Symposium 2023


There is a need to plant and replant avenues. But how?

All over the world, "forgiving road side" road-safety policies are a major obstacle to the preservation and planting of roadside trees. In practice, planting further away from the edge of the road is rarely feasible. It is also inconsistent with the conventional geometric characteristics of tree avenues, which are a stong ingredient of their cultural nature and of their aesthetics.

But does road safety really depend on there being no trees close to the road? Is the guarantee of physical integrity enough to make life worth living? Does not physiological existence, our physical health, our mental wellbeing, and our social wellbeing also depend on trees? Is beauty not also as indispensable a factor for living or rebuilding oneself, for putting some magic into the world and drawing society into crucial projects?


Shifting the paradigm

In 1970, French President Georges Pompidou made a clear statement: “Safeguarding the trees planted along our roads (…) is essential for the beauty of our country, to protect nature, and to safeguard a truly human environment” and “whatever the scale of road-safety problems, they are no justification for disfiguring the [country’s] landscape

Fifty years later, it is now vital to preserve and multiply tree avenues, as a form of international cultural heritage and as vital corridors in the light of global warming and biodiversity loss?

The need for beauty and tree avenues must be concretely reflected in the road safety and the development policies. A joint declaration and the first steps towards creation of a ‘European tree-avenue route’ under the Council of Europe’s Cultural Routes programme will be proposed to underscore this commitment.

PROGRAMME             SPEAKERS                     REGISTRATION  


Everyone is concerned, everyone can be involved

By participating in the symposium, elected officials (particularly from our partner the Aude Department Council, and the group on tree avenues of the German Bundestag), professionals in arboriculture, road management, urban planning, environment, culture, tourism, and the public at large will find food for thought and transform the necessary paradigm shift into reality.

The symposium will be conducted in both French and English, with simultaneous translation by an interpreting team.


High-caliber speakers from ten countries

They are arborist, historian, geographer, landscape architect, philosopher, expert in risk management, physician, elected representatives etc. Read their biography here.


From Sunday 19 November (visit) to Tuesday 21 November in Carcassonne (France). For practical details see here

Mind the deadlines for registration. Register here.