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Progress in the Development of the Ballon Neighborhood i...

Progress in the Development of the Ballon Neighborhood in Lille, France

On Monday, March 14, the results of the public consultation regarding the development of the Ballon Neighborhood in the Metropolitan Area of Lille (MEL) were reported to the public. The inclusion of sketches and resident’s demands allowed for the project to advance significantly. As Damien Castelain, president of the MEL, outlined in the beginning of the meeting: “There is no

View of Ballon Area in Lille, France

On Monday, March 14, the results of the public consultation regarding the development of the Ballon Neighborhood in the Metropolitan Area of Lille (MEL) were reported to the public. The inclusion of sketches and resident’s demands allowed for the project to advance significantly.

As Damien Castelain, president of the MEL, outlined in the beginning of the meeting: “There is no major opposition to the project, but there are some very understandable demands and requirements.”

From November 16, 2015 to February 26, 2016 the MEL organized a public consultation regarding the development of the Ballon neighborhood in Lille and received considerable feedback from the residents. In total, there were 108 contributions, including 42 online that involved the first work phase (41% from citizens of La Madeleine, 21% from Lille citizens, 28% of MEL agents and users in the sector). On Monday, the MEL’s services presented the results of this collaborative effort and discussed the next step of the development process.

Alternate View of Ballon Area in Lille, France

Two questions were posed to residents: What are your proposals for the neighborhood in terms of 1) quality of life and 2) practical services. This process allowed the MEL to identify the residents’ most important priorities. There was a demand for the future MEL headquarters, that will border the periphery of the neighborhood. to respect the existing architecture, to allow a wavelike architectural composition. The city must also avoid over-building, open up the neighborhood, promote soft transportation options in a well-connected neighborhood and emphasize sustainable housing. Parking, a major issue in this neighborhood, at the border of Lille and La Madeleine, was also extensively discussed.  

Based on this feedback, sketches that suggest guidelines and “images that picture the development’s ambition” were presented to the public. Nothing, of course, is final. It is currently the time for working hypothesis and many directions still need to be defined concerning, among others, housing typologies, services and public spaces and the nature of local amenities. Several configurations of underground parking were also proposed for the residents of Verdi Avenue.

Meanwhile, other workshops are planned to continue the development of the project before tackling the regulatory phase consisting in the approval of the local development plan for the project and conducting public surveys.

How does your city involve citizens in urban planning? What tools could the city be using to engage the public better? In what ways is your city successfully engaging its community? Share your thoughts and your city's stories in the comments area below.

Original article, originally published in French here.

Credits: Data and images linked to sources.

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Carmen Phillips is a graduate of Oberlin College and is currently pursuing her masters in French Translation at Kent State University. Carmen spent the last year in Lyon, France teaching English to primary school children and had the opportunity to i...

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