A third of the developed surface area of L'Île-Saint-Denis is occupied by warehouses, many of which are no longer in use. This site covers 22 of the island’s 100 hectares.

Philippon-Kalt, architects and urban planners, led a team to propose reconverting this site into a riverside eco-district, and have been responsible for bringing their plans to fruition.

This area, which is currently under development and located less than 2km from Paris’s Saint-Denis station, is set to benefit from the “Grand Paris” initiative.

An in-depth reflection on water and biodiversity, energy, mobility and pollution was conducted in collaboration with specialist firms to ensure that the eco-district remains an example to follow over time.

In 2009, the project, led by Michel Bourgain, Mayor of Île-Saint-Denis, and by the authorities of the larger Plaine Commune area, was chosen as the prototype district at the NQU consultation (label Nouveaux Quartiers Urbains – New Urban Districts), and it received the Prize of the Future, National List of Eco-Districts 2011.
On 17 February 2013, the riverside eco-district charter was signed by all of the project’s partners.

The riverside eco-district: a living space for everyone, planned and developed to promote social relationships, and to encourage sharing and saving resources.

THE 3 i

The concepts developed for this new district are based on the three main issues of L'Île-Saint-Denis:

By creating north-south connections between the two residential districts on L'Île-Saint Denis.

Inter-commune links
By improving communications with neighbouring communes and involving the new district in the local development processes.

By respecting the principle of setting a good example in environmental matters and promoting water as a factor of identity for residents.

FROM Eco-district to eco-CIT'ISLAND

Development: participatory governance
A shared culture is created in collaboration with all of the project’s stakeholders. The Eco-District Charter, a document to ensure the commitment of the various partners, uses the same concepts as presented by the planners.
Throughout the project, an active debate is being maintained, by means of consultation meetings with residents: which services should be available in the mobility centres, plans for public spaces, rooms for communal use, etc.

Urban, environmental and social cohesion
The needs of all the entities involved are considered: VNF and Port autonome, RATP and STIF, ERDF, ANDRA, CG 93, the département, the city, the technical services of Plaine Commune local authorities, specialised design firms, etc. Preference is given to concepts that can be replicated in other areas.

Ambitions that are sustainable into the future
The specifications drawn up for the riverside eco-district consider the future of the district over time by including room for growth in line with changes in standards and technology, and with the development of the area.

blocks and zones

The project is divided into four main interconnected blocks, planned according to their surroundings.


Schooling hub, to the north
to create links with the city centre

Commercial hub, to the south
continuing on from the shops in the Marques Avenue outlet centre

Free time hub, in the intermediary zone bringing the whole town together, with a 10,000m² garden and a gym

Artistic, leisure and artistic hub, in the centre with water-based and cultural activities in connection with the Cité du Cinéma and the developing Pleyel district.


Breaking up the flow (Entre Deux Rives, Marques Avenue, Printemps, intermediary zone and Galeries Lafayette) reduces the distances, makes it easier to get one’s bearings and offers a varied and attractive view of the site.

The varied building heights (with light yellow above and burgundy below) mark out these blocks, with certain points standing out in the impressive riverside landscape, like lighthouses, to mark a particular place: the footbridge connecting to Saint Denis, the shoreline of the shorter bank…

The building structures also highlight the differences between the banks alongside the two branches of the Seine: undeveloped with intimist-style ambience on the shorter west shore, with 3-5-storey buildings, and a more ordered alignment of 7-storey buildings on the longer east shore.