13-17 december 2021

What if we reprogrammed the Rocade ?

Workshop Future Planners


Future Planners is a European project led by partners from Malta, Norway, Italy and France. It consists of international workshops for students and young professionals in the fields of architecture, design, urban planning and engineering.
The workshop organised in Bordeaux proposed to question the Bordeaux ring road, called “La Rocade”, as a new metropolitan public space in a post-oil future.

Bruit du frigo imagined this workshop as a preparatory stage for the later setting up of an artistic event dedicated to the Rocade. A festival of and on the Rocade. The works resulting from the workshop will be likely to feed the contents and the artistic programming of the festival.


Utopian urbanism workshop: The ring road in 2050, 2070, 2100…

The Bordeaux Rocade is a 45 km long urban ring road. It serves 14 of the 28 cities in the Bordeaux metropolitan area and connects to 4 national highways (A10 north to Paris, A89 east to Lyon, A62 south-east to Toulouse and A63 south-west to Spain).

The ring road is the main road infrastructure in a metropolis undergoing major urban and demographic development. In this context, it naturally finds itself at the center of many debates and issues, particularly on the subject of mobility. How can saturated daily traffic be smoothed out and made more comfortable and efficient for users? Solutions are studied: the introduction of public transport, a dedicated carpooling lane, a 70 km/h speed limit, etc.
If the ring road was once a symbol of progress and modernity, it is nowadays for the people of Bordeaux mainly synonymous with stress and nuisance. It is taken out of necessity, never out of pleasure. For the moment…

How can we think about the future of this road infrastructure ? What will it look like in the post-oil era ? Will it play a positive role in the face of tomorrow’s urban, societal and environmental challenges ?
If we imagine a more controlled and “cleaner” traffic, we may stop considering the ring road as an urban hell to be fled from to perceive its potential and consider it as a project site with infinite possibilities.
What if the ring road turns into a real metropolitan public space by opening up to other urban functions? What if this technical space that we are just walking through was transformed into a large landscape that we look at, live in, visit and enjoy?


Objectifs du workshop

The objective of the workshop is to initiate an urban prospective work on the Bordeaux ring road. How to create a new imaginary of the ring road? How to invest, transform or divert this ring road and its various components: roads, banks, facades, approaches, bridges, tunnels, interchanges…? What new uses could be developed?

It is an assumed exercise in utopian urban planning, in the making of urban imaginaries that should produce visions, dreams, from which perhaps seeds of good ideas will germinate…

The challenge is to imagine urban, architectural or artistic projects that explore the ring road’s potential for evolution. Incredible, offbeat, poetic, unrealistic or very concrete projects, miniature or monumental, material or immaterial, ephemeral or perennial, short or long term…

Examples of possible paths to follow : The ring road as a metropolitan travelling, The ring road as a giant art gallery, The ring road as a highway wasteland to be reclaimed, The ring road as a tourist destination, Exchanges as places of exchange, The banks as a hiking trail…


About Future Planners

– Future Planners will ENGAGE young present and future professionals in architecture, design, urban development and political studies who will be EMPOWERED to be constructive contributors towards a more inclusive society both as members of the communities in which they will live and as upcoming professionals who may occupy decision making positions that may help society become more inclusive through dialogue and human centred urban development,

– Future Planners will CONNECT youths between themselves and with stakeholders in 6 local activities of real effective community consultation cycles in Bordeaux, Trondheim, Putignano, Perugia and Malta in which stakeholders representing various interest groups especially those who are vulnerable to exclusion and challenges will make constructive contributions towards new or prospective urban development projects about to be implemented by their decision makers in their areas and

– Future Planners will EMPOWER THE CAREER OF YOUTHS through a community based publication on “Real and Effective Community Engagement for more Human Centred and Inclusive Urban Projects” with contributions from the youths, youth leaders and stakeholders taking part in the public consultation cycles and by other professionals sharing an interest in the two major subject areas of the project ie. effective community consultation and human centred urban development.


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At the crossroads of art, territories and populations, our approach aims to promote the transition to sustainable, shared and welcoming cities, by proposing alternative ways of imagining and building our living environment and by exploring new forms of public space.