Seine Workshop, a shared vision for the site of the River Seine

Throughout the year, the Seine Workshop has brought together the various stakeholders involved in the river and its surrounding areas, with the aim of establishing, via a white paper, a forward looking, shared vision of the site of the River Seine in Paris. Drafting the white paper was based on the workshops that were organised and was presented and discussed at the Paris City Council on 11th December 2019.

View of the banks of the River Seine with the Louvre Museum in the background © Apur

On the 18th November 2018 Jean-Louis Missika, Deputy Mayor of Paris, announced to Paris City Council the launching of a Seine Workshop aimed at bringing together around the table all stakeholders concerned by the river and its adjacent areas and to establish a shared vision for the future of the Seine. Apur accompanied this open discussion and provided information and included this accompaniment and facilitating activity in its 2019-2020 partnership work programme. 

The area covered by the Seine Workshop includes the stretch of river that flows through Paris. It is not limited by the perimeter defined by Unesco but covers the whole length of the river and its banks within Paris (30 km of banks). The Seine Workshop is coordinated with and complimentary to Comité des Usages Fluviaux (CUF) which is led by the Regional Prefect.

The Seine Workshop is:

  • A place for exchanging ideas on defining the extension of the Unesco boundaries and creating a buffer zone (Ile aux Cygnes, Tour Saint-Jacques, Jardin des Plantes…) ;
  • A place for discussing action to be taken to preserve and enhance this exceptional landscape, its beauty and rich legacy and to facilitate access for all; 
  • A time for discussing the different future projects on the Seine site, promoted by different key players, and developing a shared vision of them;
  • A place for talking about a global comprehensive-approach doctrine for the wider landscape of the Seine. 

6 thematic workshops were organised during the year on the following themes:

  • Workshop 1 (29th January 2019): Inaugural session, objectives and work of the Seine Workshop, shared vision.
  • Workshop 2 (25th March 2019): Discussion on ways of considering the Seine site legacy (Unesco boundaries, buffer zone, management and enhancement plan…). 
  • Workshop 3 (24th April 2019): Construction of an overall picture of projects planned on the banks of the Seine, shared dynamics, put in perspective, evolution of landscapes. 
  • Workshop 4 (27th June 2019): Uses of the Seine Site (river traffic, tourist economy, leisure activities, biodiversity, cool islands…).
  • Workshop 5 (20th September 2019): Reflection on updating the specific architectural and landscape requirements linked to the evolution of uses and the urgency of climate change.
  • Workshop 6 (23rd October 2019): Wrap-up session.

Apur has drawn up a summary workbook of the workshops. They enabled the white paper to be drawn up which was then presented and discussed at the Paris City Council on 11th November 2019.

In its 1st section, the white paper features a text on a collective strategy built around the notion of the site as “common property”, its importance in the the overall urban  landscape, the enhancement of its spaces, accessibility, its continuity and the diversification of how it is used. The main objectives guide urban choices when launching development projects of public space and choices made by juries when development projects of private property are involved. These requirements are stipulated by the State, the City of Paris, Ports de Paris and the navigable French waterway organisation - Voies Navigables de France (VNF).

The 2nd section compiles various contributions that show the main alignments observed but also nuances of opinion and even some differing points of view, notably concerning the equilibrium between public space and space devoted to economic activities linked to the ports.

Atelier Seine #1 © Apur
Atelier Seine #2 © Apur
Atelier Seine #3 © Apur
Atelier Seine #4 © Apur
Atelier Seine #5 © Apur
Atelier Seine - Livre blanc © Apur


Documents to download

  • Workshop

    Workshop 1 (29 January 2019): Introductory session

    Format : pdf, 18.19 MB
  • Workshop

    Workshop 2 (25 March 2019): Discussion about the approach toward the Seine site legacy

    Format : pdf, 30.54 MB
  • Workshop

    Workshop 3 (24 April 2019): Building an overall vision of projects adjacent to the Seine, sharing dynamics, contextualising, changing landscapes

    Format : pdf, 41.08 MB
  • Workshop

    Workshop 4 (27 June 2019): Uses of the Seine site

    Format : pdf, 27.12 MB
  • Workshop

    Workshop 5 (20 September 2019): The notebook of architectural and landscape requirements for the Seine site (1999), thoughts on how it can be updated linked to the evolution of uses and climatic urgency.

    Format : pdf, 26.99 MB
  • Study

    Atelier Seine - Livre blanc - Evolution du site de la Seine dans Paris

    Format : pdf, 69.01 MB