Rives Nouvelles project at Angers, Maine-et-Loire
After two years of deliberation, Angers City Council finally announced on the evening of Monday 2 April the winning consortium which will be involved in an ambitious plan to ‘re-conquer’ the banks of the river Maine in the centre of Angers for Angevins and visitors to the city alike - the Rives Nouvelles as it is known.
The successful consortium of Grether & Phytolab combines the talents of François Grether, one of France’s most famous architects in the field of urban design and Phytolab, a Nantes based environmental and landscaping agency.
Grether & Phytolab were one of the three remaining design teams in the contest for the best solution to re-incorporate the river Maine as part of a modern city.
The Grether & Phytolab proposal foresees a number of innovations which would change the Angers cityscape over the next quarter century or so. The overall concept has been described as ‘Parkland and Port, aimed at facilitating access to the river and achieving co-existence amongst different uses and users.
New funicular railway as part of proposals
The principal project features are:
- About 320 hectares (just over 800 acres) along both banks of the river Maine would be re-integrated into the city with the creation of gardens, walkways, cycleways and natural habitats for wildlife.
- The existing 2x2 dual carriageway which presently follows a route between the river Maine and the Chateau at Angers would be removed
- Part of the area presently occupied by the main road would be flooded to provide leisure, marina and river transport facilities in the heart of the city
- Several new bridges would be constructed across the river Maine
- An existing commercial area at Saint-Serge would be demolished and the space given over to a mix of housing and new businesses.
- A funicular railway would run from the chateau in Angers to the banks of the river.
- A new gate to the city of Angers, echoing Angers’ historic past as a walled city, would be constructed near the pont de l'Atlantique (Atlantic bridge) and directly connected to the Saint-Laud station.
Fuller details of different aspects of the project with maps, diagrams and artist’s impressions can be found on the Phytolab website. Phytolab have previously been involved in a number of environmental, landscaping and reclamation projects along the Lore Valley including ones at Saint Nazaire and Ancenis.
The present day estimated cost for the whole project is €110 million. It will take decades for the scheme to come to fruition since, as highlighted by opposition councillors on Angers city council, there is presently no indication of where the funding for the project would be found.
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