At OD205 we envision a future in which city and landscape are connected and strengthen and enrich each other. We believe attractive connections for slow traffic are key in reaching this goal. Connections that function as gateways for citizens to explore the countryside, for villagers to explore the city and that function as ecological highways, corridors for species to migrate through the city and between city and landscape.
For Europan 16 we elaborated our vison for Niort, France. A city that is surrounded by a lush and diverse landscape, but which is largely underexposed and neglected. The main entrances to the city show an industrial or commercial scenery and there is a lack in qualitative connections between the landscape and the city. In our vision we propose a ‘Green Ribbon’ which strengthens the connection and experience between Niort, the villages, and the ecological and cultural landscape.
THE GREEN RIBBON
Le Ruban Vert / The Green Ribbon is a route network for cyclists and pedestrians that connects the urban with the rural, the rural with the urban. It interconnects the city of Niort with the villages and the villages with their neighbouring villages. It strengthens the experience of nature in the city and the landscape by creating a series of linked landscapes and landscape parks. Le Ruban Vert is a safe and recognisable network for pedestrians and cyclists only, which will invite people to go outside more often o experience their surrounding villages and landscapes.
Le Ruban Vert is tied together by four hotspots at the intersection of city and landscape that function as new points of attraction and multi-modal nodes. At these hotspots city village and landscape come together in multiple ways, by offering space for interaction and mutual development. Local farmers for instance can sell their products at these spots, but it can also be the spot from which itineraries start.
Apart from connecting city, villages and landscape, the Green Ribbons’ natural verges have an important ecological function, linking together the different types of landscapes and ecotopes. With The Green Ribbon we bring the diverse natural biotopes further into the city and increase the exchange of biodiversity between urban and rural ecotopes. The Green Ribbon offers a stable natural environment providing shelter and food for birds and insects.
A NETWORK FOR EVERYDAY EXPERIENCES
The Green Ribbon proposes a new way of looking at the relationship between city and countryside, offering a varied experience for hiking and recreation but it is also a strong, stress releaving connection for daily commuting by bike. The Green Ribbon has the potential to become a network that impacts the everyday experience of the inhabitants of Niort.