The “city of tomorrow” takes its place, without cars

Wooden benches with large sloping backrests, leaning against plant installations, in the shade of hundred-year-old plane trees. An invitation to contemplation, to reclaim the space, to give time back to time, to life. Pots with legumes, a place for children, families, cultural events, or possibly a simple drink, and of course bike racks. All in the heart of the city of Strasbourg, place du Temple Neuf. An “oasis” lined with preserved dwellings and its magnificent temple and an operation in response to a call for projects to create places in Strasbourg for “volatile uses”.

A place also well known to motorists who found there a chance to park at the very doors of the shops, even the ultimate solution for parking on the street near their homes for especially families living in the cathedral district. On the other hand, it should be noted that those who have a road subscription to this sector, zone 2, have been informed about the possibility of parking in the neighboring sectors (in zones 4, 6 and 7) until 31 October, or take advantage of the Résideo subscription. on the P3 car park in Les Halles or on the Petite France car park … “Not really next door”, we can already hear.

New uses of public space

The “Oasis” project, with a total budget of 80,000 euros, had already been announced and presented in October last year. However, its implementation was again the subject of a press briefing on the spot this Thursday, because the project was changed and a program of events defined in broad outline. Other suggestions are possible and expected. In its philosophy, the project remains the same. “It’s an experiment in fleeting use of the city that prefigures tomorrow, a project that is part of a global reflection on the squares,” recalled First Deputy Mayor Syamak Agha-Babaei. Together with Joël Steffen, assistant in charge of trade and crafts, he was thus reminded that “the use of public space should not be fixed and final”, and that the goal is to “consider another way of perceiving the city’s structure. .

From left to right Salem Drici, Syamak Agha-Babaei and Joël Steffen, at Place du Temple Neuf on May 19, 2022 – G. Varela / 20 minutes

The parking space in question

Contrary to what was announced in October last year, it is not a quarter of the car parks that will be “volatile” until 31 August, but the entire car park that is now affected by this parking ban. That is, 35 seats removed. A development that, all in all, is logical for a real experimentation, secures the city and a decision supported by the Direction of the territory, which did not find it sensible “to have a mixed use of the place”, assures the 1st deputy. A new application, which will also be evaluated on an ongoing basis by mediators. They will interview people on the spot. “About the new uses of the space that will emerge, perhaps also potentially on new conflicts, explains Syamak Agha-Babaei. But it is not because there is a conflict that we should stop experimenting. A return will be made at the end of the operation, the chosen one promises.

Another big news, as a result of the consultation with the various actors in the district, sometimes tense, the designation of blue parking zones (with a disc), to facilitate the rotations of vehicles. These are the first in the hypercentre, which are mainly decided at the request of merchants. At least twelve seats are evenly distributed between the adjacent Rue Temple Neuf and Place du Marché Neuf. Importantly, they will be limited to 40 minutes.

Development at the Place du Temple Neuf in Strasbourg on 19 May 2022
Developments at the Place du Temple Neuf in Strasbourg on 19 May 2022 – G. Varela / 20 minutes

“A rich event program”

A place thus released, which will give the population the opportunity to participate in workshops, events, exhibitions, assures the city. “One about the climate and the other about bees, with a prominent place given to environmental efforts,” explains Salem Drici, elected rapporteur for the district. Meetings, fun workshops for children and families, about public policies, sorting and recycling. But also the issue of transportation , European issues. Or even stammtischs on Thursdays in the late afternoon, for exchanges with elected officials, around themes such as healthy food, eating well, the issue of mobility. “The possibility also of a” rich cultural program every Saturday or Sunday, continues Salem Drici , expressed in the public space, to make room for the imagination, for poetry, with especially the participation of the choreographic center and strong and specific times such as for the music festival or July 14. Finally, some businesses in the neighborhood could on occasion hold a stand.

The site will be open to the public when recent developments, particularly revegetation and the installation of anti-car bollards, which surround the site, around June 1st.

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