European Workshops on Large Urban Projects

31 December 2008


Paul Lecroart

DLR Silvertown viaduct © Paul Lecroart, IAU îdF

Session 1: Paris – London, June 9-10, 2008

Some thirty urban planning and development professionals from the Paris and the London regions met on June 9th and 10th to try and understand how Brownfield sites were regenerated on either side of the Channel. The Royal Arsenal in Woolwich and Rochester Riverside in Medway were chosen as examples in the Thames Gateway, and the Plaine Saint-Denis and Paris Nord Est in the Paris region.

The idea for this workshop originated at the international conference organised by the Urban Planning and Development Agency for the Paris/Ile de France region (IAU îdF) in Paris on November 22nd and 23rd 2007 which looked at large scale urban (re)development projects in Europe. Paul Lecroart (IAU îdF) and Sebastian Loew (University of Westminster) conceived the idea of bilateral exchanges to study in greater detail the how and the why of a limited number of cases.

During two very productive days, the participants visited sites, heard presentations from those involved in the projects at different levels of responsibility, debated and questioned. The outcome of the workshop is a deeper understanding of how major project overcome difficulties to turn out as (relative) successes, in the different context of each side of the Channel.

The workshop was organised under four headings: 

  • Who decides and carries the project through?
  • How is the project designed and implemented?
  • Who pays for what?
  • What are the results?

In London and the South East of England, the two regional development agencies involved (LDA and SEEDA), the local authorities (Design for London for the Greater London Authority, Greenwich Council, and Medway Renaissance), English Heritage, a consultant (EDAW) and a developer (Crest Nicholson) explained their roles in the two schemes studied.

In the Paris region, the workshop involved the main stakeholders of the regeneration of the area: the Ile de France Regional Council, the City of Paris, the Plaine Commune local authority, four public development agencies (Plaine Commune Développement, SODEDAT, SEMAVIP and EPA Plaine de France), a consultant (Bres & Mariolle), and two private developers (Icade and Meunier).

The lessons from this workshop will be drawn with the help of all the participants and a note will be edited on this website. In the meanwhile, the material (presentations, notes, maps, etc.) produced for this workshop can be downloaded here. More material on the Plaine Saint-Denis and Paris Nord Est regeneration projects can also be found on the November 22nd and 23rd 2007 site visits pages.

Royal Arsenal (Greenwich)

Royal Arsenal overview by Tom Keady

Mark Stevenson and Malcolm Woods (English Heritage)
Royal Arsenal, the story
Tom Keady (London Development Agency, GLA), The regeneration process

Mark Baigent (London Borough of Greenwich), Greenwich regeneration strategy

Tobias Goevert (Design for London, London Mayor Office), Guidance on public realm

Rochester riverside (Medway)

Rochester Riverside

Sarah Beck (Medway Renaissance), Rochester Riverside background

Nick Davies (Crest Nicholson), Delivering the project

Alison Peters (EDAW), Masterplan and design Code

Plaine Saint-Denis (Plaine Commune) / Paris North East (Paris)

Jean-Pierre Dayras, Plaine Commune local authority (in French)

David Cocheton (Plaine Commune Développement), Landy-France project (in French)

Isabelle Vallentin (SODEDAT93), Montjoie project and its evolution (in French)

Béatrice Mariolle (consultant), Montjoie (Meunier site) urban design code (in French)

Agnès Defosse (Regional Council), Investments in Plaine Saint-Denis 1994-2013

Benoît de Saint Martin (City of Paris) & Dominique Givois (SEMAVIP),  Overview and Claude Bernard-Macdonald sites (in French)

Olivier Guillouet (Icade), A private developer's strategy (in French)

Hervé Dupont (EPA Plaine de France), A development agency's strategy (in French)


Royal Arsenal (Greenwich)

Royal Arsenal

The Warren - Royal Arsenal

Rochester Riverside (Medway)

Rochester Riverside


A Franco-British Workshop
Report by Sebastian Loew in Urban Design, winter 2009


Paris Ile-de-France (mostly in French)

London and South East of England

Workshop images

June 10

Workshop Team - Aubervilliers
Plaine Saint-Denis - Montjoie Area
Plaine Saint-Denis - D. Vigier
SEM Plaine
Paris Nord-Est - B. de Saint-Martin (left)
Icade EMGP

June 9

Workshop team - Ebbsfleet
Workshop Royal Arsenal - LDA
Royal Arsenal - Tom Keady
Royal Arsenal - Tom Keady
Royal Arsenal
Royal Arsenal Berkeley
Rochester Riverside S. Beck, S. Loew
Rochester Riverside