June 18 2014

A New Beginning for the Parc du Vallon in Lyon, Rhônes-Alpes, France

The Gorges stream located at the Parc Vallon in Lyon, France. Credit: Océanique.

Situated in the heart of the Duchère neighborhood in the 9th arrondissement of Lyon, the Parc du Vallon reopened its doors on the week of June 6th after three years of work.

A vast green space of 11 hectares, it is an area conducive to relaxation, while also absorbing the site’s topography and preserving the identity of this naturally wooded small valley. The 4th largest park in the city of Lyon, it offers multiple environments. A public garden marks the northern entry, and vast meadows extend towards the center of the park around the Gorges stream, which now stretches across more than 400 meters of open air. To the south, a path through undergrowth allows one to reach the neighborhood of Vaise. The ensemble is completed by a playground consisting of an impressive “adventure space” of 8502, shaded by large trees.

Redesigned by a design team consisting of Ilex landscape architecture and urbanism agency, Cap Vert engineering, and the lighting engineers at Les éclairagistes associés, the new park also allowed for the redesigning of the neighborhood’s water management measures, especially for fighting against flooding. The neighborhood of Vaise – situated at lower elevation – has been a regular victim of floods. Three retention basins, with a capacities of 21,000 m3, were also constructed in the center of the park. For the more curious, the Parc du Vallon’s walkway will also offer the chance to learn more about the historical heritage of the location, its fauna, flora, development, as well as secrets about the stream, thanks to educational panels.An entry to the Parc du Vallon's playground in Lyon, France. Credit: Laurence Danière.

Moreover, the city of Lyon is stressing the sustainability of the new space: “The clearings will only be mowed once or twice a year in order to let the blooming meadow pollinate itself, dead trees will be left on the ground to enrich the soil, flowerbeds will have a straw bottom in order to save water and require less watering, plant and garden waste will be reused onsite and no insecticides or chemical products will be used.”

The work began at the end of 2011 and was financed by the urban agglomeration of Grand Lyon, the Rhône-Alpes region, and the ANRU (National Agency for Urban Renewal). The total cost amounted to nearly 11 million euro, 2.6 million of which was devoted to water-management developments.

The park possesses three main entrances: the Boulevard de La Duchère, Avenue Rosa Parks, and Plateau in the city’s 9th arrondissement.

Do practices aiming towards sustainability seem compatible with the idea of a park, or should appearance and orderliness be a primary concern?

Original article, originally published in French, here.

Credits: Images and data linked to sources.

Marcus Khoury

Marcus Khoury is a recent graduate of the University of California Los Angeles, where he obtained a B.A. in French & Francophone Studies. Aside from his native Michigan, Marcus has lived in several states, in addition to France and Chile. Owing to his experiences with a variety of cultures, languages, and environments, he has always been keenly interested in how the exchange of ideas between different cities, regions, and countries helps to shape both physical and cultural landscapes. His linguistic background, in addition to his interest in the diversity of international urban environments and experiences, has led Marcus to fill the position of French Language Translator at The Grid, where he will be translating and presenting French language material involving environmental design.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 18th, 2014 at 9:59 am and is filed under Community/Economic Development, Engineering, Environment, History/Preservation, Infrastructure, Landscape Architecture, Marcus Khoury, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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