Grand canal park in Toulouse: less cars, more greenery

the main one
The metropolitan project aims to create a green lung around the three canals that water Toulouse and the three northern cities, Fenouillet, Lespinasse and Saint-Jory. With reduced traffic along the banks. Brienne Saint-Pierre forecourt in Toulouse, first delivered in 2025.

There are two ways to see the Grand Parc Canal urban development project presented on January 13 by François Chollet, the Metropolis’ vice-president for ecology. The project envisages the expansion of a 30 km section of three canals (from the South, to Garonne and Brienne) that irrigate four municipalities: Toulouse, Lespinasse, Fenouillet and Saint-Jorin.

Brienne Saint-Pierre forecourt in 2025

Current car park located at the foot of the New Toulouse School of Economics, opposite the Saint-Pierre lock
Toulouse City Hall

A future landscaped courtyard with no cars (neither circulating nor parked) in 2025.  Cars will pass through the alleys of Barcelona on the other side of the canal (allées de Brienne).

A future landscaped courtyard with no cars (neither circulating nor parked) in 2025. Cars will pass through the alleys of Barcelona on the other side of the canal (allées de Brienne).
Atelier J. Osty & Cie

The pessimistic option is to reduce this urban project to the registered realization of a single sustainable project in the current municipal mandate, i.e. the development of the Brienne Saint-Pierre front yard, work should start in 2024 for delivery in 2025 (and a cost). 9.4 million euros). This is the section of the Brienne canal between the new Toulouse School of Economics and the Saint-Pierre lock. The rest of the project can be concluded with big intentions to reduce car space, renaturation and greening of canal banks, promising in the long term, only temporary test facilities are envisaged during this municipal mandate. .

Initial project Barcelona Alleys.

Initial project Barcelona Alleys.
Atelier J. Osty & Cie

Long term project

The optimistic version will be based on the words of François Chollet: “We are entering the operational phase after 18 months of work with the teams of the famous landscape architect Jacqueline Austen (Grand Prix de l’urbanisme 2020, Grand Prix du paysage 2018). and 2005 ) and VNF (Voies Navigables de France, channel manager, editor’s note). It is a metropolitan project that will be spread over several mandates with a dual city and heritage dimension and nature-urban combination.

In the south of the mouth basin, the traffic line of cars will be removed and a pedestrian crossing will be created.

In the south of the mouth basin, the traffic line of cars will be removed and a pedestrian crossing will be created.
Atelier J. Osty & associates

50% reduction in car traffic by 2030

Residents’ proposals, residents or not, consulted upstream, four main lines guide and approve the plan presented by Jacqueline Austin to the mayor and president of the metropolis, Jean-Luc Mudens, in September: reducing car traffic along the canals, according to François Chollet, “by 2030 for the benefit of pedestrians and cyclists”; more nature (with new tree species: hackberries in Brienne and different types of oaks elsewhere, which will add to the 3,396 existing trees, according to Jacqueline Osty); mix of uses and audiences (temporary play facilities, benches, rest and recreation areas, for example with Minimes bunkers, which will eventually be used by pedestrians and cyclists; collaborative project, i.e. subject to consultation.

The Minimes bunkers have been refurbished and returned to bicycle pedestrians with various activities.

The Minimes bunkers have been refurbished and returned to bicycle pedestrians with various activities.
Atelier J. Osty & Cie

Eight temporary developments until 2025

So, in addition to a guide plan drawn up by landscape designer Jacqueline Austin “for long-term consistency”, eight sites will be the subject of transitional development based on residents’ proposals between late 2024 and early 2024. 2025 (€2 million) to implement these areas: Port de l’Embouchure/Filtre basin, Minimes bunkers, Port Saint-Sauveur, dry docks, Fenouillet lock, Lake Bocage at Fenouillet, Lespinasse lock and La Pignole at Saint-Jory A place called (!). It’s up to you to see whether the (green?) glass is half empty or full.

A link between the canal and Lac du Bocage in Fenouillet is planned.

A link between the canal and Lac du Bocage in Fenouillet is planned.

Are the “pearls” of VNF finally valued?

Voies Navigables de France (VNF), the canals’ public manager, shares project management with Toulouse Métropole. The administration is responsible for three main heritage sites: the port of the Mouth and the Filter basin around Ponts-Jumeaux, the port of Saint-Sauveur with its castle and the 1830 pavilion, which houses the Canal du Midi archive. its rigging and finally dry dock, at Demoiselles Bridge, a magnificent area where barges are repaired. “VNF is working with the architectural firm Philippe Prost to modernize these technical sites and upgrade these three sites connected by canals to open them to the outside,” said Henri Bouyssès, regional director for the South. -West of VNF. According to VNF, previous projects that gave too much space to real estate were stopped.

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