How to connect the city center of Creil to the edge of the Oise, to a district positioned on a plateau, while crossing a remarkable landscape on a vertical line of 40 m?
It was the challenge of this project led with determination by the team of the agency Espace Libre, landscapers and urban planners, with the support of the city of Creil.
"The originality of this operation is due to a determined mastery of work that decided to connect an isolated district of the city center by the inscription of an urban ramp through a wooded hillside, "says Maxime Saisse, landscape architect founder of Espace Libre. What could have been a banal development operation turned into a real project featuring the landscape, ecosystems, and vistas. The sensitive layout of pathways and observation platforms is part of a natural process rather than the setting up of new uses of the site.

Located north of Paris, Creil is a city that developed strongly in the post-war period by the emergence of neighborhoods characteristic of this period, A dense urban neighborhood has multiplied on the heights of Creil forty meters higher than the city center, cut off by a wooded hillside. This  spatial configuration resulted in an urban break that never allowed the inhabitants to connect the city center any other way than by a monumental staircase.
The will to gently connect the neighborhood to the city center, along with the new standards for handicapped friendly structures, was the opportunity to think about a global project that went through the ecological restoration of the site, the hydrographic network and endemic plant species. By a careful study of the site; an inventory of its potential, as well as a detailed study of the nature of the soil were conducted in order to minimize the environmental damage.

The layout of the route needed to be very discreet, while revealing the characteristics of a remarkable landscape. This set of constraints accentuated the strength of the project, in particular by the inclusion of a footbridge at the bottom of the path, making it possible to catch up with a level coastline essential for people with reduced mobility. This majestic bridge is more than a hundred meters long and rises through the treetops through an English park. The belvedere at the top of the bridge is floating and opens an exceptional point of view of the city ad the Oise. The structure of the steel bridge, along with oak and larch wood, withstands vibrations and the force of heavy winds.
The 1,2 kilometers of the path are marked with places to have a break, meeting and observe: the belvedere haut, the Laversine glades, the belvedere of the crossroads, the crossroads, the hiker's plaza, the ramp.
In the spaces, a signage highlights the endangered species that can be found along the way. Their treatment favors sensitivity and sobriety, as the images are in black an white and are enlarged from scale, so that the users can immerse themselves in the "faces" of the often unknown living species that we share our ecosystem with.

Project Sheets
Location: Creil
Contracting Authority: City of Creil
Project Management Team: Free Space Landscape and urbanism with Egis, Eurovia, Loiseleur, Marcantera, Eiffage Energy
Program: Création of a ramp
Course: 1,2 km
Cost: 3,500,000 euro
Year of construction: 2018