7/18/2012

news: brown to grey to green: a linear urban forest in paris

"A linear urban forest will be planted in Paris", City of Paris announced earlier today. This will consist of a 11.500-square meter green promenade that will be linking Porte de la Villette and Porte de la Chapelle. A massively ambitious project that will be completed in 2030, the website announces. In short, Northeast of Paris is engaged in a long path from brownfield to greenfield. As a post-industrial city, Paris contains a growing number of vacant lots. Many of these lots are left vacant, or underutilized even undervalued.
Linear Urban Forest, Paris
Credit: Mairie de Paris, 2012

This site is an enormous land potential. Its conversion into a productive urban landscape will be a benefactor for not only natural world as well as inhabitants and entrepreneurs.
It is announced to be a pedestrian and cyclist-oriented green path, a public space that allows: observation of nature, recreation, promenade. This green site also aims to preserve natural habitats and bio-diversity. Three orientations that will promote a new type of design that can be adapted for and used by all users.

This urban forest also will serve as both a green link to re-connect these dislocated lands and a green wall to protect inhabitants from urban noises as it is showed up in the plan below.
Plan of the urban forest.
Originally appeared on Mairie de Paris
> The current freeway has dislocated the land into two distinct sites. By integrating an urban forest,
the site will be re-organized into an inclusive green space adapted for and to all users and
wild-life habitats. It will also regenerate more efficiently this place as announced by the
City of Paris. This urban forest is part of a large scale re-development of the northeast of Paris into
a sustainable community-based of place that promotes active design and sustainable design.

This will be the occasion to re-envision this zone in Paris which particularities is to be made up of dislocated and undervalued lands because of a freeway that separates the site into two parts. Paris — Le Grand Paris — is engaged in a long but sinuous road to a more sustainable, active metropolis. A vast program that aims at integrating all the functions and characteristics that will make Paris a smart green metropolis. It is obvious that a certain London Regeneration is behind this motivation to redeveloping Paris.
As the website announces, in conjunction with this urban forest project, a large scale urban project envisages the revitalization of the northeast of Paris: ZAC Claude-Bernard, Porte de la Villette, Porte de la Chapelle.
Plan of the urban redevelopment of Northeastern Paris
Credits: Dusapin & Leclerq Architects.
Originally appeared on Mairie de Paris
> A 200-hectar urban regeneration of Northeastern Paris including a sustainable
neighborhood and community-scale development — ZAC Claude-Bernard.
Accordingly, the reorganization of the site of Porte de la Chapelle/Parc de la Villette into an urban forest will regenerate this area of northeastern Paris. It will more specifically be solving some of worst post-industrial site problems such as the lack of amenities that translated this area into a highly inefficient and people unfriendly area that kept people away. In this context, a shift from brownfield to greenfield.
Not only will the inclusion of green elements encourage new orientations that generate sustainable mixed-use community, land use mix, walkability, bicycling, green infrastructure, parks and open space, but also this will be the opportunity to frame a shared place for natural world and human activities.

But this project raises myriad of questions such as integration of new features including urban farming, and energy. Can this urban forest be the opportunity to investigate new energy resources as well as a new economy? As known, trees better off city's livability by cleaning air and water, and embellishing streets, or the city at a larger scale. Green spaces can help reduce greenhouse gases in neighborhoods too. It can encourage new types of jobs by attracting entrepreneurs to leverage a sustainable economy, as well.

There are many projects of urban forests: BioMilano — a massive green ring that will surround Milan; Portland's urban forest, to limit to these two projects. The common denominator to these projects is to create green land that can connect green spaces to grey spaces to human activities, a space that will become not only an exciting cultural destination providing a new visual identity for the ecological part of this place as well as another approach to planning.

Suggested article: Kaid Benfield | BioMilano dreams a lusher, greener metropolis

I am particularly curious about learning more about this project. More in 2030…

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