The overall organization of the urban campus located on the Saclay Plateau's southern side develops out of the fundamental role played by a fully developed network of parks.
With the decision of employing a high built density, around a hundred and eighty hectares has been freed up across the heart of the campus for the creation of a varied landscape that runs up alongside the surrounding agricultural and protected natural spaces of the plateau. On the side housing the Ecole Polytechnique area, this thick border broadens into becoming a ninety-hectare naturalist park, and a space where the reconciliation of two worlds long opposed, the city and the countryside, is again reenacted.
Essential to the creation of this intermediate landscape is a successful marriage of ecology and engineering, and there indeed exists an economic approach to such ecological engineering at the city's disposal. The main levers for putting it into operation include: creating a comprehensive strategy for water, ground, and waste management; necessitating the implementation of compensatory ecological measures with the construction of new neighborhoods; reestablishing continuity within both the city's blue and green fabric.
The created border landscape not only provides a physically coherent space for these ecological resources, but establishes at the same time an adequately sized public space. A number of large pools, employed in water management, are linked together through a succession of additional ornamental water features, to complete and visually extend the natural lake on site, helping more fully integrate habitats for flora and fauna within the area. A number of delicate embankments, as well as forested areas given over to protected natural species, will remain off limits to the public. However, other spaces will be created with diverse functions in mind. Clearings ideal for picnics, fields for sports, new networks of bike and walking paths connecting the campus to its surrounding environment.
The naturalist park provides both a space where shared ecological services can be housed, as well as spaces where experiences, activities, and exchanges can take place. Only this double purpose and functioning allows for the creation of this vast park open to the public, which neither the campus, nor the agricultural sector surrounding, would have authorized, or financed.
Etablissement public d'aménagement Paris-Saclay (EPAPS)
MDP Michel Desvigne Paysagiste