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Cycling along a River: New access, new values?

Abstract : The ViaRhôna is an 815 km cycle route running along the Rhône River from Lake Geneva to the Mediterranean Sea. We examine the influence of this type of cycle route on the relationship between route users (including the local population, itinerant cyclists and foreign tourists) and the river landscapes. This relationship is approached from the angle of the use of the riverbanks as well as the perceived image, the value, and the knowledge associated with the river and its landscapes. Our survey based on interviews (n = 16) and questionnaires (n = 546) produced the following results. The features of the cycle route and the related activities that it makes possible drain a special segment of the population that, in spite of its diverse sociological composition, shares similar tastes. The creation of the cycle route has led to an increase in use of the riverbanks both by tourists and local people. The experience that it offers contributes to enhancing the value that users place on the river. This is due to a change in the image of the river following the (re)discovery of its natural environments. On the other hand, knowledge of one’s natural environments is not modified. These results raise the question of possible changes in the degree to which users support policies targeting the preservation and restoration of the river.
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Contributor : Isabelle Nault <>
Submitted on : Monday, November 16, 2020 - 3:43:27 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, December 22, 2020 - 10:14:55 AM


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Matthieu Adam, Marylise Cottet, Sylvie Morardet, Lise Vaudor, Laure Coussout, et al.. Cycling along a River: New access, new values?. Sustainability, MDPI, 2020, 12 (22), pp.9311. ⟨10.3390/su12229311⟩. ⟨hal-03007950⟩



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