Nantes Métropole Area Report
The Île de Nantes: an ambitious urban revitalisation project for a European metropolis
Nantes Métropole, located near the Atlantic coast, is the 5th largest urban centre in France, with 550,000 inhabitants. Watered by the upper Loire river, the city forms, along with Saint-Nazaire, the Atlantic Metropolis (population: 850,000 inhabitants).
Next door to Nantes historic city centre, the Île de Nantes (Nantes’ Island) incorporates numerous brownfield urban sites, bearing witness to the city’s industrial and naval history. The Île de Nantes is a unique opportunity for development and urban renewal in France and in Europe. The Nantes Communauté Urbaine (urban conurbation) decided to seize this potential to endow the conurbation with an urban centre of international dimension, in the very heart of the Nantes Saint-Nazaire Metropolis, whilst respecting the principles of sustainable development and territorial balance.
- 337 hectares in the centre of the Nantes conurbation
- An urban area adjacent to the River Loire, 5 km long and 1 km wide
- 13,000 residents; 15,000 jobs
- A metropolitan centre offering all urban facilities: diversified housing, enterprise, research and higher education facilities, social, cultural and leisure infrastructures
- Over 800,000 m2 of land potentially available for construction, with a balanced spread between housing, business and key infrastructures
- 6,500 housing units, 250,000 m2 for economic activity and 140,000 m2 for extra facilities
- 1987 Dubigeon ship builders closed down on the island.
- 1989 The new team at the town hall, led by Jean-Marc Ayrault, took the key decision to preserve and rehabilitate the shipyard's main building.
- 1995–1997 Project 2005 was adopted, placing the River Loire at the centre of regional development strategy. A detailed diagnostic analysis of the Île de Nantes was made available.
- 1996 The project's precursor: the Law Courts, designed by Jean Nouvel, was erected on the Île de Nantes.
- 1998–1999 Nantes municipality consulted three multidisciplinary teams seeking concepts for an urban project for the Île de Nantes. Local associations and residents were brought into the process.
- 2000 The team of architects and landscape designers Alexandre Chemetoff – Jean-Louis Berthomieu was selected.
- 2002 The first phase was launched. The elected representatives of the Communauté Urbaine de Nantes approved an investment programme totalling 120 million Euros for the years 2002-2007.
- 2003 Formation of a mixed public-private entity dedicated to the Île de Nantes development: SAMOA, Société d'aménagement de la métropole ouest atlantique.
- 2003–2008 Completion of the first phase.