Call for innovative projects

Reinventing news possibilities of living on the water and along the banks of the Seine

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Water stretches, existing buildings, bare lands, engineering works...The call for projects "Reinventing the Seine" consists in submitting sites along the Axe Seine to occupy, animate, rent or purchase to implement innovative projects. This multi-site approach is aimed at revealing and giving life to the Axe Seine : the local authorities and ports of the territory are laying down a challenge for innovators worldwide… to invent new ways of living, working and travelling on and along the water, making use of the various sites. The river and innovation will thus play their part in inventing the great metropolis of the 21st century, stretching from Paris to Rouen and Le Havre.


Sous-titre de la tribune (anglais)

by François Philizot
Inter-Ministerial Delegate for the Development of the Seine Valley

“The Seine Valley, reaching from Paris to Rouen and Le Havre, forms an exceptional territory like no other in Europe by its history, economy and culture... This is a territory structured around its river, distinguished by a global city and regional metropolitan centres, connected to each other and to the sea by that river. A territorial identity, however, is not something that can be imposed by legislation; it is something that must be built through a collective desire and a shared political approach.

Over the past few years, the Seine Valley has been the focus of many studies at the initiative of the State, local authorities, and socio-economic stakeholders. The resulting information has helped to clarify the territory’s strengths and weaknesses, identify potential development drivers and define priorities.

Many initiatives already embody this drive to structure the territory, such as the creation of HAROPA, an Economic Interest Grouping uniting the ports of Le Havre, Rouen and Paris. A second significant example is the Paris Seine Normandy Association uniting the Chambers of Commerce and Industry. What is now needed is to forge ahead with the operational phase and to make a difference to the environment in which the local people live.

The Seine Valley’s future depends on its ability to provide an environment and way of life that are suited to recent social aspirations, and on its ability to innovate and address its development and urban planning on a new scale.

The “Seine Valley” territory is therefore destined to become a place where new and complementary practices are tried out and developed: that is the strength and the challenge of this “Reinvent the Seine” call for proposals for which we have great hopes.”

par Anne Hidalgo,
Mayor of Paris,
1st Vice President of the Greater Paris Metropolitan Area

Frédéric Sanchez,
President of the Rouen–Normandy Metropolitan Area,
President of the Rouen-Seine-Eure Metropolitan Area

Edouard Philippe,
Mayor of Le Havre,
President of the Urban Community of Le Havre, Member of Parliament for Seine-Maritime

"Over the centuries, the Seine has carved out and shaped its own unique story, that of a vast metropolitan area - from Paris to Rouen and Le Havre – opening onto the sea and to the world. It is of crucial importance today that we rediscover this common asset that unites us in order to share it with everyone.

It was with this goal in mind that our three cities began productive discussions in 2009.
Today, as the Greater Paris Metropolitan Area becomes a political reality, we are entering a new and exciting phase.

Among the many challenges facing us in the 21st century is the need for global cities to be connected to the trade flows of maritime globalisation. For Paris, the Seine is this connection. It is in our best interest to harness these trade flows for the activities they create along the banks of the river, and we must achieve this while still taking account of today’s environmental challenges: preserving residents’ quality of life, protecting spaces for nature and biodiversity, reclaiming the riverbanks, promoting soft modes of transport and sustainable logistics, and improving urban resilience.

Although these challenges have long been known – due in particular to work done by Antoine Grumbach – there was a need to establish a unifying project to promote these remarkable territories, a multifaceted project to explore the many different aspects of the Seine, and an innovative project to drive a very new approach.

It is with the aim of achieving these ambitions that we have come together as metropolitan areas and decided to launch not one, but forty projects along the banks of the Seine and its canals. This joint call for innovation is intended for architects, urban planners, economic and cultural stakeholders, and all those who desire to bring the river and its banks to life. The proposed projects are very diverse, ranging from occupying a tunnel, to the creation of moorings in a port, to the conversion of a footbridge and the transformation of former industrial sites.

Each of the bids will need to be unique, specifically adapted to the environment of the site and to local needs. Together, these solutions will create a new way of living with the water. Our dream is to see the emergence of remarkable and useful projects for the Seine, in terms of practices, architecture, relationships with nature, and the way of approaching new challenges – particularly environmental ones.
These projects are yours: give free rein to your imagination and take risks, express your creativity and think outside the box. For centuries, the Seine has been a vibrant region with an influence the world over. It is with citizens, not merely for them, that the future will be revealed, made possible and built. Today we are inviting you to invent our shared future together.”


  • 05/17/2016
    Launch of Reinventing the Seine
    Launch in Rouen of the Call for Proposals "Reinventing the Seine" Monday 14 March 2016 at 14h15.
  • 05/17/2016
    Operational launch
    Operational launch of the phase 1 " Reinventing the Seine" - 17 may 2016

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