Les Ateliers held a first workshop in Western Africa in 2005. It was in Porto Novo, Benin. We then organized an international meeting about the development of African cities, at which we invited Aïda Mbaye Dieng, Deputy-Mayor of Saint-Louis, Senegal. We now wish to organize a new professional workshop in Western Africa, which would take place in Saint-Louis.
Located north of Senegal in the mouth of the great Senegal river, the archipelago-city of Saint-Louis has a rich and cosmopolitan colonial past, and its old center was classified as World Heritage by the Unesco. The city is celebrating its 350 years in 2010 ! Having lost much in favor of the "new" capital, Dakar, Saint-Louis is currently struggling to position itself as a dynamic regional center. What strategy shall be implemented to realize an innovative urban plannig aimed at creating the conditions for a balanced development, rooted in the African values of a historic town with a cultural identity and a unique landscape ?
Three major challenges are on the agenda: the environmental challenge of facing the climate change and a rising sea level, the challenge of coping with a population explosion expected by 2030 in a context of scarcity of land urbanization, and the challenge of developing a dynamic urban economy, multipolar and diversified, benefiting to everyone on the territory of the city and its hinterland.