The curating of the design competition was part of the regional program Envies the Loire, initiated by the Urban Planning Agency of the City of Tours. The competition was launched with the aim of obtaining development scenarios and proposals that will place the Loire back at the heart of Metropolitan life. This research developed insights, which revealed the possibilities of a synthesis between the desires of the local inhabitants with the UNESCO's criteria for inscribing the Val de Loire on the World Heritage List. The research found ways of re-appropriating this territory, found new uses for the land, created qualified public spaces that take account of contemporary issues (climate change, sustainable mobility, digital transition, tourism, resilience and so on). This competition has triggered a unique dialogue and managed to unlock a new collaboration between a wide variety of stakeholders. Before the competition, conflicts and lack of communication between these stakeholders had left the bank of the Loire in an inaccessible and undervalued state. The competition was a first step to develop in co-production a new vision for this unique piece of urban landscape. The results of the urban design competition were communicated to a wide audience. Besides the co-creation with the wide variety of stakeholders, the inhabitants of the region were reached by press, exhibitions, an online platform to gather their input and special 'ateliers'.

Researcher(s)Maarten Van Acker
Commissioned by: Agence d'Urbanisme de l'Agglomération de Tours
Period: 2017
Partner(s): The Metropolitan Area of Tours Val de Loire, the UNESCO committee, l'Unité Départementale de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine, Direction Départementale des Territoires,  la Ville de Tours