The signing of a partnership agreement between the École Nationale Supérieure de Paysage at Versailles and ECT is to lead to a new business chair to be called “Earth and Landscape”. The signatories of the agreement are Vincent Piveteau, director of the ENSP and Laurent Mogno, chairman of ECT, who were keen to reinforce a collaboration that began in 2017.
ECT wanted to link to the ENSP by supporting a multi-year programme for research and action, leading to a new business chair devoted to soil and landscaping. The partnership between ENSP and ECT arises from one key fact: Every year, nearly 15 million cubic metres of earth are excavated in the Île-de-France region as a result of projects in the construction & public works sector. It’s a sign of strong economic growth and the development of major projects in the region of the capital. Locally, however, attitudes to the reception of inert soil remain ambivalent.
Vincent Piveteau, director of ENSP , says, “It is important to get away from the vision of ‘disposal’ associated with the idea that inert soil is ‘waste’, and to develop a vision of services associated with the idea that inert soil is a resource for innovative projects”. In the context of the “Earth and Landscape” chair, the multi-year programme should encourage projects, build on experience, pass on knowledge and promote developments for the public while exploring the links between inert soil as a ‘resource’ on the one hand, and the ‘landscape’ on the other.
Vincent Piveteau again: “It means exploring how the landscaping uses of inert soil can support relatively complex projects and can be incorporated into models for creating value and work at the local level. It’s also about anticipating and supporting current changes to the environment of the redevelopment zones, and of understanding the mechanisms that make up or reconstitute their fertility.”
Laurent Mogno, the chairman of ECT, says: “Soil from building sites is a raw material that landscape architects use to create spaces and devise their projects. The ENSP’s objectives of knowledge and training concerning the re-use of inert soil – as a raw material for imagining, designing and creating – reflect attitudes that we share. These are challenges for the future. I am delighted that we have created this partnership, and by the dynamic vision that it brings to our development projects.”