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Abstract

The changing relationships between cities and their waters over the centuries lead today – after a clear sidelining of rivers in the city – to question their potential for building new interactions. Current densification objectives of the existing built fabric resonating with the protection measures against floods bring out a broad field of exploration regarding the evolution of the urban riverbanks. Within this context, the research presented here focuses on the Rhône, an emblematic territory of the regeneration of urban riverbanks. Besides the technical means of risk management in flood-prone areas, landscape, urban, and architectural issues question the project approach to adopt for the development of new fluvial neighborhoods. Furthermore, many challenges raise for the management and steering of these sites in transition. Their regeneration in sustainable fluvial neighborhoods being closely linked with the accentuation of their characteristics, the ambition of the ongoing research consists in developing an integrative decision-making strategy specific to the issues related to the transformation of the urban sites along the Rhône. In that order, three steps are applied: 1. a prospective phase on four representative study areas, 2. the development of specific city-river balance components, and 3. the experimentation of an unprecedented multi-criteria comparative evaluation approach. These tools are not only strongly interconnected but are also parts of the integrative decision-making strategy, which is the main expected output of the research.

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