CASE #7: SPATIAL PLANNING & COORDINATION

GrandLyon & Beyond
Karen McCormick, Senior Urbanist UrbaLyon


A complex and robust example of territorial cooperation beyond the metropolitan borders, with the involvement of the private sectors (real estate and business companies for the eco-construction productive chain)

Urbalyon is a non-profit association, an engineering tool whose purpose is to facilitate the emergence and implementation of common policies and projects whose activities contribute to planning and development of the Lyon Metropole area.
A partnership-based governance with 50 partners dedicated to the public interest formed by a team of 90 persons offering a varied set of competences and a broad spectrum of activities along with the territorial widening of the metropolitan area.
The budget of this organization is around 8ml per year. The Agency started 60 years and has changed and adapted its scope along with the challenges posed by territorial development of the area. First, the Atelier d’urbanisme de la Ville de Lyon (1961), then the Atelier d’urbanisme de la Communauté urbaine (1969), then Agence d’urbanisme (1978) de l’agglomération lyonnaise (1997) and finally the Agence d’urbanisme de l’aire métropolitaine lyonnaise (2015).
Bioclimatic and positive City masterplan for Belleville en Beaujoulais concerns a polarity of 15,000 inhabitants 45 km north of Lyon. The engagement of the  Urban Planning Agency made possible to set up a multidisciplinary team combining a number of skills useful  to address this particular territory embracing the management of water, soil and subsoil, landscape, urban and heritage aspects  mobility and energy. Among the main goals, also a specific focus on the public facilities’ improvement (sports, cultural spaces and school) both in terms of energy adaptation of the buildings and dense hybridization of different uses.The Master Plan and the action program, besides being organized in phases, were developed in one year amounted to approximately €150 K. The technical engineering services of the city and the intermunicipal aggregation  have merged to multiply the capacity of action and serve at best this new territorial polarity.

Interdisciplinary approach

The strength of the project lies in the transversal approach of the thematic expertise which has allowed to promote synergies and create an ecosystem. This is based on 3 guiding principles: 1. value local resources, 2. adapt local know-how and 3. involve local actors.
For example, the landscape strategy developed serves  both the ecological approach to water and run-off management issues, as well as climate change adaptation and active mobility infrastructures (walking and cycling paths).

The Master Plan’s implementation

Conceived as flexible guide defying the rhythm of the project’s implementation, the Master Plan was organized in four sections:

  • The first one is the fertile city. Around the concept of biodiversity with the aim to strengthen the ecosystems of the territory and carry out the adaptation made necessary by climate change.
  • The second one is the mobile and peaceful city. Around the creation of soft mobility systems.
  • The third one is the the welcoming and lively city. Incentivize private investment, foresees 1200 new houses and 600 renovated houses. The aim is to generate a lot of housing to meet the duty of welcoming the growing population of a railway station city within the new metropolitan area and generate a critical mass to structure our local and robust construction sector. Difficulties in matching the local housing market costs and the quality standards of construction led to the development of the local branches of eco-construction with the involvement of local eco-construction companies and sector organizations.
  • The fourth, the project management.

Conditions of success

1. Engagement of the local community, actors, citizens and companies.
2. The coordination between the local technical services of the town and the intermunicipal level.
3. A charismatic, visionary and pragmatic Mayor acting in great complicity with the director general of the technical services (the same for the city and the inter-municipality).
4. The creation of the House of the project called the House of Transition as a space to communicate the progress of the project and organize local activities
5. A full time job for fundraising management
6. Management team meetings with the project Director allowing for revisions and adjustments in progress.

Action Plan_long_terme


Please visit the page Metropolitan Partnerships in action across Urban and Rural to know about more cases from across Europe.