Case study – Habitat participatif in France: the case of H’Nord (Bordeaux)

hnord-chais
 hnord-chais

Executive Summary

H’Nord is an eco-neighbourhood housing redevelopment project under construction within the Des Chartrons district in the northern part of Bordeaux. The project started when, in 2004, three long standing residents of the neighbourhood began to think about how to exploit a vast industrial area left abandoned for several years in their neighbourhood. They were particularly concerned about the possibility that it could be developed by real estate entrepreneurs who would turn this site into a “massive block of concrete”. These residents therefore started the H’Nord project to transform the abandoned area into something useful for the surrounding neighbourhood. The project’s name derives from the shape of the area which is similar to an “H” and to the location in the northern part of the city.

The H’Nord project was developed through a bottom-up approach, involving first the three friends and then broadening their followers and eventually forming and association in 2006 with the aim of forming a cooperative of inhabitants. The co-op of inhabitants currently is composed of 25 official members and 40 followers.

The H’Nord project aims to overturn the established tradition of housing people once buildings are finished. This co-op wants to look for people designing the neighbourhood and its services before going to live there, in order to realise a living space reflecting the needs and values ​​of its future inhabitants. The objectives and targets can be grouped into 4 different categories: ecology, economy, social, participation.

To learn more about this housing cooperative and the H’Nord project, download the full H’Nord case study written by Jimmy Carollo*.

*Jimmy Carollo earned a degree in Sociology and Social Research from the University of Trento in 2012 and is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in urban and local regeneration and sustainable development at the University Paris X, Nanterre la Défense. He can be contacted at Jimmy.carollo@gmail.com .

The author wishes to thank Francesco Minora, post doctorate research fellow at Euricse, for his collaboration.

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