The veilleuse is a structure for relaying information. It is a neighbourhood mediator and organizer and above all, a source of project proposals. This initiative operates at the heart of a given district to support citizen projects, encourage the district to express itself, and help citizens work together to build a future for their district.
The veilleuse is an independent space, separate from the image conveyed by the city’s public services. However, this does not mean that the veilleuse is disconnected from decision-making powers. It works in direct collaboration with the city, which also works directly with citizens, associations, merchants, socio-occupational structures, etc. The veilleuse mediates the dialogue between public policies and citizens to increase the fluidity and transparency of the approach.
The various “veilleuses” make up a network that connects different districts to support, develop, and organize local initiatives to facilitate the emergence of a collective vision. The “veilleuse-map” (a contributory map) is the main tool used to support this collective vision. It is an online map that displays all the cities and different tools, structures, services, and locations of events for social cohesion and local development. The map is enriched and regularly re-transcribed and diffused in hard copy to the community by the “veilleuse de quartier.” Every district will have its very own “veilleuse.”
The work of each veilleuse is not meant to replace or add to existing initiatives. Their goal is to connect and promote community players and to facilitate communication between them. In this way, the initiative hopes to inspire districts to imagine the near-future possibilities for their region by showcasing projects from other regions and offering the tools necessary to recreate them. Thus, the veilleuse network supports project leaders while leaving room for “citizen actors.” Every project developed by a district veilleuse requires a certain level of involvement from its users; however, this involvement should be minimal so as to ensure that the project remains entirely accessible.