SeineCityPark: the top French project for the 2011 European Life+ programme

The SeineCityPark project – a joint effort by the Communauté d’agglomération 2 Rives de Seine and the Conseil général des Yvelines in liaison with the town of Carrières – was selected as one of the award-winners in the LIFE+ 2011 call for proposals. In the European Commission’s ranking, the SeineCityPark project tied for first place with the Conseil général de la Gironde in France. The Life+ programme co-finances innovative pro-environmental projects, bringing them not only funding but also European-wide recognition.

Three projects were submitted under the “SeineCityPark” name: the Parc du Peuple de l’herbe, the Coeur vert and the ecological corridor comprised in the Carrières Centralité project. “With these projects, which form a coherent whole, our region has set out to strengthen the ties between the city and nature, and build a network of natural areas,” said Philippe Tautou, vice-president of the Communauté d’agglomération 2 Rives de Seine (CA2RS) in charge of sustainable development.

The SeineCityPark project mainly concerns the town of Carrières, which will see changes to its landscape infrastructure aimed primarily at protecting its natural areas. Eddie Aït, Mayor of Carrières-sous-Poissy, member of the Conseil régional d’Île-de-France and Vice-President of the CA2RS, is delighted about this European recognition: “Our policy of innovation has been rewarded. The region can be proud of this multi-partner effort.” The European Commission will subsidise the development of the Chanteloup loop to the value of approximately €1.8 million.

Through the Life+ programme, the European Commission undertakes to support the SeineCityPark project through to 2017. The project funding will be divided up among the Conseil général, the CA2RS and an independent engineering consultancy tasked with assessing the initiatives undertaken and their impact on the environment.

The SeineCityPark projects in a nutshell

The Parc du Peuple de l’herbe: beginning in 2014, this 113-hectare area on the banks of the Seine will be turned into a landscaped and recreational park on the theme of insects. A variety of developments are planned, including a park information centre, an observatory and games, along with work on protecting and enhancing the natural areas. The Office pour les insectes et leur environnement (OPIE) association  will move into the future park in 2015.

The Coeur vert: to recover parts of the plain that have been simply abandoned and left fallow, there are plans to cultivate crops for industrial purposes (such as agro-based materials and biomass).Trials are under way on growing miscanthus.

The ecological corridor: part of the Carrières Centralité project, this area will provide an unbroken “green” passage from the Hautil hills to the banks of the Seine, across the town and the plain (Coeur vert).

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