Among the many urban development projects taking advantage of the presence of a river or coastline, the city of Hamburg’s initiative – HafenCity (2000 – 2025) – deserves special attention. As the largest urban construction site in continental Europe, Hamburg envisions itself as the development model for European cities in the 21st century. By reusing more than a hundred hectares of port and industrial zone space, this project will increase the city-centre perimeter by almost 50%. The choice for public management of the public spaces and facilities in the HafenCity district was enabled by the sale of most of the land involved in the project. This sale generated € 2 billion in public funds and will ultimately secure approximately € 7 billion in private investment. The... Lire la suite
A retrospective study of a river which is by turns turbulent, mythical and sensual.
Journeying on foot up the river Marne to its source, Jean-Paul Kauffmann’s project is “to go back in time”, to the beginning. The journey is an opportunity for the author to “rediscover” the river, and is an attempt to restore it to its former glory, faced with French indifference and general disregard.
This exploration does not pretend to be wholly rational, but rather strives to “discover other paths”. For although this river is no longer navigable with the exception of its lower reaches, and indeed is no longer the centre of these outlying territories, it still remains a “fascinating” place.
Beyond the banks of the river Marne is the France which is the elusive object of the author’s... Lire la suite
An initiative of the Rhône-Alpes Region (Department of Culture – General Inventory of Cultural Heritage)
Hikers, pedestrians, bikers, river lovers, grab your smartphones! The general cultural heritage inventory department of the Rhône-Alpes region offers a location-based application on the bridges of the Rhone. One can now stroll along the river, discover the bridges of the Rhone river (history, description, photos, audio guides) with just a single click or even identify a bridge by type, date of construction, or construction material and geographic location.
The information on bridges are available wherever you are.
The smartphone app « The Bridges of the Rhone » (Ponts du Rhône) is a free heritage guide, published by... Lire la suite
The education association « CPIE Rhone » (Permanent Centre for Environmental Initiative) from the Arles area benefits from the CPIE accreditation. It has been working for several years to raise awareness and enhance the image of the Rhone River. It now leads and manages a network of stakeholders involved in the field: the southern Rhone network. The goal of this network is to encourage and improve the cultural life around the river and enhance the landscape along the Rhone from Bollene/Saint-Esprit all the way to the estuary. The network brings stakeholders together and helps the pooling of resources to facilitate cooperative resource management in projects. This multi-disciplinary network has brought 300 key actors together to work on issues like water quality, tourism, flood risk... Lire la suite
After a career in international finance, Mr. Bomboko, a trained commercial engineer, decided to invest in a personal project close to his heart.
You had the idea for a floating library on the river Congo, to serve the riverside villages. How would you describe it?
My project is based on a simple principle. The boats will stop at, or pass in front of, the riverside villages, first in one direction and then in the other. The rotation of the boats will encourage an exchange of books. In most villages, I have seen primary schools but I was staggered to learn that that there were very few textbooks and a complete lack of books that could enable students to develop their reading abilities. Reading cultivates intelligence, brings knowledge, reinforces spelling, enriches vocabulary, develops the... Lire la suite
The conference “Rivers and territories” organized by the research Institute of Val de Saône on the 13th and 14th of September 2012 has sought to understand the many links that exist between rivers and territories today and also in the long-run and to examine the competitive uses that these links nurture. How do rivers interfere with the organization and the development of territories at all levels, from the major international transport corridors with their marine gateway to the industrial and urban facilities located near the river? The rivers, have they been, are they still or will they again become a factor for territorial integration through the activities they generate, by the networks, by the flow of people or goods exchanged across the valleys, by the cities which are around... Lire la suite
With the exhibition « Idées-Barge: inventer, imaginer le fleuve et ses bateaux », the Rhone river centre kickstarted the «River Transport Project» (Grand Projet Transport Fluvial). This project is about promoting river transport but also discovering the cultural wonders on the river banks. The industrial revolution heritage is also part of this project as the river was key to the economical development of industries. This initiative won ‘best pick’ from the « Cultural Heritage Museum and living Museum Federation » (Fédération des écomusées et des musées de Société) at the 4th Heritage Innovation Award. This award recognised the Rhone river centre’s unique approach to raising awareness and to involving a wide public in the development of river transport. The success... Lire la suite
Kinshasa and Brazzaville are the closest capital cities in the world. During the colonial era, the proximity of the two cities created a mutual influence in both the planning and the development of urban identities. « How can we reconcile, through a combined effort, through a new city model, the pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial era relics on both banks? » asks Bernard Toulier (*). If the population recognises this heritage as being important and if it can identify with it, can the cultural landscape in the vicinity of the Congo River become a common, shared heritage in the area?
In the thirties, similar racial segregation projects are developed in the capitals of the Belgian Congo (Leopoldville: now Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo) and the French Equatorial... Lire la suite
You have done a great deal of work on the important changes in the role that nature plays in developed societies. Are rivers stakeholders in this process which is not just symbolic, but also practical in relation to how “objects of nature” are used in a contemporary urban context? What would be their role?
Yes, industrialized societies are discovering, to their great concern, that the physical and biological realms have rules and boundaries which cannot be ignored. Whereas in the past we believed that scientific and technical advancements would free us from these constraints, today we must undertake a radical revision of this Promethean stance. Alongside “objects of nature” (such as climate, biodiversity, soils), rivers occupy their own particular place in this... Lire la suite