Enhancing the ecosystem of the banks of the Lot

In the Lot-et-Garonne region, the town of Villeneuve-sur-Lot decided to refurbish its river banks using three basic sustainable development principles: respect for the environment, economic development and job creation for the disadvantaged.

Environment and Biodiversity

The banks of the River Lot within the town, France

François Riera

€50,000 to the Selection Committee at 2005/02/08
  Project leader Commune de Villeneuve-sur-Lot

« The ‘enhancement and refurbishment project of the banks of the Lot' presented by the township is part of a local Agenda 21 project with a strong emphasis on new job creation, participation of schoolchildren and tourist facilities. »

François Riera

Amongst the many initiatives taken as part of the local Agenda 21 project, the town of Villeneuve-sur-Lot in the Lot-et-Garonne region made the decision to refurbish and enhance the banks of the river that crosses the town whilst keeping its sense of identity.
To restore the role to the Lot River that it deserves in the centre of the town, several initiatives were completed. They serve to revive the historic town centre whilst respecting the environment, to raise the awareness of the town's inhabitants to the importance of the special ecosystem of the riverbanks and to create jobs.

Finding a new job by restoring the towpath

In addition to the part it plays in the environment, the refurbishment of the banks of the River Lot has created jobs.

In concrete terms, between 2005 and 2007, the town landscaped a towpath along the riverbanks and consolidated the sluiceway, and also create a teaching course at the quays to display the river flora and fauna. The municipality plans to use this new strolling area to organise educational field trips for school children and leisure centres, but also to invite families to participate in teaching meetings on the subject of water. At the same time, the town has built a new floating dock for river boats and installed a pump to draw off waste water from boats that land there. Lastly, it has given a fresh vigour to river activities after the construction of sanitary blocks and showers and the acquisition of picnicing equipment. The Villeneuve Rowing Club has taken full advantage of the situation to expand its sporting and racing activities.
These different enhancements are fully in line with an approach in favour of the sustainable development of the town. Alongside their clear environmental role, they give a new lustre to the old Fort dating from the 13th century and will create jobs. Responsibility for refurbishment of the riverbanks was, in fact, assigned to a local job-creation association: the Régie du Territoire Villeneuvois. All this refurbishment also provided the opportunity to bring into the modern era an age-old tradition: the yearly water festival.
The €50,000 grant from the Veolia foundation was allocated to the improvement of the floating dock, including the draw-off of waste water, restoration of the towpath and development of the teaching initiatives.