"Sea" in the city center?  It is possible and Paris is the latest example

“Sea” in the city center? It is possible and Paris is the latest example

After centuries of exile because of its infamous reputation, The scene in Paris is up for the upcoming 2024 Summer Olympics, The eagerly awaited sporting event has predicted that three Olympic and Paralympic disciplines – triathlon, swimming marathon and para-triathlon – will take place on the transalpine river waters. Mayor Anne Hidalgo has also announced great news: three sections of the waterway will be rehabilitated to create bathing areas, accessible from the pier and open to the public in the summer of 2025. A new life for the Seine, a sign of progress and inclusion for the French capital.

The Seine in Paris, a new river for the 2024 Olympics

The Paris River Regeneration Project has been a great success and has allowed Parisians to enjoy new recreational areas along the Seine and Canal de l’Orque basins. Thanks to an investment of 1.4 billion euros, the summer oasis of Paris Plage has been created, where Parisians can relax on the sand, sunbathe, play beach games and enjoy the summer. Since 2017, residents of northern Paris can also take a dip in the Canal de l’Orque to cool off on hot days.

Pierre Rabadan, the deputy mayor of Paris and responsible for the Olympics, is confident that further improvements will be possible in the future. believes in Watching athletes swim the Seine during the Olympic Games will make people rediscover the value of this city’s treasure, Rabadan sees the project as an essential contribution to the future of Paris and the well-being of its citizens.

from decline to revival

Like many other European cities, Paris has seen a dramatic decrease in the quality of its river over the years due to industrial wastewater from upstream areas and the sanitary needs of a growing population. However, today there are several localities that manage to guarantee high standards of access to inland waters.

For example, in Switzerland, The water quality in most rivers and lakes is high and the Federal Office for the Environment (FoFE) has declared that the water is suitable for swimming “almost everywhere”., The Oberer Leten promenade in Zurich is one of the few places where you can swim in the city centre: it has a 400-metre-long canal with a 2-metre-high diving board, a swimming pool for non-swimmers, two beach volleyball courts, a Bowling green offers. and a sun terrace. Of course, there are restaurants and bars too.

In Central Basel, on the other hand, you can also swim in the Rhine, Inspired by these successful examples, Paris is launching an extraordinary river restoration project to breathe new life into the Seine and give Parisians the opportunity to enjoy a navigable and useful river. The City of Ville Lumiere is preparing to transform the waterway into a valuable resource, where sport, relaxation and socialization will merge into an exceptional city experience.

Magnificent riverfronts of European cities

If we move to Vienna, Austria, we find the island of Donauinsel: initially built between the seventies and the eighties to protect the city from floods, today it houses more than 200 meters of sandy beach and providing routes for pedestrians and cyclistsThere is also the possibility of enjoying an aperitif at sunset in one of the sophisticated bars that populate it.

However, in the heart of Graz is Mur Beach Graz, A real beach that guarantees summer fun until September, It is also possible to rehabilitate and regenerate rivers that have been ruined, as was the case with the Isar, a river that flows through the city of Munich, once considered the most polluted in Germany and now a source of water for its citizens. The reference point is those who want to make a refreshing river. Bath

However, in Berlin, The banks of the river Spree are equipped as a real coastal lido, even though the water is not yet suitable for swimming: this is why the Badeschiff Arena Berlin beach has a wooden walkway that connects it to a floating pool. These successful examples show how European cities have been regenerated due to the valuing of their river resources, turning stretches of rivers into attractive summer destinations for citizens and visitors.

Bathing sites of urban waterways in Europe

According to the recent report ofeuropean environment agency (EEA), the continental bathing water quality has been positively assessed. However, the situation becomes more complicated when it comes to inland and urban waterways. Only 25% of the water used for bathing in European cities is located near lakes, while only 39 urban bathing sites are located along rivers.

many European capitals including Budapest, helsinki, Paris, Riga, Vienna I Vilnius, offers river bathing sites, with Vienna leading at nineteen points. Bath water quality management in urban lakes is easier than in rivers due to the closed geography of lakes. Bathing sites along rivers are considered a sign of successful water resource management and efficient waste water management.

some cities, such as Copenhagen Ed Essen, has implemented an advanced warning system to monitor the pollution risks of urban bathing water, ensuring prompt and responsible management. Not forgetting the aforementioned project to make the Seine suitable for bathing in view of the 2024 Olympics. All these examples demonstrate the commitment of European cities to river redevelopment and the enhancement of water resources.

river bath in italy

In The culture of river bathing in Italy, especially in the cities, is still not widespread., According to Andrea Goltara, director of the Italian Center for River Requalification (CIRF), the country lags behind in Europe due to a general lack of intervention to enhance the quality of inland waters. Countries such as France, Austria and Germany invest heavily in this sector, while Italy has suffered for decades from the apathy of governments and public bodies.

Goltara points out that our country with a strong coastal presence has always paid less attention to inland waterways. This has reduced public pressure to improve water quality and formalization of river stretches for bathing, even when they are usable and already being used by the population,

However, there are good examples in Italy Talavera River in Bolzano, where good water quality has fostered a more developed riverine culture. In these areas, stream banks can become an important resource for the well-being of populations and increase the value of surrounding real estate properties.