Urban remodelling of teh island of Nantes
The urbanistic remodelling of the central island of Nantes is characterised by being rooted in the 21st century as a project yet incorporating the historical memory of its industrial past. Through the gradual transformation of the island, based on the development of a new knowledge economy, on aid programmes for the renting and purchasing of homes and on the commitment to renewable energies, the city is seeking international projection and is bent on fostering a new sustainable urban culture.more / less»
In 1996 the city approved the Project 2005, which situated the river Loire at the heart of the space. In 1998 the city of Nantes consulted three multidisciplinary teams to devise the project for the Island of Nantes, from which was chosen, in 2000, Chemetoff Alexander and Jean Louis Berthomieu, who focused on the public space as the lever for urban transformation. A 20-year term was established for the renewal of the Island of Nantes thanks to the support of the European Regional Development Fund.
Since its launch, the project for the Island of Nantes has been viewed in an open fashion: modifications are permitted as results obtained are assessed. Far from being a completely fresh start, the project takes as its starting point the visible traces of the island’s history, which are incorporated both symbolically through the memory and work of the associations and physically through the recovery of emblematic buildings from the industrial past of Nantes.
The urban project for the island includes 550,000 square metres of housing and 300,000 square metres for commercial activities and offices. Social transformation is principally based on the development of a new knowledge economy organised around several areas: legal division, communication district, health and biotechnology zone and art and culture centre. In addition, in order to foster social diversity, housing rental and purchase aid programmes will be offered as well as university residences, measures to strengthen local commerce and new public facilities. There are plans to create 7,500 new homes, 15,000 jobs and 150,000 square metres of metropolitan facilities.
The Island of Nantes is gradually being transformed into a sustainable development. The powerful presence of the river and the prohibition to use pesticides in the maintenance of the public spaces reveal the determination to protect the island’s biodiversity. In addition, good management of water resources is guaranteed by a system of water collection and the reduction of energy consumption through the development of renewable energies.
The inauguration of the Schoelcher walkway in 2000 established the link with the city’s historic centre. Three years later saw the creation of SAMOA (Society for the Development of the West Atlantic Metropolitan Area), a mixed-capital company dedicated to directing and managing the project, though in February 2009 the company changed its form and its capital to become entirely public. In July 2010 a new team headed by Marcel Smets took over from Chemetoff Alexander.
//Proposal by: Bruno Remoué