Le haut de la rue Nationale à Tours - un projet urbain ambitieux porté par l’Agence d’Urbanisme

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The upper rue National in Tours: an ambitious urban project supported by L’Agence d’Urbanisme Place Anatole France at the top of the rue Nationale, has a symbolic and heritage value. It was between 1743 and 1751 that a bridge was built over the Loire, its route determined by the creation of the new road to Spain on a North-South axis. These great works established the two places on either side of the bridge, square Choiseul on the North and square Anatole France on the South. In 2000, the L’Agence d’Urbanisme de l’Agglomération de Tours (ATU) produced a first report on the future development of Anatole France in which accommodating the car in an underground carpark was a major feature. This was revised in 2002, when a broader and more balanced future vision for a change of use for this public space was set out. This involved setting out possible programmes and researching the relevant layout and forms of the Square. This required the amendment of the Conservation Area Plan and the redefinition of its scope so as to introduce the development of the whole old city centre into the plans. The ATU has developed several design concepts that have in common the demolition of the commercial existing areas (approximately 2,500 m2), the re-valuation of the Saint-Julien church and the opening of the School of Fine Arts. The projects also aimed to reduce the impact of the car, to reorganize part of the parking lots and to give back space to pedestrians and visitors. The studies for the new tramway line (after 2007) have corroborated these initial ideas. In 2010, the ATU published “The top of the rue Nationale” in two-volumes, “History of place” and “Destruction and reconstruction.” These documents helped to put the unique status of this urban space into a time perspective.
Sustainability in heritage protected areas : Book of Proceedings of the 5th AESOP European Urban Summer School Tours, France, from 1st – 8th September 2014
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