Saint-Laurent du Maroni, The Urban Transition of a French City in the Amazon
Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni, the city of the Maroni River, is a mosaic city on the border with Suriname, on the most western side of French Guiana. The Maroni River has the gigantic dimensions of all Amazonian rivers. The Maroni River is crossed by traditional canoes all day long, it is a place where people live, travel and work. It is also a place
in itself, a landscape, a breach in the heart of the Amazon.
The important geopolitical position of Saint-Laurent is to be understood by considering
its very high population growth (above 6% per year, higher than the average rate for French Guiana), and its geographical location, at the border with Suriname. The city’s driving economic have yet to be consolidated and re-invented.
What relationships are to be developed with the City of Cayenne, the main city of Guiana soon to be overrun by Saint-Laurent in terms of inhabitants, and with the neighboring Suriname, in this context of strong urban development ?
How to use this strong population growth as a development opportunity for the city ?
What urban new shapes can be created, being both innovative and respectful of Saint-Laurent strong cultural and historical identity, based on some habits that remain today very rural ?
How to use the resources of the territory and the label "city of art and history" that was givent to the city to develop tourism ?
To answer these questions and many more, it is necessary to think on a long term perspective (2060) This timeframe will maybe allow local authorities and actors to anticipate enough the population growth and provide answers to the huge issues the city is facing in terms of housing, infrastructures, social and economic development and chaotic urbanization.
Deadline to apply : 21st February 2016, 11pm Paris time