La France et l’Europe telles un jardin : quand les routes deviennes allées by Chantal PRADINES – Château de Bénouville

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La France et l’Europe telles un jardin : quand les routes deviennes allées by Chantal PRADINES – Château de Bénouville

France and Europe like a garden: when roads become alleys

The trees which we increasingly rarely see lining the roadside boast a long history, since they date back to 16th century France. These lines of trees were planted not only for practical, technical and economic reasons, but also to aesthetically please. Similar to the ornamental alleys that adorned French-style formal gardens, they enhanced the influence of those who commissioned them. And they conquered Europe. Since the invention of the automobile, these “alleys” of trees that adorn our countryside are struggling to survive. Yet they continue to play a positive role, as much for the environment as for road safety, just as they continue to adorn the landscape and to charm, tourists in particular. Beyond our frontiers, a number of European countries have even implemented action to preserve and promote them. France and Europe, like a “garden”?

Chantal Pradines


Chantal Pradines is a qualified engineer graduated from the École Centrale de Paris. She has worked and continues to work in public works and communication. With Franco-German roots, and having worked in Sweden, she is particularly open to European exchange and intercultural relations. She has worked for several years on the question of landscape and society, and on roadside trees in particular. Expert for the Council of Europe within the framework of work on the European Landscape Convention, she is the author of the report entitled  Infrastructures routières : les allées d’arbres dans le paysage (Road infrastructures: tree alleys in the landscape). This report, presented in 2009 and published in 2012, focuses on the good practice identified in different European countries and sets down recommendations for preserving the heritage of roadside trees. Today, she is particularly attached to increasing public awareness on this type of heritage and in generating virtuous practice for its maintenance and renewal. She keeps a close eye on all European stakeholders in an aim to developing cooperation towards the creation of a cultural “alleys” route.