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FAIRE 2021

Manual of small pathways

New South – Meriem Chabani, Etienne Chobaux, John Edom, Maya Nemeta, architects

Mapping of public pathways for children between two points of interest—school and park

Mapping of public pathways for children between two points of interest—school and park


Meeting and presentation of the project's progress by Meriem Chabani at the Pavillon de l'Arsenal, during the FAIRE CLUB on Monday November 7, 2022.

MAY 2022 : Two workshops with the children of Choisy school

Workshop 1: "My daily routes"
Children will draw freely on their home-school and school-park routes. This first meeting also allows to become familiar with the group of children and to establish a relationship of trust. Objective: To put oneself at the level of children to identify the significant elements of their daily routes, their imagination linked to the city, and to transmit to them tools of representation of the urban space.

Workshop 2: "My dream route"
The group went on a field trip to make a route between the school and the nearest park, and made a collective map representing the transformations imagined by the children for this route. The students represented three types of things: what they like, what they don't like, and what they want to create. Objective: Involve the children in the transformation of their daily route, and create a proposal based on their vision through a playful workshop.


Paris is struggling to keep its families with an exodus further exacerbated by the Covid-19 crisis and an “unprecedented 5% drop” in enrollments for school year 2021. The city is examining the challenge and developing a wide number of initiatives aimed at children and schools—including the establishment of the Cours Oasis (renovated courtyards with a larger emphasis given to nature), willingness to open up recreational areas during the weekends, as well as the School Streets (pedestrianizing the access streets to elementary schools with AREP’s support).

The “Manual of Small Pathways” proposal complements these approaches and aims to deploy a grid of public walkways designed for children. Like cycling lanes, this a soft mobility network imagined at the scale of the city. The assumption is that by connecting two points of interests for children —school and park—there’s an opportunity to weave a promenade that enriches and transforms all of the components it runs through. This involves public spaces, urban amenities, the notion of play, or sport, the interaction with neighborhood shops, and, of course, landscape.

New South wishes to approach public space as a learning space, and, more broadly (as sociologist Sonia Lavandinho puts it) an opportunity to “increase the number of happy miles.”


New South – Meriem Chabani, Etienne Chobaux, John Edom, Maya Nemeta
New South is a Paris-based architecture, urban planning, and anthropology firm. In order to build cities for everyone, the studio approaches urban environments through their most vulnerable components, considering that we touch on universality by approaching it from the margins.
New South brings together Meriem Chabani (Algeria, France), Étienne Chobaux (France), John Edom (UK), and Maya Nemeta (France).