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Bath type

Waterfront and boardwalk





À propos

In order to design future riverside landscapes where the objectives of flood protection, ecological considerations and the design of open public spaces meet, we call for a holistic approach to the floodscape issue. At a time when cities are adapting to extreme climatic events, the design of an urban riverside space involves negotiating the synergies and conflicts between these three areas of urban planning.

We focus on the area where the water meets the city to make it accessible, following a simple principle: the quays can have two faces thanks to their adaptation to natural hazards. In this way, our riverside promenades can be submerged during floods and then regain their functionality once the water has receded.

As we are in a highly constrained urban environment, certain basic requirements have emerged as the basis for these projects. For example, we could leave little room for the creation of a river with a dynamic landscape (i.e. one in which the riverbed follows its course according to its natural dynamics, in particular erosion or the movement of sediments). In view of the density of the built environment, the construction of dikes or floodwalls did not seem appropriate, either from a technical or a landscape point of view.

Therefore, we have relied on two other processes to achieve our goals. Firstly, we have transformed the quay walls into promenades. This has been achieved by removing the vertical lines of the walls surrounding the canal, which has resulted in a new transitional space at the interface between water and quay. Secondly, we have reactivated the floodplains. These areas were previously used solely for flood prevention, but we have transformed them into submersible landscapes with multiple recreational uses and a natural habitat for many living species.

To create our projects, we primarily use submersible footbridges, intermediate levels, earthworks, and wide steps on the banks to establish a gradual transition to the water. The steps are arranged to create a dynamic landscape that mirrors the water's movement. The final steps are frequently situated beneath the water's surface, providing effortless access for activities such as contemplation, swimming, and fishing.