Lille Métropole 2020 World Design Capital

In the 21st century, many towns and cities are reclaiming their waterways as a key pillar of their urban development policy. Long abandoned, Canal de la Deûle is now being considered as a major component of Lille Metropole’s redevelopment plans. The area bordering the canal is a concentration of numerous social problems including housing, transport, urban nature, leisure, river transport and redevelopment of the city’s industrial heritage. 

To set a vision that factors in all these questions, the Lille Metropole plans to devise the future 20-year roadmap as a collective initiative. At the gateways into Lille, the suburb towns of La Madeleine, Saint-André and Marquette-lez-Lille have been selected as the test bed for the initiative. 

As a project that blends design thinking and urban planning, Lille Metropole has been working for the past year with local residents, associations, elected officials, planners and housing developers. Assisted by design agency Atypie, they are joining forces to shape the directives for developing this area. After several working sessions, they agreed on five strategic objectives : 

  • Respect nature and biodiversity ; 
  • Encourage sports, tourism and cultural amenities ;
  • Guarantee access to accommodation for all households ;
  • Respect the architectural and landscaping quality ; 
  • Promote sustainable transport.

These objectives have been set out in a consultation adopted by the metropolitan council in late 2019. A fine example of community involvement in the local democratic process.