District Port Colbert

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Location : Reims
Dates : 2015 - On going
Client : Reims Métropole
Design team : Martin Duplantier Architectes, Anouk Debarre Landscape Architect, Artelia Ville et Transport, Franck Boutté Consultants, Tractebel, Idea Consult, Chevreux Notaires
Mission : Preliminary studies for the master planning of a neighborhood of innovations
Built area : 200 ha
Cost : NC

Reims Metropolitan Zone has launched a public bid for a master planning project for the territory
of Port Colbert, which spans nearly 200 hectares. Having acknowledged that the urban planning
norms typical of a ZAC, beyond being cumbersome and costly, demand, in general, between fifteen
and twenty years before a neighborhood can break ground on a project; once built, the same time
period is needed for life to implant itself within the zone and a city begins to form. We therefore
propose to invert this lengthy process, and that the local richness of life comes before the buildings,
before the impact studies, and the bureaucratic barriers of a typical project. This is what we call
the ‘pre-city’. In referring to the pre-greening of developable space, we propose to sow the seed
of a future town in the locales that will one day be built. This industrial territory, caught between
a highway and a canal, relegated behind the rail station, yet still close to the heart of the city, is
totally absent from the mental map of the city of Reims for the majority of her inhabitants. The
zone, however, has all the potential to be reintegrated into the city with mixed-use programming
for both inhabitants and economic actors. It is a unique opportunity to rethink the city in terms of
its activities and not just in terms of its valorization.