Supporting the development strategy of urban densification – Bordeaux, France

January 25, 2019


Client: Communauté Urbaine de Bordeaux (CUB)
Surface area: 800 residential units
Team: 51N4E / Grau, 3E


In the near future, the city of Bordeaux will have to develop approx. 50,000 new homes to meet the increasing demand for housing. The Communauté Urbaine de Bordeaux has appointed 5 multidisciplinary teams to assess and test possible realisation scenarios and integration principles within the existing urban fabric with a view to this future densification. Various sites were selected as pilot projects, whereby the lessons learned from the project will serve to support the proposed large-scale development.

It is in this context that 3E assisted the team of 51N4E/Grau regarding the environmental aspects of such an urban development, such as water management, waste and materials management, renewable energy and biodiversity.

Taking into account the framework conditions of the sites, the following topics had already been assessed with regard to technical feasibility in the preliminary design stage:

  • energy: geothermal energy, solar thermal energy, local biomass production and a heating network;
  • rainwater and waste water management;
  • soil pollution;
  • interaction with industrial locations.

In order to determine the program and the housing density, different scenarios were compared with each other.

Two sites were selected depending on the extent to which they could be replicated on other sites and were analysed in detail. Stringent and ambitious (sustainability) requirements were defined in the preliminary design stage with a view to a medium and long-term development.