2019


Common Lands Trail

Suburban Walks


Great Bordeaux

The Common Lands Trail

300 km of routes • 15 one-day loops • 1 large loop of 170 km

The Common Lands Trail, imagined by Bruit du frigo, offers 300 km of hiking paths through the Bordeaux suburbs.
The route, in the form of a chain with links, is made up of 15 joined loops.
Each loop corresponds to a day’s walk.
A large loop of 170 km, running from one loop to the other, makes it possible to walk around the whole city in 9 days.

 

The Common Lands Trail by the Numbers

  • 300 km of described itineraries
  • 15 one-day loops
  • 1 large loop of 170 kms
  • 60 km in common with the GR® Metropolitain
  • 160 km on footpaths
  • 140 km on roads
  • 1600 m of cumulative positive height difference
  • 45 km along rivers
  • 13 km along the ring road
  • 14 points of view
  • 22 ring road crossings
  • 28 parks, 22 housing estates, 6 social housing complexes, 5 commercial areas, 4 industrial areas, 2 wetlands and 37 roundabouts crossed.


Suburban Walks,

An extraordinary journey into the ordinariness of our contemporary cities

 

A dive into the urban interstices

The Suburban Walks are exploratory walks through the outskirts of the cities. They cross and connect hybrid and fragmented landscapes, composed of housing estates, social housing complexes, old towns, expressways, industrial and commercial areas, car parks and electricity pylons, but also unexpected parks and gardens, forgotten forests, old paths and especially uncountable abandoned spaces where wild nature develops, out of sight. This diffuse and involuntary nature represents a tremendous potential for escape and resourcing, a kind of exoticism of proximity.

 

The suburbs, a land of adventure and exploration

The suburban area has developed to respond effectively to our modern needs for housing, travel, consumption and production.
The resulting chaotic urbanism is often considered useful but uninteresting, and above all devoid of the qualities that make up the city and the pleasures it provides.

However, the urban outskirts have richness to reveal, resources that could change our viewpoint and practices, and build a sense of suburbanity : a huge territory, a great diversity of landscapes, an unsuspected architectural heritage…
Could we not, from this point of view, consider the suburban area as a land of adventure and exploration, like the great natural spaces ? And imagine hiking in the outskirts as we do in the mountains or in the countryside ?

The suburbs offer a new hiking experience. The hybrid and eclectic nature of the territories crossed, where places, atmospheres and sounds follow one another like a continuous zapping, constantly stimulates our senses and gives the walk a new dynamic.

 

The Bordeaux suburbs, unsuspected landscapes

The Bordeaux outskirts are similar to the outskirts of other French and European cities. It has all the generic ingredients of the suburban area : commercial and industrial activity zones, residential areas, social housing estates, road infrastructures, wasteland… 

But it is also a singular and unique territory where the extraordinary hides behind the ordinary. First and foremost, it is distinguished by a great diversity of landscapes. Remarkable entities that have resisted to the pressures of urban development and that today draw a hollow city that we are now trying to protect and enhance.

In the north, the large wetlands of the marshes of the peninsula and Parc des Jalles, suitable for growing vegetables, grazing and gravel pits.
In the south, the rich wine growing hills of Pessac-Léognan and Graves.
In the east, the wild meander of the hillsides, forming a balcony overlooking the town.
In the west finally, the sandy lands and the large pine forests, announcing the infinite landscape of the Landes.

Imperceptibly, rivers cross the city and form long interstices of nature at the bottom of micro valleys : l’Eau bourde, les Jalles, le Gua, le Peugue.

Many major parks surround the town : the Majolan Park and its false romantic ruins (Blanquefort), the Hermitage Park, a gaping hole dug into the hillsides (Lormont), the Bourgailh site with its monumental lookouts and its hill of buried waste (Pessac), the Burthe Domain, which looks like a primary forest (Floirac)…

Innumerable forgotten nuggets and curiosities reappear : abandoned castles buried under the vegetation (Château du Dragon in Bouliac, Domaine de Bel Sito in Floirac), the ruins of an 11th century medieval fortress (Blanquefort), a troglodyte chapel (l’Ermitage in Lormont), Underground stone quarries (Lormont), a building that looks like a Russian dacha (Chalet Alexandre in Lormont), abandoned tennis courts, remnants of a lost fashion (there are about a hundred of them!)…

And to connect all these places, an invisible and sprawling network of paths : old rural roads, spontaneous paths, alleys of housing estates…. Combined, they represent a length of 1200 km, the round trip distance between Bordeaux and Paris !

Finally, the fringes of the Bordeaux suburban area are obviously inhabited and appropriate places. Far from the hustle and bustle of the urban centres, a discreet life unfolds there : the ephemeral and DIY restaurants of the “Dames du Lac” (Bordeaux), the children’s huts around the residential areas, the more or less official vegetable gardens, the traces of wild barbecues, modern hermits and marginal poets ?


The origin of the project

In 1999, Yvan Detraz, then an architecture student and co-founder of Bruit du frigo, led a 3-month, 1000 km walking expedition through the Bordeaux suburbs to map neglected spaces and paths. Before Google map and with the help of a simple geographical map, this mission sought to reveal the potential for escape from the Bordeaux suburbs and to develop a walking culture. (see “Zone sweet zone”).

