Video filming by the team of La Belle Ville, an AccorInvest sponsorised project, got underway on April 9th. Over the past six weeks Manon Turina and François Marques have visited four countries, discovered 17 initiatives, filmed for 90 hours and amassed 20 hours of video on their hard drives.
La Belle Ville is an exciting travel documentary project which sets out to meet people on every continent who have put their revolutionary ideas into practice to reconnect our cities with nature through urban agriculture, making cities greener and bio-waste energy recovery. Their aim is to raise public awareness, be a source of inspiration for everyone involved in the ecological transition (city dwellers, private companies and collectivities), and encourage nature to return to the city by sharing practical solutions.
During a briefing session at the Corporate headquarters, we had the pleasure of learning more about this great initiative and hearing feedback from Manon and François on the first leg of their travels: the North American continent, where they stayed in Mexico City and Chicago.
Mexico City (Mexico)
Manon and François spent two weeks in Mexico City where they met around ten fascinating and inspirational project holders. They were particularly impressed by the Huerto Roma Verde project managed by Piero and Paco.
Huerto Roma Verde is a green oasis tucked away in a lush neighborhood of Mexico City and a laboratory of innovation offering alternative solutions for the world of tomorrow. Manon and François put their bags down for a while in this fascinating place, staying in an experimental house made entirely from recycled materials.
The couple spent a week in Chicago where they made the acquaintance of Ken Dunn, the creator of a surprising circular economy model. He retrieves food waste from restaurants and transforms it into compost to clean up and regenerate land in the inner city where he creates amazing urban farms. Manon and François were also intrigued to discover roofs entirely covered in greenery. The cherry on the cake was meeting Mathilde, a French woman living in Chicago for the past two years who offered them accommodation at short notice.
The Belle Ville team took off again on May 16th, this time heading for Europe, where they are hosted in our AccorInvest hotels. They will meet our teams and have the opportunity to discuss their initiatives.
In Lausanne, Manon and François encountered an inhabitant who has been greenifying the streets of his city for more than 40 years. They also discovered the Novotel Lausanne Bussigny hotel which reconnects Business and Nature and where they were housed. Franck Fleury, the GM, took the opportunity to show them the initiatives in place in his hotel. Find out more with this video:
During their 8 day stay in Berlin, the couple met Marco Clausen, the founder of the best known urban garden in the country, the Prinzessinnengarten, some designers of innovative urban furniture, and Green City Solution, an architect renowned in Europe for his futuristic and sustainable work.
Manon and François were housed at Ibis Styles Berlin Mitte where the GM Carolin Ritcher and her teams have implemented a wide range of initiatives. One example is the beehives they have installed on the hotel’s green roof, enabling them to offer their own honey to customers at breakfast. Other initiatives include a kitchen garden, a partnership with the company To Good To Go aimed at reducing waste by redistributing the hotel’s unsold food at a reasonable price, the locally produced products featured on the restaurant’s menus and the replacement of traditional light bulbs with LED bulbs.
During their visit to Brussels, Manon and François stayed at the Novotel Brussels off Grand Place Hotel where the GM Kevin Martens has already implemented some small initiatives pending larger projects. These include actions to reduce the hotel’s consumption of plastic and paper such as “Less Plastic″ and ″Paper Less“ and water-saving shower heads. Small individual bottles of soap have been replaced by distributors. The team takes care to check all the hotel’s machines regularly (boiler, cold room, etc …) to avoid leaks or small invisible cracks which lead to wasted energy and water.