Architects and Urbanists from Lille City Council guided us around three neighbourhood regeneration areas in the city, Lille Sud, Euratechnologies and the Fives area. We saw the various ways in which the city has created innovative sustainable places. The most impressive element of these initiatives is the commitment to building well designed new housing developments which deliver on Lille City Council’s planning policy of creating new schemes in which a third of dwellings are affordable social housing, a third for first time buyers and a third for sale in the private sector.
Our students got to walk on the landscaped roof of a new 40 million Euro community centre, to see the way in which a massive former textile mill has been refurbished as a centre for digital and creative businesses and how a local factory which once built the lifts for the Eiffel Tower and the drilling machines for the Channel Tunnel is now home to a new catering college and the focal point of a food based regeneration project.
On their return to The School of the Built Environment, Engineering and Computing the students have to write a report on the ways in which Lille is striving to become a sustainable city.
In February 2020 Lille students will make a three day long return visit to Leeds and Yorkshire, during which time they will work with our students on envisaging the attributes of a new environmentally benign city called LiIleeds.