General information

Nestled in the Plains of Alsace, Mulhouse is located on the border of three countries: France, Germany and Switzerland. The city has 113,000 inhabitants and extends of 2,240 hectares. It has a rich industrial and social past, and today is confronted with migration flows to the city.

Coordination group (Local Support Group)

In Mulhouse they were able to set up a group of twenty six people with good representation from across the public and social sectors, including significant representations from:

  • Local administrations
  • Civil society organizations
  • Actors in Social sphere
  • Different local establishments and enterprises
  • Educational establishments

Representatives who have signed the Multipartite contract The MSC (Multipartite Social Contract): Maison des Parent which is an association of the Mulhouse Alsace Agglomeration; Citizens and non-governmental organizations from the Drouot-Barbanègre neighborhood crew ; educational establishments both primary and secondary; The Rouffach Hospital Center ,other associations such as « Le Rézo » (knowledge exchange) or « Alter Alsace Energie » (promoting the rational use of energy) as well as the Dynamic Local Health Observatory

Local Social Cohesion Action Plan (pilot actions)

Multi-partite contracts

The Social Services department within Mulhouse has 1350 clients on its books, to whom the Department gives benefits, plus social advice and support. The Department has developed a pilot project using the co-responsibility approach with its users. The intention is to tackle the issue of social inclusion from a perspective of partnership and reciprocity rather then amore traditional; authority/ client relationship. The Department chose a representative sample of 25 families and then held meetings with them as well as with a theater animator and a psychologist. The group worked together for a three month period at the end of which around half signed up to a 10 month program of activity and a commitment expressed in a four way multipartite service contract . The activity program is based on the well-being/ Ill-being concerns expressed by the users and the workshops are designed to address these. The service users take the responsibility for and help to shape and organize the service that they use. Results:

  • From the first group half of the beneficiary partners found a job (citizens with difficulties of a social character)
  • For the second group -made of people with addictions- two of them have taken steps to receive care

Involving parents in education

It is a pilot project which directly engages with young children. It is organized under the auspices of the Maison des Parent which is an association of the Mulhouse Alsace Agglomeration to support and help parents and their children. The key idea behind this project is to involve the whole neighborhood in the process of educating the children. A charter was drawn up on the concept of mutual. Together with local NGOs different trainings and creative workshops aim to limit addictive risk had been conducted. The pilot project brings together 186 pupils drawn from two primary and a secondary school in one neighborhood. The first part of the methodology was used with pupils – the question on well-being- and more than 1000 responses were chosen. From the demands made by the pupils the officials were able to draw a range of suggestions with a strong co-responsibility approach which are now being pursued by the pupils.

Integration through Housing and jobs

This project enables to put into the common context both housing and employments and the whole family has to participate actively to this project. It seeks to find accommodation for families but on the basis that the prospective tenants have to be involved in their own re-housing, for example, by helping in the renovation work or being involved in some way in their own re-housing. The initiative started in 2009 and to date 90 families have been involved in discussions and 12 have engaged in the project. Results:

  • 16 families have benefited from the project they have organized housing with neighborhood support networks. Some family members have jobs.

The Drouot-Barbanègre neighborhood in Mulhouse is a neighborhood almost exclusively composed of social housing. In summary, the other elements favoring the choice of the Drouot-Barbanègre neighborhood :

  • Persistent social difficulties (e.g. criminal damage to the « social center » which had to be closed down and rebuilt)
  • The small size of the neighborhood
  • The partnership dynamic that works effectively
  • Creating a new « social center » which could feed off of what the residents,
  • particularly the young people, expressed.

This implementation began around the priority topics of education/ parenthood (for example, producing a leaflet listing the actors in the neighborhood working on education and parenthood) and social links/ motivation (for example, outings for social and cultural center families, partnership welcome time directed at young adults, coffee breaks facilitated by volunteers at the neighborhood associations, etc.)


Challenges to improve:

  • Decision-making (cooperation), -the circulation of information and conviviality.


  • Some of the actions were immediately carried out or were initiated very quickly.
  • These included informative meetings, a hot drinks machine, and introducing new


  • The LCT, along with the mobilized workers, continued to implement the


  • For example :The LCT created an internal newsletter,« M2 ZOO », which was a response to the need for information
  • Organizing the Christmas party with around 50 participants each year
  • Monitoring updates for job descriptions,
  • Creating a « welcome protocol » for new arrivals,
  • Ensuring that cooperation and information meetings occurred regularly

(concerning work, the budget, safety, entrance policies, etc.)

  • The demand for an information meeting to be set up for when employees

arrive first thing in the morning- reminder of the charter for well-being

  • The vet’s organization for the workers in the shop and at the entrance to

visit the park...

Albert Schweitzer Secondary School


  • Improving atmosphere at school, solving problems with discipline, improving communication between teaching staff and students and their parents, evening out the workloads of the students
  • To create good working conditions
  • To make the actors aware of their responsibilities with regards to living together harmoniously


  • Participation in the project itself was a possibility for many students to reflect upon their own situation and to start the dialogue between students and pupils
  • Teachers agree upon the time table of tests in order to even out the workflow of students
  • Different actions at school to bring the students together
  • Organizing a discussion day once a term
  • Constructing class projects
  • Organizing convivial opportunities.
  • Getting to know the maintenance staff and organizing
  • cleaning plan per class; organizing selective sorting of waste
  • Planning assessments within the teaching teams; demonstrating
  • recognition for the work carried out in a more visible way; receiving support from
  • the school directors.
  • Developing several quiet and convivial areas for the students;
  • renovating the staff room.
  • Creating an internal informative newspaper.

Responsible consumption

The Jean Wagner Sociocultural Centre was also our landmark, the place where our creativity could be expressed during workshops or fairs. Other associations such as « Le Rézo » (knowledge exchange) or « Alter Alsace Energie » (promoting the rational use of energy) gave us their expertise at a specific point on our walk. Finally, Mulhouse Habitat enabled us to communicate more effectively amongst ourselves, as with the Neighborhood Council, the head of Mission Territoriale (Territorial Some ideas for collective action to guide us on the continuation of our journey have already arisen : 1.the formation of a purchasing organization 2.the creation of an association for community-supported agriculture (« AMAP » in France), 3continued workshops open to everyone for manufacturing cosmetics.

Sources -URBACT Territories of Coresponsibility Lead Expert’s Report on Meetings in Mulhouse (December 2010) -Mulhouse: Mulhouse en Chiffres 2012 - URBACT Territories of Coresponsibility Together Final Report (October 2012) -URBACT Territories of Coresponsibility Lead Expert’s Report on Meetings TOGETHER’s Project Partners Cities (December 2010-September 2012) - URBACT Territories of Coresponsibility Local Action Plan of Co Responsibility in Mulhouse (January 2013)