A word from Marcel Pochard
The Cité internationale, a utopia at the service of peace
As you all know for having experienced it, the Cité casts a spell on you. This is undoubtedly due to its outstanding location, a haven of hospitality and well-being, to its organisation in houses, and to its multiple facilities and services. But it is above all due to the spirit that inhabits it, and to the goals and values to which it is committed: the mutual understanding between individuals and between peoples, peace, tolerance, respect for others, preservation of the planet. A magnificent utopia, utterly essential for our world, as you will agree.
You doubtless also noticed during your stay that at the Cité all efforts are made for residents to live out this utopia on a day-to-day basis. This is thanks to its organisational rules and principles, totally in keeping with this goal: the principle of national houses, the “melting pot” mix principle, the principle of kitchens on each floor that you approve and that surely evoke your best ever memories. Thanks also to the life that permanently inspires the campus, with its traditional highlight of the Fête de la Cité (Cité Festival), not to forget the Université de la paix (University of peace), launched in 2014. Noteworthy also are your thousand and one initiatives, including, in recent years, the shared garden (Jardin du monde) and the multi-function workshops, such as the bike repair shop (Vélo volant).
Do we really need to tell you that, as the former residents, you are the natural guardians and promoters of this utopia. You form an unparalleled international network of friends and bearers of peace throughout the world, which only asks to be upheld and invigorated and to bear fruit. In the words of the child’s nursery rhyme, if all the former Cité residents were to hold hands, the face of the world would be changed.
Nearly one hundred years after the setting up of the Cité internationale by founding fathers who believed in this utopia although nothing yet existed, such a wish, founded on the exceptional ground of the some 450,000 former residents who you are, has the strength of a promise for a future responding to the expectation of peoples: to live in peace.