A moment of peace. That is what the Forum des Halles in Paris offers with its new initiative, launched on Tuesday 5 April. Indeed, the shopping center has decided to introduce a “quiet hour” every Tuesday, from 10am to 11am. Dimmed light, reduced sound volume… So many facilities that aim to provide a more serene reception to “all audiences”, and in particular to people with autism.
This hour of rest has long been requested by associations that specialize in the guidance and care of people with autism. Since April 5, the Forum des Halles has decided to respond to this request by introducing various regulations. Every Tuesday between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., the broadcast of music and announcements in the shopping center’s common areas is suspended. But that’s not all, the complex also plans to reduce noise from electrical appliances in the stores and reduce lighting by a third, reports 20 minutes† The whole area around the “patio” concerns this device, which represents an area of 13,600 m2.
“This is just the beginning”
The initiative aims to “enjoy a quieter shopping experience for people with autism spectrum disorder or who suffer from misophonia”, indicates that in 2019 the center was renamed Wetfield Forum des Halles, after the Actu.fr site. Since the end of January 2021, a bill from the National Assembly encourages companies of more than 1000 m2 to provide a “quiet hour” for people with autism. But for the Forum des Halles, this moment of serenity is beneficial to all: † [il] makes it possible to welcome all target groups and live a new experience in your center”we read on the Facebook page of the complex.
If this moment of rest is welcome, it will only concern the common areas of the shopping center for the time being. For their part, shops can still play music or light up their shelves during this “quiet hour”. Only 4 out of 150 downtown businesses would be willing to integrate the device, indicates 20 minutes† Hugo Rey, the director of the center, has been optimized: “This is just the beginning ! (…) Today we do an hour, if it happens, tomorrow we do a morning”he confided 20 minutes.
A photo exhibition to make people aware of autism
In addition to this ‘quiet hour’, the Forum des Halles has also taken an initiative to make the public aware of autism. Until April 9, more than 100 portraits of people with autism, autistic children and adults, parents, carers, siblings will be exhibited under the Canopée du centre. An exhibition organized by the association Un Pas Vers La Vie Autisme, in collaboration with the artist JR, which invites passers-by to change their view of this disability.
Leave the bustle of Les Halles, this “quiet hour” will bring peace and serenity to everyone…