Smart city: in Nantes, an innovative district to improve the quality of life

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© Jean-Dominique Billaud/Samoa

Urban planning can have a major impact on the quality of life. In the new Nantes district named Prairie-au-duc, the inhabitants have all the services of daily life on their doorstep. An excellent illustration of the “15-minutes city” concept.

Take the children to school, go to work, do the shopping, go play sports and have a drink in a bar… within less than 15 minutes walking from your home. Does this sound like a utopia? It is in fact what the district Prairie-au-duc in Nantes (Atlantic France) offers. 

Île de Nantes urban project: building a sustainable and inclusive city

Located next to the historic city center, between two arms of the Loire river, the Île de Nantes is undergoing a major transformation led by Samoa (a public agency created by Nantes Métropole specifically for this project).

Prairie-au-duc is one of its neighbourhoods and includes two parks, public transport, more than 1,400 housing units (including 25% of social housing and 25% of affordable housing), ground floors with a diverse range of shops suiting the inhabitants’ needs, but also offices, a children’s theater and the unbelievable bestiary of the Machines de l’Île.

Prairie-au-duc, a laboratory to invent the city of tomorrow

The national news on French television TF1 recently focused on this innovative urban project. The Prairie-au-duc is indeed an interesting example of what the city of the future could be and in particular of the “15-minutes city”, a concept theorized by the urbanist Carlos Moreno.

Considered by Nantes Métropole as a pilot area, a laboratory to invent the city of tomorrow, Prairie-au-duc has been designed to offer an excellent quality of life. Close to everything but surrounded by Nature, the district also has innovative assets: shared facilities (like gardens and guest rooms), scalable, participatory and intergenerational housing, pooled parking, etc. The urban project will be fully completed by 2024.

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