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Laure Cardinal - STU 2008 - Evaluation officer at the General Commission for Territorial Equality

Laure Cardinal - STU 2008 - Evaluation officer at the General Commission for Territorial Equality

Posted on | Alumni Portrait

Laure Cardinal graduated from the STU Master in 2008 and is in charge of the evaluation mission at the Direction des Stratégies Territoriales of the Commissariat général à l'égalité des territoires (CGET). She is one of the founders of In Situ (2007-2008), was a consultant at Algoé (2011-2015) and is currently President of the association Mon Voisin des Docks, the association of the eco-neighbourhood of the docks of Saint Ouen"... a portrait made in the spring to enliven this month of November.

Berlin's stadtsoziology at the crossroads

In 2004, Laure joined the Franco-German campus of Sciences Po in Nancy through the international procedure, after a year of preparatory courses for the Humanities (a procedure which is no longer possible since 2011). From Nancy, she left for Berlin to do her third year "outside the walls" at Humboldt University. There she discovered and studied urban sociology and geography. In Berlin, these subjects were made even more meaningful by the history of the city between partition and reconstruction, visible in the urban form.

She took a liking to "the urban phenomenon" and then joined the Territorial and Urban Strategies Master's programme, which celebrated its first class of graduates. In the first year of the master, she actively participated in the foundation of In Situ which was created in November 2007 by the second year team (Benjamin Panchout, Doriana Kostic, and Céline Moyon) and alumni.

Between the two years of the master's degree, Laure tried a short internship at the CAUE (Conseil d'Architecture, d'Urbanisme et d'Environnement) of Val-de-Marne. "It's a first experience in the Ile de France region. "It was an initiation and an immersion in the professional environment that allowed me to test. It is an experience that she recommends, having been on the side of recruiters, because it allows her to meet the requirement to multiply professional experiences but above all because the short internship allows her to test a professional environment in which she is not sure she wants to commit herself.

This immersion completes her collective project for the DPVI (Délégation à la Politique de la Ville et à l'Intégration de la Ville de Paris). There, she carried out an exploratory study on the potential of participatory urban tourism, then an emerging subject that has developed a lot since (greeters, etc.). This study aimed to identify employment opportunities for the inhabitants of priority neighbourhoods.

To work on the different issues related to the development of the territories

At the end of her Master's degree, Laure began an internship at Setec Organisation, a strategy and management consulting firm in Paris. After graduating, she was hired and continued to work at SETEC Organisation where she stayed for two years. There she will carry out missions and studies on several themes such as the impact of major transport and equipment infrastructures, territorial economic development and the organisation of local authorities.

At the beginning of 2011, she joined Algoé, a territorial strategy consultancy, where she remained until the end of 2015. "I was most attracted by the variety of issues and the intellectual flexibility that the consulting profession requires. On the other hand, it also requires a high level of availability due to the density of the work". She worked on the Greater Paris project, urban policy, the Programme d'Investissements d'Avenir (PIA), and the territorial reform.

"The missions linked to the Greater Paris law were particularly stimulating because, although the subject is not recent, there was a pioneering aspect to the metropolitan construction process: a blank page to write! She is already familiar with the territory of the Ile de France region, but this time she is working on setting in motion actors such as the State, the ANRU, the various service operators and the actors of the territories in connection with the Greater Paris.

From this experience as a consultant in the private sector, she appreciates the diversity of the subjects and the level of the interlocutors. Thus, she was able to intervene directly with the decision-makers (elected officials, directors). Being a consultant often allows you to work at a higher level than a project manager, for example. Nevertheless, the pace of work does not always allow for in-depth study of the subjects covered by each new assignment.

By joining the Territorial Strategies Department of the General Commission for Territorial Equality (CGET) as an evaluation officer in December 2015, she wanted to spend more time reading and analysing in depth the issues she was confronted with. After 7 years of accompanying territorial actors in the implementation of public policies, she is now moving closer to thinking about the design and evaluation of these policies. In the Directorate of Territorial Strategies and Evaluation, she is in charge of the evaluation of public policies for territorial equality on the themes of economic development, employment and enterprises. These are issues where a lot of changes are taking place, with significant impacts for the territories. The challenge is therefore to produce a discourse and analyses on these transformations for territorial equality.

From the private to the public sector, the content has not changed much, if we consider that yesterday's "missions" are today's "files". In the end, recommendations have to be produced. But it confirms that the pace of central administration is not that of the council, with notable rigidities, conservatism and inertia.

Territorial strategies: from Sciences Po benches to citizen mobilisation

Finally, Laure is President of the association Mon Voisin des Docks, in the eco-neighbourhood of the Docks in Saint Ouen (1000 members on its website This district, which will be served in 2019 by line 14, the first line of the Grand Paris Express, will host the Ile-de-France Region in 2017, followed by the Nord-Francilien hospital and many other investment projects. "It is a melting pot for the 'Grand Paris' project. "Our mission within the association is first of all to animate the social life of the district, composed of new inhabitants who have just arrived in a new district. The association, which was set up in 2013, therefore aims to facilitate and organise social relations between neighbours, and to organise regular events: with a smile of solidarity, she tells us "that way, I can mobilise the experience I learnt at the In Situ association". But the mission that seems to fascinate her the most, and that mobilises each of her previous experiences, is the place to take in the public debate. "If you want to be heard, you have to be very involved in local life, know the institutions, be diplomatic, demonstrate that you are not in a NIMBY posture, and be constructive in your dealings with the players. Even in 2016, giving a voice to citizens, residents and users is anything but self-evident in the making of the city. In the end, this is a way for Laure to participate in the construction of Greater Paris, in a citizen's way.

Her advice to the students of the Urban School

Read more

Reading (whether in the specialised press, research articles, parliamentary reports, etc.) should not stop with the studies, but on the contrary, should continue beyond them, because the world of cities and territories is constantly evolving. The frames of reference have already changed a lot between 2008, the year of his diploma, and today, and it is essential to integrate the changes into his professional practices.

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