Grand Ouarzazate, an oasis town for the 21st century
Le Grand Ouarzazate, situé sur le versant sud du Haut-Atlas et à la porte du désert et de l’Afrique subsaharienne, est riche d’une culture millénaire et de sites exceptionnels. L’activité de ce territoire a été positionnée dans les dernières décennies sur son potentiel touristique et sur l’accueil de l’industrie cinématographique. Le complexe solaire «Noor Ouarzazate», ouvre un volet nouveau de son attractivité.
Les équipes internationales réunies par les Ateliers de Cergy ont été appelées en 2018 à effectuer un travail collectif sur un cap formulé pour le Grand Ouarzazate par le Gouverneur de la Province...
Grand Ouarzazate, located on the southern slope of the High Atlas at the gateway to the desert and sub-Saharan Africa, is rich in its thousand-year-old culture and exceptional sites. The activity of this region has been positioned in recent decades on its tourist potential and hosting the cinematographic industry. The "Noor Ouarzazate" solar complex opens up a new aspect of its attractiveness.
The international teams brought together by the Ateliers de Cergy were called upon in 2018 to work collectively on a course formulated for the Grand Ouarzazate by the Governor of the Province and the Presidents of the communes:
- To make it, based around agriculture and water, the foundations of the oasis, an attractive region of world level based on several aspects; cinema, the thermo-solar industry and tourism.
- To make it a model ecological town, a showcase for oasis locations.
The spatialised proposals resulting from this work focused on the following themes:
- To improve the quality of urban life by creating tree-lined public spaces, new housing models, adapted to the climate and current lifestyles, and to strengthen social life in participatory places in the different neighbourhoods.
- To rebalance the banks of the central wadi by reorganising mobility and reconsidering the programme for a vast "urban pole" to adapt it to current economic realities and to accommodate new facilities, particularly universities.
- To improve water efficiency by ensuring the sharing of water between domestic, agricultural and industrial needs and move towards food self-sufficiency by extending the green belt and reinvestment of the major bed of the Wadi.
- To restore the earth's dignity as a building material: as the basic material of vernacular architecture, it is - despite its insulating properties - being abandoned in favour of cinder block. Proposals have been made to restore the esteem for this ecological material and reactivate the industry and know-how through contemporary architecture, in line with current lifestyles.
The "Reinventing the Seine" approach: a call for innovative projects to support regional development
En mars 2016, Paris, Rouen, Le Havre et Haropa - Ports de Paris Seine Normandie ont lancé l'appel à projets « Réinventer la Seine ».

Dans un élan comparable à l'appel à projets « Réinventer Paris », la démarche a constitué une nouvelle étape dans le développement de la Vallée de la Seine.

Les porteurs du projet, Ville de Paris, agglomérations de Rouen et du Havre, HAROPA Port de Paris Seine Normandie, se sont appuyés sur les trois agences d'urbanisme de l'Axe Seine (APUR, AURBSE et AURH) pour coordonner le dispositif de l'appel à projets à l'échelle des territoires parisiens,...
In March 2016, Paris, Rouen, Le Havre and Haropa - Ports de Paris Seine Normandie launched the call for projects "Reinventing the Seine".

In a similar vein to the "Reinventing Paris" call for projects, the initiative was a new step in the development of the Seine Valley.

The project sponsors, the City of Paris, the Rouen and Le Havre conurbations and HAROPA Port de Paris Seine Normandie relied on the three urban planning agencies of the Seine Axis (APUR, AURBSE and AURH) to coordinate the call for projects on the scale of the Paris, Rouen and Le Havre regions.

Nearly forty sites have been made available to innovators from all over the world (architects, town planners, economic players, start-ups, artists, designers, landscapers, etc) to encourage innovative projects and uses and thus strengthen the attractiveness and influence of the regions concerned.

The aim of this approach was to invent new ways of living on and by the water, on the Paris - Rouen - Le Havre axis. The process culminated in July 2017 with the designation of 20 winners, all meeting the requirements defined by the partners.

This approach to the development of the banks of the Seine and its canals has appealed to the boldness and creativity of professionals from all over the world and has been an accelerator of change.

In the years to come, the projects will be deployed along the Seine axis and will make visible another way of living along the river.