Is the French view of greenways avant-garde or déjà-vu?



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“Greenway” has become trendy in the French planners’ vocabulary. Indeed, this term has many meanings, related to both the environmental and social characteristics of a territory. It carries many positive cultural values. There are not one but several types of greenways in according to specific area (urban, peri-urban, and rural) with different objectives (recreation, nature conservation, human well being). Nowadays, the French term for greenways is “trame verte”. This expression is a planning concept dealing mostly with private land.

The objective of the paper is threefold. First, we shall look at the changes in the content of “greenways” in this international literature; second we shall examine what brought about the interest of “trame verte” in landscape planning and environmental management in France. Third, we shall propose a coarse assessment of the new French law on “trame verte”.