A Changing Neighbourhood

Espace Libre: Today, the neighborhood of Val Fourré, in Mantes-la-Jolie (France) faces the biggest urban change of its story. Bordered by the forest of Mantes, it was built in the sixties- near the Seine, in front of Vexin’s hillside. A town planning scheme made it possible to link the city of Mantes la jolie with the ones around, converting major roads into urban boulevards. 80 % of parkings initially private were moved to public area which gives more space. Each islet of this city, especially known for its sad grey aspect, can now take advantage of free spaces and shift to natural and pleasant places. Before, as you entered the neighborhood, the exceptional landscape disappeared in the same time.

The project of surrounding the buildings of Mantes with that special landscape was inspired by these natural spaces. So that, each islet is made with the most important elements of the landscape as (afforestation, river…, etc.). It links them directly to the environment. Each space is thought to receive stormwater naturally (swales , infiltration basin , meadow … ). The plants are endemic, the materials also provide good infiltration as the grass concrete in the park. These urban plannings enable first to change definitely the atmosphere then create a new one more natural with a highlighted landscape. It offers the habitants a better way of life also focused on a step toward sustainable development.

Landscape Architect: Espace Libre
Completed: Oct 2014
Location: Mantes la Jolie city
Area: 56 500m2
Clients: HLM Interprofessionnelle Région Paris
Photographer: Julien Falsimagne