Development of railroad, industrial fallow land and brownfields
Seine Rive Gauche
Housing projects

Urban Infill for sustainability


A different and quite appropriate form of the Sustainable City  will be achieved by a restructuring of the housing project estates.

Most often, these low income "dormitory" estates totally lack social and functional diversity.

Their public space is neglected and unsafe, a dead end no man's land..

Joblessness and a feeling of rejection from mainstream culture and economy leads the inhabitants of such estates to despair, and sometimes violence and crime.

Inapropriate urban forms have a strong effect on people's lives.


Urban diversity and structure should therefore be introduced, at last, through an open community planning process, which will consider new urban grids, with a new local network of streets, avenues, urban gardens and squares

The new grid will restructure the no man's land between the housing buildings, create a defined and flowing public urban space where there are now only dead end alleys.

That grid will divide the land into new parcells which will be offered to investors to build a sequence of low rise buildings for townhouses, offices, shops, workspaces, services, community halls, etc...

The estate will gain diversity through concentration, mixture of uses and of new and old buildings.

The place of nature will be redefined, from unsafe and neglected lawns and bushes into neat and well kept urban gardens, and tree lined streets and avenues.


On the schematic sketch above of a typical suburban housing project, the neighbouring suburban sprawl has its grid (in yellow) interrupted. Similar to thrombosis in the human body, the interruption is brutal and expresses painful seperation. The local schools, in blue, usually ground floor mediocre prefabs, are lumped and spread in the center of gravity of the neighbourhood, as if to further prevent passage and worsen the thrombosis.

In the schematic sketch below, we attempt to show, in yellow, how the existing neighbouring streets can be continued, even if we have to slice through some long slabs, resulting in small blocks throughout.


By dividing the no man's land into lots, along the new streets, we can provide an opportunity for a variety of investors of all sizes to create a large quantity of new buildings (in red) to house different uses on affordable land. These new buildings could include offices, shops, workplaces, service facilities, rebuilt schools, etc..

Mingling new and old buildings will introduce a mixture of uses and the missing diversity.

There will be as many trees as before, or more, but lined along streets and avenues.
Instead of an insecure and sloppy no man's land, we will then have a defensible urban grid, with safe and well tended urban gardens or squares.