Town Planning (Urban project)

The Bio-Islets of the Restanque Sector - 2007 Montpellier

Project team

- atelierphilippemadec (Paris), architecture 
- In Situ, landscaping
- Egis conseil, transport

Client

City of Montpellier

Status: town planning and urban development competition | Area: 140 ha | Cost: €85,000,000 plus applicable taxes

The town planning call for proposals for the Des Restanques area near the arena in Montpellier offered an opportunity for atelierphilippemadec to try out the principle of a ‘bio-islet’.
Mobility is a key factor in the cities we have inherited from past eras. Everyday life requires us to move around, often wasting time doing so, sometimes even wasting lifetimes, as is the case for those who, in order to earn a pittance in the city centre, spend over a third of their day in return trips between their suburban homes and their workplaces. A more desirable town would reduce time spent on in necessary travel in order not to waste people’s time and money and in a wanton waste of energy. It would be built around a pool of mixed local activities, concentrated and complete, in a logic of proximity, which would transform distances from spatial to temporal. 
The Montpellier bio-islet is 1.5 km long. Motorised vehicles are prohibited, apart from for the health and security services, and exceptional cases. It is designed to satisfy a family’s needs in its daily life, offering a town where everything is at your fingertips, as it were, where everything can be reached on foot. On the periphery, the site is built up high, framing the islet along the borderlines that serve a territorial purpose. An arcade is built into this outer ring, bringing added comfort to those situated along the edge, while the central part of the islet is built lower. The landscape creates a harmony, linking the different parts. 

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