An Ecobarri or “EcoQuartier” is an urban development project that respects the principles of sustainable development while adapting to the characteristics of its territory.
An EcoQuartier must respect all the principles of sustainable development through: 1- Commit to a governance that facilitates citizen participation in the city project, 2-Contribute to the improvement of daily life by establishing an environment healthy and safe for all residents and users of public or private space, and promotes coexistence 3- Encourage participation in economic and territorial dynamics; 4-Promote responsible resource management and adaptation to climate change
From a legal perspective, the case of “eco-districts” is interesting for the legal texts that help to promote the integration of sustainability in urban planning, for the work done to define this concept and for the certification process developed to guarantee its quality. .
First, France has provided itself with a favorable legal framework for introducing sustainable development into urban planning. Thus, apart from the code of the environment and urban planning, we highlight the Law “SRU” No. 2000-1208 of 13 December 2000 on solidarity and urban renewal, which promotes the improvement of coherence between urban planning and territorial, strengthens solidarity between cities and the social mix in housing, and conditions travel with respect to sustainability. Also of interest is the influence of the Grenelle II Act of 12 July 2010, which aims to encourage urbanism that consumes less space and is structured by public transport.
Second, the concept of “eco-neighborhood” is poorly defined. On the one hand, the need to specify the concept has been defended based on standardization, but it has not been applied due to the risk of standardizing and simplifying it, which would have made it inapplicable in a reality that it is as varied as it is complex.
In the end, the French government has decided to propose that the basic reference for defining the Ecobarri be a voluntary letter in which the municipality is willing to assume criteria that apply the principles announced.
Third, this same volunteer letter is the first step in entering a certification process that guarantees its quality. Once the urban project has been defined and the main orientations of the project have been decided, the second phase is entered, in which the project is evaluated and in case of being accepted, it is considered that its value is recognized. . The valorisation of the project in this second phase can help to attract financing for the realization of the project. As the project progresses, a panel of experts will analyze the criteria and indicators to assess whether the project can be certified as “ecoquartier”.
At INSTA, we work to promote sustainability by guaranteeing the quality of projects. We believe that certification processes can be helpful in improving transparency and efficiency.