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Mathilde, Urban parks researcher

  • Portrait réalisé par: Céline Laval
  • Portrait réalisé le: 2012-11-19

Mathilde Zenzius (STU class of 2010) is currently a researcher at the Seine-Saint-Denis General Council, in the Department of Nature, Landscapes and Biodiversity, which has developed the major urban parks of Seine-Saint-Denis, including the Georges Valbon Park (formerly the Courneuve Park), where she has been working since her internship.

In February 2010, she started her professional career with a first 6-month mission on the Parc Forestier de la Poudrerie in the Urban Parks Department of the Conseil Général. Her role was to accompany the transfer of management of this park, property of the State, from the Ile-de-France Region's Green Spaces Agency to the General Council. It was thus necessary to set the myriad of actors involved to music, identify the problems associated with the park and define the strategic perspectives (definition of a method for the concerted elaboration of a project for the park) for the next three years, notably through the synthesis of existing work on the subject and the identification of levers to face the identified constraints. Mathilde then emphasized the importance of involving all the actors, both internal and external, from the start and over time.

After this 6-month internship, she changed departments to focus on a mission to raise European funds through the "General Studies" office of the CG. Indeed, her role was to present the application of the Department to the European co-financing program "LIFE +" which each year selects exemplary projects in the field of environment and biodiversity, through a call for projects. She then had to learn about European standards in order to select a project that could fit into the specifications (nearly one hundred pages long!). It was decided to present a part of the departmental project of the Chemin des Parcs, a green corridor project that should eventually link all the parks of Seine-Saint-Denis. She redefined the project to give it more scope, created technical and financial partnerships (with the Region and the Seine-Saint-Denis Council of Architecture, Urban Planning and Environment and the National Museum of Natural History), drew up a schedule, drafted the dossier, and checked the translation into English. She emphasized the technical complexity of each stage of this long process and the technical assistance provided by the Enviropea firm (financed by the Ministry of Ecology), which provided a useful outside perspective to identify inconsistencies and refine the form of the dossier. The file was submitted last September and Mathilde is still waiting for the European Commission's answer, scheduled for April. If it is accepted, the project will start in June for 5 years.

In the meantime, Mathilde is working on 3 missions: the launch of the Poudrerie project, which she herself carried out during her 6-month internship. This involves assisting the park's management department in conducting studies to define the project and in setting up consultations with all stakeholders. Her second mission is to contribute to the definition of tools to improve the cross-functional work of the different departments of the Department involved in urban ecology missions (e.g. water and sanitation, roads with noise pollution and air quality, etc.). Finally, she is in charge of studying the possibilities of developing the missions of her department in terms of accompanying local actors towards the implementation of more ecological green spaces in the department. She is in the process of passing the administrative exams and hopes to find a permanent position at the General Council soon.

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