From 1850, numerous banquets were organized outdoors, in the city’s districts, on the occasion of commemorations or in honor of personalities. The population thus frequently gathered around large tables, to share friendly moments. These moments were important for the life of the city and generators of social ties.
With the increase in road traffic and space allocated to parking, and also with the emergence of a more individualistic society, these banquets have disappeared. As part of his year as Town Hall, Mr. Gomez wanted to reconnect with this tradition. “This also makes it possible to relocate to the heart of the neighborhoods, on the asphalt, the receptions that the City generally organizes at the Palais Eynard, so that the population benefits,” explains Mr. Gomez.
A generous terroir
These banquets are also an opportunity to replace the food issue at the center of attention, reminding us how important it is. Vital, it affects both individual health and that of the planet, since it constitutes a important part of our environmental balance sheet. In Switzerland, food is responsible for almost a third of our greenhouse gas emissions. For example, by reducing food waste, eating a little less meat and choosing local and seasonal foods, everyone can take action. Geneva can count on a rich and generous terroir, which offers a wide range of possibilities.
Meet and gather in neighborhoods
Various activities and events took place at Petit-Saconnex last June: workshops organized by ma-terre, visits and activities offered by the Ferme de Budé, eco-challenges set up by the Sablier de Cassandre and film screening by the Green Film Festival were on the program. 350 people participated in the banquet offered by the City of Geneva.
On September 20, 2023, residents of the Junction were able to take advantage of the closure of rue des Maraîchers to listen to a concert by the Geneva Chamber Orchestra, enjoy a friendly meal (450 seats) and take part in different fun moments, hosted by Les Grands-parents pour le climat, La Jonction fait son miel or Nourrir la Diversité. The event also gave pride of place to cinema, with screenings at Cinélux of the films “Le Chêne” by Laurent Charbonnier and Michel Seydoux and “We feed the world – Le Marché de la hunger” by Erwin Wagenhofer, in the presence of the former United Nations rapporteur for the right to food Jean Ziegler and researcher Christophe Golay.
In front of the 99, the Class Orchestra of the school of Europe launched the festivities of the banquet on September 22, at which more than 250 people participated. Various free workshops were offered to the population, notably at MACO and 6Toits on the Charmilles industrial zone (ZIC). Sustainable cooking classes with Slow Mobil, music and theater with the Conservatoire populaire, personalization of objects with Onl’fait and repair of electronic equipment or household appliances with La Manivelle were opportunities to exercise creativity and protect the climate . In addition, thanks to the collaboration of the teaching staff, Slow Mobile was able to take up residence in the courtyard of the École de l’Europe for 2 weeks and offer sustainable cooking workshops to all students.
In view of the success of these moments of conviviality, other banquets will take place at the spring 2024 in several areas of the city. They will be announced early next year.
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