It is from this founding experience that the concepts of the Suburban Walk and the Suburban Refuge were born.

If in 1999, nobody imagined hiking in the middle of the housing estates or along the ring road, today more and more curious people want to discover their city differently by venturing off the beaten track.

The collective suburban walks that we organise around Bordeaux bring together a large and eclectic public : families, students, walking clubs, seniors… The Suburban Shelters, which offer a unique immersive experience, are also very successful.

It is to respond to this search for exoticism of proximity that we wanted to create this trail and share our knowledge of the territory and its hidden treasures.


Metropolitan Trails Network

The Common Lands Trail of Bordeaux is a member of the Metropolitan Trails Network, created in 2017 in Marseille, on the occasion of the exhibition about the Metropolitan Trails organized at the Mucem Museum (as part of the permanent exhibition “Connectivities”).

This national network (Paris, Marseille, Bordeaux, Avignon) was created as a continuation of the international Metropolitan Trails network (Milan, London, Cologne, Istanbul, New York…) initiated and piloted by Baptiste Lanaspeze (editor – Editions Wildproject) and Paul-Hervé Lavessière (Geographer).

The first National Assises of the Metropolitan Trails were organised on 8 November 2018 at the Mucem in Marseille.

 

” The Metropolitan Trails are public spaces of a new kind. Transport infrastructures, tourist facilities, off-wall cultural centres, citizen platforms, training areas… they allow us to rediscover our living spaces and to foster the emergence of a common culture.
Urban hiking is a social phenomenon, a deep-rooted movement. Coming from the worlds of art and planning, it now interests a large public.
Metropolitan trails are an international innovation, born in France. »

Extract from the website : National Network of Metropolitan Trails


Suburban Walks

An extraordinary journey
into the ordinariness of our contemporary cities

 

> Discover the Common Lands Trail of Greater Bordeaux

A dive into the urban interstices

The Suburban Walks are exploratory walks through the outskirts of the cities. They cross and connect hybrid and fragmented landscapes, composed of housing estates, social housing complexes, old towns, expressways, industrial and commercial areas, car parks and electricity pylons, but also unexpected parks and gardens, forgotten forests, old paths and especially uncountable abandoned spaces where wild nature develops, out of sight. This diffuse and involuntary nature represents a tremendous potential for escape and resourcing, a kind of exoticism of proximity.


The suburbs, a land of adventure and exploration

The suburban area has developed to respond effectively to our modern needs for housing, travel, consumption and production.

The resulting chaotic urbanism is often considered useful but uninteresting, and above all devoid of the qualities that make up the city and the pleasures it provides.

However, the urban outskirts have richness to reveal, resources that could change our viewpoint and practices, and build a sense of suburbanity : a huge territory, a great diversity of landscapes, an unsuspected architectural heritage…

Could we not, from this point of view, consider the suburban area as a land of adventure and exploration, like the great natural spaces ? And imagine hiking in the outskirts as we do in the mountains or in the countryside ?

The suburbs offer a new hiking experience. The hybrid and eclectic nature of the territories crossed, where places, atmospheres and sounds follow one another like a continuous zapping, constantly stimulates our senses and gives the walk a new dynamic.

 


The origin of the project

In 1999, Yvan Detraz, then an architecture student and co-founder of Bruit du frigo, led a 3-month, 1000 km walking expedition through the Bordeaux suburbs to map neglected spaces and paths. Before Google map and with the help of a simple geographical map, this mission sought to reveal the potential for escape from the Bordeaux suburbs and to develop a walking culture. (see “Zone sweet zone”).

It is from this founding experience that the concepts of the Suburban Walk and the Suburban Refuge were born.

If in 1999, nobody imagined hiking in the middle of the housing estates or along the ring road, today more and more curious people want to discover their city differently by venturing off the beaten track.

The collective suburban walks that we organise around Bordeaux bring together a large and eclectic public : families, students, walking clubs, seniors… The Suburban Shelters, which offer a unique immersive experience, are also very successful.

It is to respond to this search for exoticism of proximity and to share our knowledge of the territory and its hidden treasures that we have created the Common Land Trail.

 


The Metropolitan Trails Network

The Common Lands Trail of Bordeaux is a member of the Metropolitan Trails Network, created in 2017 in Marseille, on the occasion of the exhibition about the Metropolitan Trails organized at the Mucem Museum (as part of the permanent exhibition “Connectivities”).

This national network (Paris, Marseille, Bordeaux, Avignon) was created as a continuation of the international Metropolitan Trails network (Milan, London, Cologne, Istanbul, New York…) initiated and piloted by Baptiste Lanaspeze (editor – Editions Wildproject) and Paul-Hervé Lavessière (Geographer).

The first National Assises of the Metropolitan Trails were organised on 8 November 2018 at the Mucem in Marseille.

 

” The Metropolitan Trails are public spaces of a new kind. Transport infrastructures, tourist facilities, off-wall cultural centres, citizen platforms, training areas… they allow us to rediscover our living spaces and to foster the emergence of a common culture.
Urban hiking is a social phenomenon, a deep-rooted movement. Coming from the worlds of art and planning, it now interests a large public.
Metropolitan trails are an international innovation, born in France. »

Extract from the website : National Network of Metropolitan Trails

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