Water and Sewage
Green Blue
Buildings & land use
Project Summary Project Description Application of Tools Opinion of Tools Decision making process Contact Details

Project description

Name of the case study
Lyon Confluence major urban development

Description of context
This case study is strongly embedded in a context characterised by political forces. Indeed the project Lyon-confluence is one of the biggest in the region for several years in Lyon, and is influenced on a national scale. The impacts on Lyon vitality and way of life for the Greater Lyon’s inhabitants are significant. And that’s why it represents a great challenge that the city should overcome.

Description of project - background

The “Lyon Confluence” is one of Greater Lyon’s biggest projects. The project consists of the urban renewal of an old industrial area into a city centre district.

Located between two rivers, Rhone and Saone (see figures 1, 2 & 3), and long restricted to industry and transport facilities, the peninsula is undergoing a transformation, a complete and extensive change.

Figure 1: Lyon-confluence limits defined by 2 rivers.

This strategic area is now being prepared for a new function which is more appropriate due to its central and pivotal location south of the main Perrache railway station (see figures 2 and 3): a true city-centre location.

Figure 2: Lyon-Confluence aerial view

The site of Lyon Confluence, an essential core transport junction, spreads over 150 ha, including 30-40 ha allocated for urban residential areas (7000 inhabitants), 70 ha for industrial infrastructures and 5 km of riverside facilities. It is planned that by 2030, 25 000 inhabitants will live in the project area, 14000 employments should be created by new leisure and cultural infrastructures and a large green space should be reserved (30-40 ha).

Description of project - objectives/aims

a)Long term project

The long term project (2030) provides the major objectives to give the area a unity and the main urban development principles of development of a continuous entity, of mixed functions and of new communication ways with the other parts of the town centre.

The main objectives of the project can be summarised as follow:
- to extend the city centre to the whole peninsula and integrate it to the agglomeration
- to organise urban life in respect of rivers and green spaces assets
- to build a “piece of town” where everyone would like to live, work or relax.

Figure 3: Project “Lyon- Confluence”
(coloured area corresponds to the first stage of the project)

Several objectives are crucial for the success of the project:
- Breaking the isolation of the area with new subway and tramway lines extension. The Rhone (west part of the project), the Saone (east part) and the railway (in north direction) currently reduce communication possibilities with the rest of the city,
- Development of the green and blue spaces,
- Development of attractive urban leisure infrastructures
- Creation of a new city-centre through the extension of the pre existent one.

In order to achieve this long term project, some constants have been specified. It is actually very difficult and perilous to fix rigid predictions on urban development for 30 years because of technologic evolution, political changes... Moreover it is necessary to leave capacity for change in the urban development to take into consideration inhabitant’s opinion and their potential evolutions. The continuous adaptation and adjustment of this project, essential for its success, should come about without jeopardizing internal consistency. That’s why some general constants have been provided and act as fundamental elements for the project structure.
The constants that will be maintained throughout the 30 year programme mention the following points:
- Interconnection of the harbour, the green spaces, and urbanisation (buildings)
- Extension of green spaces on the whole Saone riverbank
- Spatial redistribution of the transport junctions around the railway station
- Restoration of the urban continuities including large roads, creation of a bridge to reach other districts etc.
- Arrangement of Rhone riverbanks including low riverbanks, linear house front with some open spaces etc.

b)The first stage development (12 years)
This first stage of development is a true project which develops the first modifications of the neighbourhood and prepares brownfields before infrastructure is added (rehabilitation). It concerns a third of the area considered for the whole project (see grey parts of the figure 3).

Some specific objectives have been presented:
(i) Diversity:
- Functional diversity: 38% of housing, 27% of service activities and 35% of shops and leisure infrastructures
- Social diversity: 52% high level housing, 17% standard family housing, 11% rented housing for medium level and 20% for social housing
(ii) Innovative culture and leisure:
(iii) Urban life quality:
- In buildings (these prescriptions are written in the prescriptions for the land assignment act- see appendix 1): sunlight accessibility, north wind protection, possibility to benefit from the south wind, thermal comfort in summer and in winter, air quality inside buildings etc.
- In public spaces: different spaces for different uses, complete proposal for transport including buses, subways and trains etc.

This short term development project has been voted by the Greater Lyon in 2003 to include the procedure of a Concerted Development Zone (CDZ- see below description of tools). Components of a CDZ are: - Leisure-culture spaces
- Public spaces
- Residential areas
- Transport - Car parking

Description of project - time interval and stages

The project presents a step to step land planning:
- A first stage for 12 years (Concerted Zone Development)
- A long term project for 30 years defined by “constants” (see below)

Furthermore, temporary developments have been implemented to allow the continuity of the project trough the different stages:

- temporary walking tours on the Saone river
- vegetable garden for children education
- artistic activities in old industrial building (exhibitions, concerts …)

Description of project - financing
Public and private sources.

Description of project - other sectors involved

Up to now, the urban and architectural project of the CDZ has been approved by the Greater Lyon and technical studies have begun.

Simultaneously the Confluence Museum project has been launched. It is lead by the Rhone department and thus does not belong to the CDZ.

What tools were used to assess sustainability?



Global Approach

HQE process


Public Consultation


Sustainable diagnosis

Urbanisation Procedure

More information

Click here for a full description (pdf)