FR EN ES Search
  1. Home
  2. Past Events
  3. Publication the plea for a large garden in the Seine Basin


All the news

Publication: the plea for a large garden in the Seine Basin

What is the future of large cities as climate change progressively makes water rarer and more precious, and demographic growth bears unprecedented pressure on urban areas?

Bertrand Warnier, a French urban planner and member of the Academy of Architecture, in collaboration with Philippe Rivas Enquist, another urban planner from North America, and Drew Wensley, a Canadian landscape designer, contribute an original solution using the example of the extended basin of the Seine and its tributaries. This basin covering 76,238 km2 and irrigated by 3,600 streams and rivers is the home of 17 million people, i.e., a quarter of the French population on 15% of the territory. Two thirds are concentrated in Greater Paris. In addition to the water quality problems affecting certain rivers of the Seine basin, are those linked to hydric stress stemming from an average reduction of their discharges of 30 to 50% from now to 2070, and less stable availability of water resources, ranging from excess to shortage.

To cope with these challenges, the authors ask us to imagine this territory like a huge tree of life. The latter is formed by the geographical reality of the Seine and its tributaries, from the source to the Seine Bay. To preserve it, the Seine must be understood as a structural whole and the health of the environment as the basis of everything else: quality of life, mobility, economy, etc., in order to finally maintain the habitability of the region.

Indeed, they propose another way to carry out planning, at the correct scale of the basin, pointed out by Erik Orsenna, President of IFGR in the foreword of the plea:

Let us act inclusively so that major development and planning projects respect the common goods of water, the earth and the air.

It is also an appeal to radically change our relationship with time, since climatic issues oblige us to project ourselves in the long-term and act quickly.


A work co-published by the associations Ateliers de Cergy and Urba 2000, with the support of the Institut Paris Région.

Available by downloading free of charge, in French and English, from the site of Ateliers de Cergy 

The paper version can be ordered for €10 from the association Urba 2000  or directly from Philippe Delcourt:


Mettez à jour votre navigateur pour consulter ce site