Tibbalds’ annual study tour this year visited the French city of Lyon. The third largest city in France, with a population of around 500k, Lyon was a textile city and the centre of the European silk industry. It is now a centre for banking, chemical, pharmaceutical and biotech industries, and is also the gastronomic capital of France.
The focus of new development is centred around the Confluence of two rivers, the Rhône and the Saone, and area previously under-developed and associated with less desirable uses and features, such as the prison.
The city itself is enclosed by two hills: Croix-Rousse (‘the hill that works’) and Fourvière (‘the hill that prays’). UNESCO cited Lyon as the “exceptional testimony to the continuity of urban settlement over more than two millennia on a site of great commercial and strategic significance”, and designated the city for ‘universal value’ because how intact it is – as it hasn’t suffered a major disaster, or bombing.
As a group, we had few expectations of what we might find in the city; what we thought will be the subject of a future blog!