L’Ile de Nantes regeneration project

  • culture
  • economy

Featured in our ‘cities in action’ case study series, l’Ile de Nantes is undergoing an urban regeneration process retaining its industrial heritage

When the Nantes shipyards closed in 1987, they left behind an expanse of former industrial land and infrastructure. Their closure also weakened the city’s links with the Loire river, and discussions began on how to make the most of the space and restore the relationship with the river. So l’Ile de Nantes regeneration plan was born.

The plan is made up of two phases. Phase I took began in 2000 and finished in 2010. New residential complexes were constructed, including an eco-district. New footpaths, access roads and bridges were built to connect with the river and the rest of the city. This phase also saw the arrival of creative and cultural entrepreneurs, who set up shop in the former industrial warehouses and hangars. One such example was the now world-renowned Les Machines de Nantes.

Phase II began in 2010 and will continue until 2030. The residential and business areas will be developed and new public spaces created, especially around the former railway land. There is also a strong focus on transport links, and especially sustainable transport. A bicycle boulevard will provide a route across the island, while two new bus lines are being established.

The process of turning the island from an industrial centre to a sustainable living, working and leisure space is a long one. The city is keen to preserve the island’s industrial heritage whilst making a space that is fit for future populations. The arrival of the creative and cultural sector is also helping to forge a new identity for the future of l’Ile de Nantes.

Find out more about the project in our full case study at the link below. This case study will be among a selection being featured at our ‘Cities in action’ exhibition on 8 October 2013 in Brussels.