Water, today a precious and strategic resource, has long been present in towns and cities in the form of rivers and canals, lakes and fountains. A presence giving rise to works of architecture and public spaces… to watermills and bridges, to reservoirs and aqueducts, to pools and fountains, to supply systems and distribution networks. Water is also intimately linked to parks and gardens, the inspiration for landscaping and an entire architecture that highlights its presence (waterfalls, grottos, ponds, etc.)
Many towns are also linked directly to the shores of seas, oceans and large lakes, giving rise to a variety of architecture associated with leisure resorts and maritime activities (quays, warehouses, dockyards and slipways).
Today, growing ecological awareness and the fight against waste has placed water back on the agenda. Towns are opening up old canals that had been filled in and, more generally, architecture and landscape projects include requirements in favour of recycling water.
The 2017 EUROPEAN PRIZE will reward architecture, urban projects, and developments closely linked to water and its uses. This could, for example, be the highlighting of existing or new constructions (mills, reservoirs, dockyards, warehouses, engineering works), the creation of new neighbourhoods or improvements in which water is a notable feature, the reopening of urban canals and improvement of quaysides and banks, or exemplary and original projects for recovering and reusing rainwater and runoff water.
A special prize will be awarded to one or several imaginative projects on the theme of "water and the landscape, architecture and the town." The scale, subject, programme and location of these projects is for each participant to decide.