City Deep, River Wide: shifting axes changing perceptions of the upper rue Nationale

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The topic of the 5th European Urban Summer School – ‘Heritage Conservation and Sustainable Development’ – gave us our prompt for getting to know Tours. It told us that the city has valuable assets but that it should be adapted to the contemporary and future needs of its users. Indeed, there’s a lot going on in Tours. It has an evidently rich built heritage and, maybe even more valuable, the natural heritage of the river Loire. However, an over obsessive preservation of aspects of its heritage could risk Tours becoming a museum, which would not provide sustainable circumstances for a place for people live and work. This premise is why we came together in the city to talk about it. Our approach to researching this urban area was to explore potentials of the characteristics we found in it, and to show the richness of the whole area. We acquired a strong feeling from our growing acquaintance with the place that everything it needs already exists, but just needs to be reinterpreted to improve the urban life of its users. Tours does not want to become a museum but rather a sustainable urban entity. To that end, there’s no need necessarily to build something new, or to change everything that already exists. The research we summarise in this paper would like to illustrate that sometimes it is enough to change our perception and try to see things in a different way. In this way, they become new and can provoke alternative responses for guiding the processes of change. At the same time, it is the method that preserves our heritage.
Sustainability in heritage protected areas : Book of Proceedings of the 5th AESOP European Urban Summer School Tours, France, from 1st – 8th September 2014
All rights reserved