Sustainable and Inclusive Urbanism: Eco-quartier Danube

The Danube Eco-District project is Strasbourg’s first eco-district and is based on previous experimental designs in sustainable urban living. It is situated on former industrial sites, at a strategic point in the large Franco-German Deux Rives project on both sides of the Rhine. The Danube Eco-District will ultimately have a capacity for 20,000 residents, and includes various nature-based solutions such as nature on buildings, grey infrastructure featuring greens, parks and urban forests, green corridors and green belts, community gardens and allotments blue infrastructure such as lakes and ponds, and green areas for water management. The project aims to improve biodiversity, social equality, ecology, reduce urban heating, and promote sustainable consumption.

The French Ministry for Ecological Transition created the Eco-District label in 2012 to encourage the design, construction and sustainable management of districts in urban areas. These new development projects must integrate sustainable town planning principles and provide solutions for climatic challenges, support biodiversity and community togetherness. The Danube Eco-District already includes around 700 homes (50% of which will be social housing), 18,000 m² of office and retail space, an 84-bed nursing home, a student residence and a nursery school. Its development will be completed in several stages until 2030.

The Danube Eco-District project addresses emerging needs due to rising urbanisation, and subsequent problems of ecology, climate change, urban heating, effects on social equality and biodiversity. It therefore aims at promoting an environmental logic and integrating biodiversity in urban spaces. while supporting social mixing and shared governance.

The Danube Eco-District attaches specific attention to the following actions:

  • developing the vegetation of port wastelands for flood and water management
  • installing green roofs on residential buildings for thermal insulation
  • rain and stormwater managing facilities (e.g. ditches, swales, landscaping ponds, green roofs, green attached water gullies)
  • encouraging eco-friendly methods of gardening (e.g. stopping the use of pesticides)
  • green spaces, involving tree planting
  • insect hotels for biodiversity – garden plots and shared gardens dedicated to preserving biodiversity, improving air quality, and communal living

The Eco-District Danube is implementing, over 6 hectares, innovative energy systems via certified low-energy, passive or positive energy buildings such as the Elithis tower, the world’s 1st positive energy housing tower, alternative mobility solutions station car-sharing, shared parking. Inclusive mobility, moving away from individual car ownership and use are also ways to make the city life more vibrant.
In terms of cultural heritage, a major focus is to favour and preserve the port character of the site.

Regarding the social dimensions of the Danube Eco-District, the project is co-designed and co-built with the inhabitants of the city and (future) residents, for example in charting new urban, architectural, social, environmental pathways. It promotes urban mix with its 650 housing units including 50% social housing or social access, and 10% self-promotion, offers specific project support and methodologies to support the emergence of collective projects. Spaces for encounters have been installed such as playgrounds, gardens or composting areas. Green spaces represent more than 6,000 m², plus another 4,000 m² of public green spaces, and are planned as spaces for encounters and social interaction.

Presentation of the Eco-District on the City of Strasbourg’s website:

Do you want to share your project with our community and stakeholders?