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April 10, 2012 / landscapeiskingston

Good practice demonstrates economic potential for tourism and multifunctional use

Redevelopment of River Tourism on Sambre Corridor:

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The River Sambre crosses a vast low density area that is in a privileged lo­cation, including both proximity to the Paris area and Belgium.   Yet its severed networks, its remoteness from major urban centres and the mono-function­ality of its industry have all left scars and in 2006 the river was closed to navigation by the VNF as an old canal bridge in Vadencourt faced major risk of collapse.

In 2010 the French Ministry of Transport established a list of the smallest waterways in France that would be decen­tralised, due to their economic maintenance contri­bution failing short of overhead levels. If local authorities failed to declare an interest, then the VNF could close the waterways for navigation, retaining solely their hydraulic function.  The local government of the Sambre orga­nized a socioeconomic analy­sis to demonstrate the quality of their waterways and their poten­tial interest for tourism develop­ment and multifunctional uses.

Due to the cross-border location, the Sambre was able to gather stakeholders around ambitious projects to create a network of partners. In June 2010, the Waterways Forward proj­ect gave the opportunity to launch a study on the Sambre River in order to gauge the potential of re-open­ing the river to naviga­tion. The study presented a new vision concerning the economic potential of the Sambre corridor. It has demonstrated the eco­nomic potential of the Sambre and the necessity to re-open the waterway to navigation.


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  1. Claudio Repossi / Apr 12 2012 10:34 am

    This is a good example to show that the envolvement of local stakeholders is determinant to sustain the opportunities that waterways offer to the territories and the communities. they perceive it in a stronger way because it’s a part of their own identity and they could grasp every single aspect of the multifunctionality.
    And this specific example is again more important because in a cross border site

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