#Point of view
Building the city of the future: Crédit Agricole Immobilier takes on a huge challenge
By 2050, two-thirds of the world's population will live in cities. This makes it vital to redevelop our urban environments. The cities of the future will have to meet the twin challenges of improving quality of life for residents while limiting the environmental footprint and the impact on biodiversity. This is the principle of sustainable construction, which has guided Crédit Agricole Immobilier and the Group as a whole for over 20 years.
To design the city of the future, Crédit Agricole Immobilier is proposing innovative and sustainable solutions based around three strategic areas: protect the environment, enhance quality of life and economic attractiveness, and support city dwellers as their lifestyles evolve.
Building sustainable dwellings
The building sector is the third-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in France after transportation and farming*. To reduce this environmental impact, Crédit Agricole Immobilier has committed itself to:
- Controlling the carbon impact of its buildings: after playing an active role in preparing the low-carbon building (BBCA) label in 2015, Crédit Agricole Immobilier is now providing support to the BBCA association, which is developing a new label for low-carbon renovations and which has set itself the task of identifying the characteristics of future low-carbon neighbourhoods. This comprehensive and innovative development approach will help to reduce the carbon footprint of these neighbourhoods;
- Safeguarding biodiversity: CA Immobilier has signed the biodiversity charter, making a commitment to consider biodiversity in every urban project, including residential and office developments and building management activities;
- Tailoring projects through bioclimatic design to recognise the specific characteristics and features of individual sites.
Responding to people's changing lifestyles and expectations
The home of the future has to be environmentally-friendly, but also pleasant to live in. CA Immobilier is pursuing several objectives as it works to meet this goal:
- Design adaptable apartments that incorporate adjustable features from the outset, enabling living spaces to be easily reconfigured over time with limited work and at limited cost (Homdyssée programme);
- Enhance quality of life and well-being as urbanisation expands, through the "Nature in the City" concept, which is experimenting with innovative urban farming initiatives such as shared plots, vegetable gardens and fruit trees;
- Design building projects as shared spaces that promote community and multiple uses (communal spaces, local services);
- Improve comfort (thermal and acoustic insulation).
Harnessing innovation to design the city of tomorrow: Woodi, an environmentally-conscious neighbourhood that takes care of you
Woodi, a neighbourhood in Melun, south of Paris, is one of the largest projects undertaken in France by a private developer**. The project goes beyond merely building an eco-friendly neighbourhood as it seeks to reshape the urban, social and economic geography of the wider region.
To take on the challenge, co-developers CA Immobilier and Loticis have teamed up with the City of Melun and Crédit Agricole Brie Picardie to launch Laboratoire Actions Woodi, a unique urban ecology research programme that provides a shared platform for innovation, bringing together private firms, public institutions, local associations and farmers. The aim is to rethink quality of life through tailored solutions that strike a balance between preserving the environment and promoting economic and social development. As part of this, work is being done in a wide range of areas, including the circular economy, health and well-being, environmentally-sensitive construction, new urban services and optimised use of space.
The future Woodi eco-neighbourhood
Working together to build the city of the future
Woodi has been given three goals that seek to link the creation of environmental value on a neighbourhood-wide scale to economic development on a regional scale:
- Use the development period to collectively design the transition and engage in educational and cultural dialogue around the eco-neighbourhood;
- Promote the development of a "green capital between the Seine river and the forest" by raising awareness about the circular economy among economic participants;
- Reduce Woodi's carbon footprint by encouraging a return to environmentally-friendly farming and developing forested areas.
"Our goal is to build a city that is adaptable, comfortable, liveable, affordable, modular and desirable. The Woodi project offers a way to sustainably energise and renew Melun.”
Nathalie Gagnadre, Head of Major Projects for Crédit Agricole Immobilier, and Caroline Barbaux, Loticis Project Manager.
To ensure a successful transition, CA Immobilier is supporting the people who are taking the changes forward day-to-day, because their backing is vital to the project's success.
* Source: Ministry for an Ecological and Inclusive Transition, 2016.
** With financing provided by CA Brie Picardie and Crédit Agricole CIB.