twofold: the idea is generate a shared achievement implying consensus and cooperation between area residents, while at the same time creating a neighbourhood facility that will benefit most people.
The garden will be designed on the basis of information collected through door-to-door campaigns and regular public meetings, where residents can express themselves and dialogue so as to come to an agreement regarding the way the garden should be run: will the land be collective or divided in lots? Will harvests be communal or individual? Will they be shared or sold? The approach seeks participation in order to foster dialogue and satisfy participants.
An agreement concerning the land occupancy has already been signed with Toulon Habitat Méditerranée (THM), the Toulon public housing authority, regarding availability of the area where the shared garden is to be located. The Veolia Foundation has joined forces with the Var General Council to support this project for the promotion of social cohesion through environmental teaching.