The Euralens landscape and urban development plan is based upon the opening in Lens of an annex of the Louvre museum, a plan which aims at the revitalization of the wider mining area that has been in crisis for two generations.
The division into concessional plots of this old mining district has created a territory that takes on the form of an archipelago, where constructed areas appear like low density islands. Between these city-islands exist abandoned areas crisscrossed by old bridle paths, an industrial traffic system that has been left in a state of neglect. The redevelopment of the landscape, with the renewal of the interweaving of these bridle paths, serves in creating a shared structure for these cities, and the connections now lacking between them.
Inside each of these “islands”, “gardened paths” transform the manner in which residents live and move about, but they are functional above all as bearers of densification for each part of the archipelago. The first completed works take part in a double task: to provide the best conditions for the opening of the Louvre museum and to initiate a transformation process for the entire territory.
In Lens, in Liévin, in Loos-en-Gohelle, we have helped bring about a reversal in perception: what once was considered the outdated, the abandoned, has become the face and place of recovery. In giving the status of landscape to the old routes of the mine, we have also brought about a change in the status of these cities, and of neighborhoods in the making. The elected representatives spoke of a “green archipelago”, and this shared image of the future seems to have brought about a change in how the inhabitants now perceive their territory.
MDP Michel Desvigne Paysagiste (lead consultant)
Christian de Portzamparc, Architect, urban planner
Inessa Hansch Architecte
1200 ha (2965 acres) / 10 km linear