Urban ecology, a motor to revitalize an old industrial neighbourhood

This fluvial eco-neighbourhood project started in 2006 and will be delivered in 2023 and will host the Olympic and Paralympic Village of the Paris 2024 summer Olympics.

At Île-Saint-Denis, within the Grand Paris Metropole, once finished, this 22-hectare fluvial eco-neighbourhood will combine nature and urban in the largest island of the Seine river. This project was presented last week to urban experts from Bruxelles, Grand Lyon and Montréal, who took part in the last meeting of the pilot project ”revitalization strategies through urban projects”.

Built on the site of the former warehouses of Printemps and Galeries Lafayette department store chains, which have been vacant since 2004, this eco-neighbourhood is designed as an integrated urban ecosystem. The project will eventually create a mixed district providing a large number of urban functions (housing, economic activities, local shops, offices, facilities...), while giving the ecological dimension the main focus in each of the major developments.

Once finished, the site will provide for the construction of 1,000 housing units, combining small social housing units with private home ownership and subsidized access. In addition, 50,000 m² of business premises will also be built, for shops, offices particularly dedicated to the cultural and creative sectors. Finally, 7.3 hectares of public spaces will be developed (park, riverbanks, squares, pedestrian walkways, etc.) as well as 7,600 m² of public facilities (mobility centres, childcare centre, etc.).

Urban ecology as heart of the project

One of the other major characteristics of the project is to be a car-free district, equipped with mobility centres at the main entries of the island. The district will also enhance the site’s specificity as an island and its river identity through an innovative treatment of river water and a redevelopment of the banks of the Seine as a place for promenades.

The project promotes ecological coherence on the water issue: zero rainwater discharge, open water treatment, flood risk management. This is added to other ecological measures in the management of the project, from the preservation of plant areas (soft pruning of trees, no phytosanitary products in public areas, etc.) to the management of pollution (taking into account noise and electromagnetic constraints), as well as energy, waste and recycling management (20% of the district's electrical energy needs will be produced on site, implementation of innovative urban recycling techniques).

The presentation of this project was part of the program of the last workshop of the Revitalization strategies through urban projects pilot project, which took place in Île-de-France region from April 1st to 3rd.